Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is all set to launch its first right-hand drive Model S sedan in the UK next month. On June 7, the £70,000 Model S Performance Plus car with right-hand drive will hit the British markets, reports The Telegraph. The first few months are likely to see higher than average Model S deliveries as Tesla tries to fulfill pre-orders as quickly as possible.
The first customer will be a well-know Tesla fan
It’s the first time we’ll see a right-hand drive version of the Model S as UK is first of the company’s many right-hand drive markets. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) opened its first British showroom in London last year. The company will soon unveil Supercharger stations, allowing customers to drive coast-to-coast without any hassle.
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To bring the right-hand drive version, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) had to make significant changes in control moves, safety systems, sensors, new headlight units, and even component relocation. It’s one of the reasons the San Francisco-based company’s R&D expenses skyrocketed in the first quarter of this year. Tesla Motors is almost a year behind its original UK launch schedule, owing mainly to the design challenges for the right-hand controls.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) hasn’t revealed who will be the first British Model S recipient, though rumors suggest that the first customer is a long-time and well-known Tesla fan. The Model S pricing starts at £50,280 after government grants. The sedan is likely to revolutionize the way British consumers think about electric vehicles.
Tesla needs to conquer the ‘range anxiety’ of Brits
According to The Sunday Times, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s first Supercharging station in the UK will be at the junction of the M25 and A1 at South Mimms services in Hertfordshire. The construction is still in progress. Most electric vehicles available in the country have a range of less than 100 miles, and they require to be plugged in overnight to fully charge their batteries.
In contrast, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) promises 300 miles range, and the Model S can be fully charged in just 45 minutes. Conquering the “range anxiety” of Brits will be key to gaining popularity in the country. In the first four months of this year, only 1,547 electric cars were sold in the UK, despite the government offering financial incentives, and spending millions of pounds on charging points.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares inched up 0.71% to $197.49 at 12:16 PM EDT on Tuesday.