Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered five new cars to customers in London today at an event to mark the arrival of right hand drive (RHD) Model S in the UK. The occasion marks the beginning of a planned rapid expansion in the country in the coming two years.
Today, Tesla operates a store and a service centre in London. By the end of 2014, however, customers will be able to visit Tesla stores and service centres across the UK. Tesla will also continue to hold test-drive events around the country.
RHD MODEL S IN THE UK
Model S is an uncompromised electric car that delivers 502 kilometres of range on a single charge. With a 17-inch touchscreen, an outstanding safety record, and an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, the fully electric Model S breaks the mould. Tesla is committed to giving customers the best possible Model S experience no matter where they live. With that in mind, the company has completed a country-specific validation programme to ensure the vehicles are optimised for every market in which they are sold. Right hand drive cars in the UK come with software specific to the country and a configuration that fits the needs of owners who drive on the left hand side of the road. Everything from the wipers to the braces in the front trunk have been re-fitted for RHD.
FIRST UK SUPERCHARGER
Tesla also energised the first Supercharger location in the UK at the delivery event. The Crystal site at London’s Royal Victoria Docks represents the beginning of a route to Paris and then the rest of Europe, which will enable Model S drivers to travel long distances in the UK and on the continent for free.
“Superchargers enable long distance travel but also, in a city where off street parking is rare and expensive, Model S customers will be able to access a network of Superchargers across London to charge, quickly and for free, at their convenience,” said Elon Musk. “We are looking at locations across the capital to place our first set of inner city Superchargers. Our plan for routes to other cities in the UK is still on target for the end of the year, but we are also announcing this new initiative in order to best serve our London-based customers. We expect customers to be able to travel the length of the UK for free using our Superchargers within the next 18 months”
Musk said that by the end of the year Model S drivers will be able to travel almost anywhere in Europe using Superchargers. The company is energising Superchargers at a rate of close to one per weekday. 116 Supercharger locations are energised worldwide, including 19 locations in Europe. Tesla Superchargers have so far offset more than 2.5 million litres of petrol.