South Africans may be able to buy Tesla electric cars by the end of 2019 if Elon Musk, billionaire and CEO of Tesla (among other companies) keeps his word. In a reply to a tweet on Tuesday morning, South African-born Musk said the country would likely receive its first Tesla store next year.

Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers, Musk among them, who set out to show people they do not need to compromise on style or speed when driving electric vehicles, which are more eco-conscious than other vehicles. The company was founded as a move towards a future with zero emissions, and aims to prove that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive.

“And this is just the beginning … Tesla continues to make products accessible and affordable to more and more people, ultimately accelerating the advent of clean transport and clean energy production. Electric cars, batteries, and renewable energy generation and storage already exist independently, but when combined, they become even more powerful – that’s the future we want,” the official Tesla site reads.

The cheapest Tesla vehicle – the Model 3 – starts at R500 000, and preorders for this specific model have been available in South Africa since 2016.

This is what the Model 3 Tesla looks like (source: Tesla)

The longer-range version of the Model 3 will set locals back by approximately R600 000, while the performance model will cost around R750 000.

Tesla offers the option of test-driving its vehicles – people need only apply – but unfortunately, this option is only open to those who possess a United States driving license.

The following countries may apply to test drive a Tesla (Source: Tesla)

Drivers of the performance Model 3 can choose to add the Enhanced Autopilot, which steers, brakes and accelerates the car for them, for a further cost of R70 000.

To view more details on the different Tesla, click here.

Picture: Tesla

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.