Whatever direction motoring takes in the coming years, you can be sure that Tesla Motors will be there, on the front lines, doing it right. Whether it's self-driving cars or affordable, reliable green motoring, Tesla seem to know what they're doing.
So the news that Tesla have opened their first ever retail design store in the UK is exciting news indeed.
Welcome To London, Tesla
The store was opened by Tesla Motors' CEO and Co-Founder Elon Musk, who's like a modern day Henry Ford, or the Steve Jobs of the motoring world, if you will.
“Tesla is taking the UK market very seriously,” he said, “and there are more stores and service centres to come.”
The centrepiece of not just the store but the current Tesla operation is the Model S – an award winning electric vehicle that's gearing for a 2014 UK launch.
At the opening of the store at London's Westfield Shopping Centre in White City, Musk spoke about their plans to improve the UK's electric charging infrastructure for the benefit of future Tesla drivers.
“We’re also going to establish a Supercharger network so Model S customers will be able to drive long distances anywhere in the UK using our network for free, forever.
“The first Supercharger will be energised next quarter and we’ll aspire to have the entire country covered by end of next year. Most importantly, we are hard at work with Right Hand Drive Model S, and we aim to deliver the first one by the end of March 2014.”
The Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S is a five door premium saloon, the first of its kind to be developed from the ground up as an electric vehicle. It's designed to not just change the public's perception of what an electric car can do, but also of what a premium saloon can be.
Its electric powertrain is available with two battery options – 60kWh and 85kWh. And being capable of 310 miles, it's set an NEDC record for electric vehicle range. The battery is floor-mounted to give the Tesla Model S ideal weight distribution and an incredibly low centre of gravity, making for breathtaking performance and superior handling.
In the US, the Tesla Model S has won multiple awards and garnered some rave reviews, but in the UK it promises to be an even more appealing prospect.
Being a fully-electric vehicle, the Tesla Model S will be exempt from road tax and the London Congestion Charge, and will also be eligible for the government plug-in car grant to reduce its mooted price tag by up to £5,000.
We'll have more news on the UK version of the Tesla Model S as it emerges.