Elon Musk, owner of electric car pioneering company, Tesla, believes Europe “has the potential to become a huge market for Tesla, bigger even than the US.”
And the 42-year-old South African — who opened the new London Tesla Store in London’s Westfield Shopping Centre — confirmed the imminent Model X crossover SUV will cost around £30,000 when it goes on sale in the UK.
Musk, who has been recruited by the UK Government to advise it on electric car markets and future mobility, was in London to officially open the store.
The Westfield opening comes four years after Tesla opened its high profile ‘Store’ in Kensington: after selling all of its UK Tesla Roadsters, the showroom closed and relocated to a lower profile repair centre elsewhere in London.
At the opening of the new store — which looks very like an Apple store for cars in its clean, sharp, minimalist design — Musk actually lifted the the wraps off Tesla S saloons in Westfield’s larger Atrium. Short test drives round the neighbourhood were available for those interested.
Tesla expects first owners of the new S saloon to receive their cars in March 2014.
Though Musk wouldn’t confirm details, it’s expected customers will pay around £55,000 for the entry-level 60kw/hour Model S: the car is capable of covering 200 miles on one charge.
The larger 85kw/h Model S will, naturally, be more expensive.
Musk also announced the UK will receive a network of Superchargers, starting early in 2014. By the end of next year he believes the whole of the country will be covered.
A number of service centres are also expected to open across the UK, ensuring customers don’t have to have their cars transported to London for servicing and support.
The Tesla boss also detailed that the next model — codenamed Model E — will be followed in 2015/2016 by the ‘affordable’ Model X crossover (pictured). It’s understood the SUV will have a range of around 200 miles on a charge.