Tesla Motors, which sells world’s only
highway-capable electric vehicle, opened its European flagship store in
the heart of London’s exclusive Knightsbridge district on June 25.
The 5,000 square-foot showroom
on Cheval Place is in walking distance from Harrods department store and
convenient to Heathrow Airport – a high-profile expansion of Tesla’s
international presence. Tesla will also have regional sales and service
centres in Monaco, Munich and Zurich, and four new stores in the United
States. All stores provide test-drive opportunities to prospective
customers and information on the growing number of electric vehicles.
Teslas qualify for numerous incentives
in European countries and cities, including waivers of luxury tax,
reductions in VAT, free parking and free charging. In London, Teslas are
exempt from the congestion charge, a saving of up to £2,000 per year for
Tesla will begin delivering cars to
European customers this summer of which the first 250 will be the
Signature Edition Roadster model, priced from £94,000 on the road, with
the option to upgrade to the more powerful Roadster Sport. A right hand
drive entry-level variant of the two-seater sportscar will be on sale in
the UK during the first quarter of 2010 to capitalise on the growing
demand for the Roadster, for which 1,300 orders have already been taken
“Thanks to an abundance of
discriminating drivers and progressive public policy, Tesla is already
well known in Europe,” said Tesla CEO and Product Architect Elon Musk.
“We expect the London store to dramatically increase our brand identity
throughout the continent, and with right hand drive models now due at
the beginning of next year, the UK market will provide a solid
foundation on which to build this.”
The Roadster is the first electric
vehicle to travel more than 200 miles on a single charge, and the first
ever EU and US-certified lithium ion battery electric vehicle. The
Roadster gets the equivalent of 256 miles per gallon, travels more than
240 miles on a single charge and produces zero tailpipe emissions.
Tesla is also taking reservations for
the Model S sedan, which Tesla expects to produce starting in late 2011.
The Model S, which will likely be the world’s first mass-produced,
highway-capable EVs, will have unrivalled passenger and cargo space and
travel up to 300 miles per charge.