Tesla’s plan to install free fast-charge stations in the US, is expected to spread to other countries where the brand sells its electric cars.
That means that the launch of the Model S in Europe this year, could also herald the arrival of a network of superchargers across the continent and maybe in the UK too.
The Silicon Valley firm has already installed eight such chargers, most of them around its Californian home state, with plans to create a network of chargers across the entire west coast and east coast of the US.
Driving on sunshine
Compatible with the Model S only, the chargers are fitted with solar panels, to enable owners of the new electric saloon to recharge from renewable and clean solar energy.
In a half-hour charge they can give a mid-size Model S a range of around 150 miles.
"It is our aim that you will be able to take a trip just as you would in an internal combustion-engined car," said head of sales and ownership George Blankenship. "In the time it takes for you to stop and have lunch you can put another 150 miles of range into the car.
"Ultimately it's our goal to do this with solar energy. We have said that we will make electricity free forever on sunlight."
The carmaker’s second model, the Model S electric saloon will cost from around €72,600 (about £59,030) when it arrives in Europe from early this spring.
Exact details for prices here in the UK for right hand drive models will be revealed nearer to launch, which is not expected until the final quarter of 2013.
Tesla’s Model S is a family sedan, with room for up to seven people, and has a driving range of 160 miles, 230 miles or 300 miles depending on the choice of battery pack, although the smallest battery choice (40kWh battery) with the 160 mile range is not expected to launch in Europe.
Thinking big with new models
With the launch of the Model S, Tesla expects to sell 20,000 cars globally in 2013 and to increase its total of worldwide stores from 33 to 58.
At Detroit Auto Show this week, the company also showed its design concept based on the platform of the Model S-a crossover model called the Model X.
The firm has plans that its next production car should be a small model costing around $30,000 (£20,000) in the US, to make electric cars accessible to the broadest audience possible-at a snip of the price of its first model, the Roadster, which cost around $100,000. The new affordable model is expected to be on sale in three to four years.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
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