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