Right-hand drive Tesla Model S arrives in UK

Right-hand drive Tesla Model S arrives in UK


The right-hand drive Tesla Model S arrived in the UK at a special launch event hosted held in London.

Since its US release in June 2012, Tesla has sold more than 25,000 of the five-door Model S electric cars worldwide, backed by a network of the company’s superchargers that can rapidly charge the Tesla’s batteries giving up to a 170 mile top up in 30 minutes and a full charge in 70 minutes.

There are currently 19 superchargers in Europe, none of those being in the UK. However, in the next 18 months, Tesla plans to extend the network, aiming to make it possible for Model S owners to drive the length of the UK with one 20-minute top up mid-way. In the meantime, Model S owners will be able to use existing third party chargers, with a Type 2 connection.

The government hopes that Musk, the “electric car tsar”, and his luxury electric saloon will boost electric cars. “The goal at Tesla is to produce a mass market electric car, but we can only get there one step at a time by selling the Roadster and now the Model S to fund the mass market,” said Musk.

The Model S is set to compete with the BMWs and Mercedes of this world, and its futuristic, swooping styling provides a good-looking change to the German cars’ hard lines. That almost sci-fi feel is maintained as you approach the car and see the door handles pop out automatically.

“The Model S will do 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds powered by a motor the size of a lady’s handbag,” quipped Georg Ell Tesla’s UK director.

It is a thrilling rush reaching 60mph as fast as a Lamborghini Gallardo, throwing you and your passengers back into their seats. The only real difference is that there is no roar of the engine, just a squeal of the tyres on the road, a space for five passengers and all their luggage.

Prices start at £49,900 for the 60kWh version, rising to £98,000 for the 85kWh Performance model with all the options. Tesla’s battery warranty spans eight years – even if the battery is damaged by user negligence, while the car comes with a four-year warranty.

The Guardian, Bloomberg