Tesla has started delivering Model 3 supplies in Europe, but customers who have paid for the company's Autopilot driver help package will not be able to use the futuristic functionality set yet, according to the Los Angeles Times . Autopilot is currently disabled because the company is awaiting approval of the driver's package from RDW, the Netherlands Vehicle Authority.
In January, Telsa announced that it had received "type approval" in Europe for Model 3, which meant that the car had been removed by the regulators to be sold throughout the EU. But an RDW spokesman told Times on Thursday that Autopilot was not part of the approval ̵
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 respond promptly to a comment request. Tesla still gave customers in Europe the option of choosing the $ 6,000 Autopilot option on Thursday, according to Times .
Bringing Model 3 to Europe and China is an important focus of Tesla in 2019. China is the largest market in the world for electric cars, and Europe is typically the neck and neck with the United States second on that list. CEO Elon Musk said last week on a call with investors that virtually every Model 3 made right now in California is destined for either Europe or China. Tesla recently announced its second round of redundancies over the past year, which, combined with pushing model 3 into these new markets, believes it will make it possible to win profits.
Autopilot's absence in the original orders is not The only headache, Tesla, has run in as it introduces Model 3 to Europe. The company has experienced "unexpected challenges" in the port of Belgium where it sends cars, according to Musk, which has led to initial delays in deliveries.
Update February 7, 17:47 ET: Added information from Tesla on the status of the approval in the third paragraph.