Bright sparks

The king of EVs still reigns here ... for now, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

THE world’s first elec­tric sports car will live on in Aus­tralia de­spite be­ing served a death no­tice in the US.

The Tesla Road­ster is headed for the his­tory books but the com­pany says it will con­tinue to de­liver cars here— priced from $206,188— un­til the end of next year.

A to­tal of 10n Road­sters have been sold here since the start of full-scale op­er­a­tions at the be­gin­ning of the year and fol­low­ing a mas­sive road trip with a car that cov­ered al­most the full length of the east coast.

‘‘ Things have re­ally picked up since the long-dis­tance tour. We were able to con­nect with a lot of peo­ple who could not make it to Syd­ney,’’ says Tesla na­tional sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager Jay McCor­mack.

‘‘ We’re ahead of where Cal­i­for­nia ex­pected, at least on the or­der in­take.

‘‘ We’ve even sold our first car in West­ern Aus­tralia. The owner flew over, drove the car for an hour, and fell in love.’’

Tesla is clos­ing the book on the Road­ster as it moves its fo­cus to the com­ing Model S, de­scribed by the com­pany as its first pre­mium sedan.

‘‘ We’re al­ready (near­ing) 50 reser­va­tions for the Model S in Aus­tralia. Model S for Aus­tralia (will ar­rive) 12 months af­ter the US (model). It’s al­ways go­ing to be that way,’’ McCor­mack adds, hint­ing at a 2013 show­room de­but. ‘‘ Price po­si­tion­ing will be in the lux­ury seg­ment along­side an E-Class Benz or 5 Se­ries BMW, de­pend­ing on which of the three bat­tery packs is cho­sen.’’

He says Model S buy­ers will have a va­ri­ety of drive pack­ages to cus­tomise the per­for­mance and range. Mean­while, Tesla fans should not worry about the Road­ster, as it is run­ning to the brand’s orig­i­nal plan.

‘‘ The Road­ster was al­ways in­tended to be a lim­it­ed­pro­duc­tion ve­hi­cle, with its goal to at­tract the world’s at­ten­tion to elec­tric cars. Tesla launched the Road­ster with very spe­cific goals, all ac­com­plished.’’

Road­ster de­liv­er­ies have topped 1650 ex­am­ples in 30 coun­tries. McCor­mack says the cars col­lec­tively have cov­ered more than 18 mil­lion kilo­me­tres in to­tal. And he adds they will be re­mem­bered for start­ing ‘‘ the elec­tric trans­porta­tion revo­lu­tion’’.

End of the road: Tesla has sold more than 1650 ex­am­ples of its Road­ster, with 10 of those in Aus­tralia where sales will con­tinue for the time be­ing

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