Tesla’s first showroom in the UK, located in the high-end Westfield Shopping Mall in White City London, was officially opened last week.
While the opening of Tesla’s first showroom for the Model S in the UK was an event in its own right, CEO Elon Musk was also on hand and gave an interesting speech detailing the company’s plans for the UK, as well as spending over an hour answering questions.
The showroom opening was apparently quite a success, with the three Model S’s on hand drawing a lively crowd, and a number of people taking Tesla up on its offer for short test drives around the nearby neighborhoods.
The most interesting part, though (for reporters anyway), was Elon Musk’s question and answer session with the crowd. Some of the highlights are below (via Green Car Reports):
• The UK market will be the first to feature right-hand-drive Model S EVs.
• The Model S will be priced at £55,000 ($89,000) in the UK, including Value-Added Tax — or possibly “a bit below”.
• Tesla is aiming to deliver about 50 Model S cars a week in the UK at launch, before working up to about 100 cars a week.
• Tesla is currently in the process of mapping the UK in order to set-up its Supercharger quick-charging network, working to make sure that stations are set up at the appropriate locations.
• “For three years, companies that buy green cars for employees as a perk have paid no tax on them, but the future of that incentive is uncertain after a one-year extension.”
• “Tesla has no current plans to expand into Ireland, but the company will ‘of course’ launch there–sooner or later.”
• “The Model S was designed to permit battery-pack swapping and it’s now being tested in San Francisco and Los Angeles; if popular, Tesla will launch it in the UK too.”
• “Inductive charging won’t be offered by Tesla, because it requires two separate charging systems in the car.”
• “The mass-market Tesla will arrive in about three years at a price of £30,000 ($48,500).”
• “The Tesla Model X crossover, featuring all-wheel drive and air suspension, will be available for the UK in late 2015 or 2016.”
• “Musk plans to convert the James Bond Lotus Esprit he bought to a real electric submarine, he is saving all parts so it could be restored to its movie-prop appearance.”