Tesla has begun delivering model 3 deliveries in Europe, but customers who have paid for the company's Autopilot assistance package will not be able to use the futuristic feature set yet, according to the Los Angeles Times . Autopilot is currently disabled because the company is waiting for approval from the driver company from RDW, the vehicle authority in the Netherlands.
In January, Telsa announced that it had received "type approval" in Europe for model 3, which means that the car had been removed by regulators to be sold across the EU. But an RDW spokesman told Times on Thursday that Autopilot was not part of the approval ̵[ads1]1; although the company sells model S and model X in Europe with autopilot as an alternative. (Type approvals handed out – or denied – by a nation in the EU apply to all the others in the association.)
A spokesman for Tesla said in a statement that the company " plans to activate Autopilot in Europe next week "for model 3. The company says all necessary tests have been completed, but the approval is still being processed. RDW did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tesla continued to allow customers in Europe to choose about the $ 6,000 Autopilot option on Thursday, according to the Times .
Bringing Model 3 to Europe and China is a major focus of Tesla in 2019. China is the largest market in the world for electric cars, and Europe is usually neck and neck with the United States second on that list. CEO Elon Musk said last week on a conversation with investors that essentially every model 3 made right now in California is destined for either Europe or China. Tesla recently announced its second round of lay-offs in the past year, and combined with pushing model 3 into these new markets, the company believes it will make a profit in the future.
Autopilot's absence in the first orders is not The only headache Tesla has entered as it introduces model 3 to Europe. The company has experienced "unexpected challenges" in the gateway in Belgium where it sends cars, according to Musk, which has led to delays in delivery having arisen.
Update February 7, 17:47 ET: Added information from Tesla about the status of the approval in the third paragraph.