During a grandiose event that took place in London on Saturday, Elon Musk has personally handed the keys of five new right-hand drive Tesla Model S vehicles to five eager customers. Besides the debut of the RHD Tesla Model S, this occasion also marks the starting point of a two-year long rapid expansion for the American manufacturer throughout Great Britain.
Even though it currently operates just one store and a service center in London, the Palo Alto-based carmaker intends to open multiple stores and service centers across the U.K. by the end of 2014. Further more, an official statement hints that Tesla will also continue to hold test-drive events around the country to raise awareness on their fully electric four-door luxury sedan.
Elon Musk also inaugurated the first Supercharger in the U.K. during the June 7th delivery event, the station being located in the vicinity of the Crystal building, close to the London Royal Victoria Docks. Compared to a normal charging station, the Tesla Supercharger provides up to 120 kW
of direct current to the Model S battery. That translates to a 50 percent charge in as little as 20 minutes, the time it takes to chow something or drink a coffee.
In the United Kingdom, the RHD Tesla Model S holds a starting price of £50,280 OTR, including the £5,000 government plug-in grant. However, British customers of the Model S also benefit from other incentives such as zero road tax, showroom tax and an exemption from the London Congestion Charge. This model is also eligible for the 100 percent First Year Allowance applicable to company purchase, as well as a 0 percent Benefit-in-Kind tax.
This RHD conversion includes software and hardware changes, including slightly different windscreen wipers and front trunk braces. Further more, Tesla announced it has completed a country-specific validation program to ensure that every RHD Model S sedan is optimized for this market.
However, if £50k is a bit too out of hand for you, the BMW i3
might be a more sensible alternative. In the United Kingdom, the Bavarian EV
commands a £25,680 OTR starting price including the £5k government grant.