Tesla’s Model S is now available in the UK in right hand drive configuration.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered five new cars to customers in London on Saturday June 7 at an event to welcome the arrival of right hand drive (RHD) Model S in the UK.
Tesla said the occasion marks the beginning of a planned rapid expansion in the country in the coming two years.
Today, Tesla operates a store in Westfield White City and a service centre in West London. By the end of 2014, customers will be able to visit Tesla stores and service centers across the UK, said the Californian company, and will continue to hold test-drive events around the country.
The Model S EV delivers 312 miles of NEDC range on a single charge.
Tesla stated it 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 program to ensure the vehicles are optimized for every market in which they are sold.
The company explained RHD Tesla 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 have been re-fitted for RHD.
The arrival of the RHD Model S is accompanied by the Model S iPhone app, available in the UK iTunes store. Tesla said the app puts Model S owners in direct communication with their cars anytime, anywhere. Owners can use the app to check on charging progress, start or stop charging, and heat up or cool down the vehicle before driving (even if it’s in a garage).
In the UK, prices for the Model S start at £50,280 on the road, including the £5,000 government plug-in grant. UK Model S customers can also benefit from other government incentives, including zero road tax, zero showroom tax, and exemption from London Congestion Charge.
The car is also eligible for the 100 percent First Year Allowance for company purchase and 0 percent Benefit in Kind, both of which last until April 2015.
Tesla also energized the first Supercharger location in the UK during the delivery event. The Crystal site at London’s Royal Victoria Docks is the beginning of a route to Paris and then the rest of Europe, which Tesla said 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 and Ireland 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 said it is energizing Superchargers at a rate of close to one per weekday.
116 Supercharger locations are energized worldwide including 19 locations in Europe.
Superchargers replenish half a charge in 20 minutes and Tesla states they are strategically placed along well-traveled highways to allow Model S owners to drive from station to station with the fewest possible stops. Superchargers are located near amenities like restaurants, cafes, and shopping centers so drivers can stop for a quick meal and have their Model S charged at the same time.