For most people the idea of laying out between $71,000 and $110,000 for a Tesla Model S sedan is just not fathomable. Despite the fact that the car has received reviews by leading car publications that put it as nearly peerless in its features and quality, it is not cheap, and for most not an option.
While Norway is Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s second-largest market for the Model S, and recently broke the record for the most single model cars sold in a month’s time in the Scandinavian nation, Jens Kratholm is still unique in his love for Elon Musk and Tesla.
The first Tesla
In Narvik, Norway, a town of around 18,000, Mr. Kratholm a 56-year-old ophthalmologist, has earned himself the moniker “Tesla Jens” for his love of the company. Presently, he owns six six-figure Roadsters and a single Model S. After reading about the Roadster in 2010, he immediately ordered one, sight unseen, from the Tesla dealership in Copenhagen (there are now two). Once delivered, Mr. Kratham’s wife demanded one. The ophthalmologist obliged. Having six adult children, Mr. Kratham decided to ramp up his purchases so his family could all drive them when the children are visiting.
“If we want to change the habits of people to begin driving electric cars, all the cars must be on the road at all times so people see them,” Kratholm says in a blog on Tesla’s website.
The last and next
The Norwegian flew to Milan in February 2011 to meet Elon Musk. In August of 2013, Kratholm, having already spent upwards of $750,000 on the six Roadsters, bought his first Model S. Presumably, Mr. Kratholm had some family money or a strong stock portfolio; it’s hard to believe that in a village of 18,000 people that that many people need an ophthalmologist, never mind Norwegian taxes.
With the arrival of the Tesla Model X in 2015, Mr. Kratholm was recently asked if he would purchase one in what I can only imagine was a rhetorical fashion. “Yes, of course,” says Kratholm. “I only buy Tesla. There’s no other car in my life.”