Unless Australia changes some of their trucking regulations, the country might miss out on the Tesla Semi.
The regulation in question is the one regarding the maximum width of trucks allowed on Australian roads. According to the rules, trucks must be no more than 2.5 meters wide.
According to Tesla, the Semi is 30 to 50 millimeters (3-5cm) wider, meaning it runs afoul of the regulation even if only by the smallest of margins.
Tesla asks the government to change the rule in a submission to the National Transport Commission’s Heavy Vehicle National Law Review, seen by The Driven. In the submission, Tesla says the changes could mean a delay, or even worse, the Tesla Semi might never make it to Australia.
“The Commission will be aware that given Australia’s small size in comparison to global markets, inconsistencies like this between Australian regulations and larger markets will delay or preclude vehicles coming to local markets. Currently, Australia will likely miss out on the first generation of electric heavy vehicles such as the Tesla Semi because of this.”
Tesla isn’t the first to ask for a change to the rules. In 2019 Austroads, considered to be the apex organization of road transport and traffic agencies in Australia and New Zealand, conducted a study which recommended to government increasing the size limit by 50mm to 2.55m.
The recommendation was supported by the vast majority of stakeholders, but the rule remains the same nearly two years later.