In Norway, where once Tesla was first to satisfy a stirring hunger for electric cars, Norwegians now complain about delays and slow service. Elon Musk has admitted problems but points to Norway’s regulation as being responsible. The issue may run deeper though.
It is not the EV incentive policy the Tesla CEO has trouble with. Instead he claims that an approval from the government in Oslo for Tesla to deploy a fleet of mobile service vans was outstanding. At the same time, Musk confirmed the complaints of Norwegian consumers were justified.
What triggered below tweet of Musk was a report that ranked the electric carmaker fourth on Norway’s national list of company complaints. The Norwegian Consumer Council, a government-funded agency said it was contacted 118 times regarding Tesla this year, moving the company up from 24th place last year. Clients said they struggled to reach customer service and also complaint about late deliveries.
Norwegians are right to be upset with Tesla. We are having trouble expanding our service facilities in Oslo especially. Can solve quickly with Tesla mobile service vans, but awaiting govt permission to do so.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 5, 2018
A spokeswomen added via email that they were not only waiting to launch the service vans but that Tesla had increased the service team in Norway by 30 percent. They aim to double the size of the group by the end of the year.
The problem may be a bit more substantial though. Particularly the issue of deliveries is none that mobile service vans can solve. Instead, it is due to a sharp rise in Tesla orders in Norway, where the Model X alone was among the most sold cars in the overall ranking in 2017. Moreover, Tesla had been facing delivery problems before as it had to move to Gothenburg harbour in Sweden to supply its Norwegian customers reportedly. Back then, Musk had ordered to slow shipments saying “customer happiness & safety matter more than a few extra cars this quarter”.
The growing number of Teslas on the road in Norway then again puts a strain on the service network, albeit one that Tesla could (or should) have foreseen sooner maybe. Yet it is exactly the fact of Tesla having issues to cope with a growing fleet of electric vehicles that appears like a dark cloud on the horizon. Particularly when expecting Tesla sales to rise ever further, latest with the arrival of the Model 3, the EV maker will have to come up with solutions in other markets too.