Electric car maker Tesla will start 2021 as an official car importer into Israel, according to a report in Globes on Monday.
Sources informed Globes that Tesla has obtained a commercial import license from the Transport Ministry with no limitation on the amount of units it is permitted to bring in.
To date, Tesla has been registered as a “small importer,” enabling it only to import up to 20 vehicles – mostly for testing.
“This is the first time that a vehicle manufacturer has received a license for direct importing and marketing of vehicles in Israel, rather than through a local dealer or in partnership with a dealer,” reported Globes.
Tesla is expected to take its first online orders within the next few days – with the first models visible on Israeli roads in the coming months – dependent on the unfolding coronavirus situation.
“The company is currently examining sites for its special charging stations and obtaining licenses for them, and also acting to expedite the granting of permits to set up charging points in public buildings and multi-occupancy residential buildings,” according to Globes.
Israel will likely initially receive the Tesla Model 3, which will be offered in several versions. Prices have not yet been published, but the leading version will probably be the new basic version of the car, the Tesla Model 3 SR+, with a range of about 440 kilometers between charges.
It recently went on sale in Europe for approximately $49,000. In Israel, where cars cost almost double what they would in the United States due to much higher taxes, the cars are likely to retail for NIS 250,000 – 350,000 ($80,000 – $110,000).
Tesla recently released some of its 2020 data, which showed that it produced and delivered approximately 500,000 vehicles, according to a company statement.
The company’s co-founder and CEO, Elon Musk, recently announced that he would be moving Tesla’s production from California to Texas, saying that the Golden State had become complacent and took its success for granted.