Tesla Steps Up U.K. Effort With RHD Model S, Charging Stations

The automaker is energizing Supercharger stations at a rate of close to one every week day. It says 116 locations are up and running worldwide including 19 in Europe.

Alan Harman, Correspondent

June 10, 2014

2 Min Read
Tesla CEO Elon Musk at first UK Supercharger
Tesla CEO Elon Musk at first U.K. Supercharger.

Tesla delivers five new Model S sedans to customers in London over the weekend at an event marking the arrival of right-hand-drive models and the start of what the company plans to be rapid expansion in the U.K. over the next two years.

Tesla now operates a store in Westfield White City and a service center, but says in a statement that by year’s end customers will be able to visit Tesla stores and service centers across the U.K.

RHD cars sold in the U.K. 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.

The arrival of an RHD Model S with a claimed range of 312 miles (502 km) is accompanied by an iPhone app, available in the UK iTunes store. It 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 car before driving.

In the U.K., Model S prices start at £50,280 ($84,379), including the £5,000 ($8,391) government plug-in grant. U.K. buyers also can benefit from other government incentives, including zero road tax, zero showroom tax, and exemption from London Congestion Charge.

Tesla energized the first Supercharger location in the U.K. 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 that will allow Model S drivers to travel long distances in the U.K. and on the continent for free.

CEO Elon Musk says Tesla is looking at locations across London to place its first set of inner-city Superchargers.

“Our plan for routes to other cities in the U.K. 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,” Musk says in a statement.

“We expect customers to be able to travel the length of the U.K. and Ireland for free using our Superchargers within the next 18 months.”

By the end of the year, Musk says, Model S drivers will be able to travel almost anywhere in Europe using Superchargers.

The automaker is energizing Superchargers at a rate of close to one every weekday. It says 116 Supercharger locations are up and running worldwide including 19 in Europe.

Tesla Superchargers, which have thus far offset more than 660,430 gallons (2.5 million L) of gasoline, provide up to 120 kW of direct current to the Model S battery. Superchargers replenish half a charge in as little as 20 minutes.

About the Author(s)

Alan Harman

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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