YarraBend in Australia Wants to Become the Tesla of Suburbs

It's a new, environmentally conscious level of elitism.


Glenvill, an Australian development firm, is trying to create “a world-first Tesla suburb” that would give comfortably-upper-middle-class residents a way to enjoy a paradise of sustainability and electric cars.

The 16-hectare Melbourne mini suburb will be called YarraBend. There will be around 2,500 three to five person homes — 60 of which are already up for preorder — that will come standard with solar panels, Tesla Powerwalls, and electric car recharging stations.

All of the residents will stay connected via smart appliances and an app. The Powerwall is really the only thing that is Tesla-specific. But the Tesla potential is there: Routed public transport (which could be handled by Tesla buses), app-based carpooling arrangements (which would be handled by Tesla autonomous ride-share vehicles), and solar panels (which, assuming Tesla’s SolarCity buyout happens, could be installed by Tesla).

Here’s the kicker: The cost for each house, townhouse, and apartment will range between $1.48 and $2.1 million. In other words, like many other sustainable developments and most electric vehicles, the suburbs of the future won’t exactly be equal opportunity. It’s understandable, of course, Glenvill is a private developer who needs to make a profit on their investment. Still, it’s worth noting that sustainable developments and futuristic housing don’t address the root issues of global inequality and climate change, which disproportionately affect people below the poverty line and those in developing countries.

The world according to YarraBend.


Danni Addison, chief at the Urban Development Institute of Australia, told Australia’s Heidelberg Leader that if everything goes to plan, water reduction will fall by 43 percent, landfill contributions will go down by 80 percent, and energy use will fall by 34 percent.

Residents will “benefit in a variety of ways, including dramatically smaller power bills and knowing that the majority of their energy usage is coming from a clean and renewable source.”

The best way to take advantage of this model Tesla city is to own everything Tesla, of course. And while the upfront cost may seem obscene, there are some benefits:

“Combined with the Powerwall and solar panels, it is likely that ‘refueling’ future residents’ electric cars will be free,” Addison says.

Australia just might make the ‘burbs cool again, or a select group at least. For the rest of us, it might just lead to more class warfare and an unlivable planet.

Related Tags