Tesla Roadster Headed for Europe
( WCF ) - Europeans rejoice! The Tesla Roadster will be available for sale in Europe beginning next year, according to the Financial Times. Due in large part to an exchange rate that benefits those across the pond the electric two seater should be a big hit. Priced under €100,000, the Roadster will hit Euro shores in Fall 2009.
Shorter driving distance and tax benefits for electric and zero-emission cars were cited as other main reasons for entering the EU. Tesla CEO Ze'ev Drori told the Financial Times, "There are many compelling reasons for us to be in Europe."
Germany, France, the Netherlands, as well as Norway and Denmark are being seen as the initial target markets in Europe for this car. Denmark is already in the process of building a recharging network to support electric cars being made by Renault, with discussions underway in other European nations for similar infrastructure. Britain will have to wait a bit, as Tesla does not yet manufacture right-hand-drive cars. Ironic considering the chassis is based on a Lotus Elise, and much of the assembly takes place at the Lotus factory in Hethel, England.
If Tesla moves ahead as planned, it will be a big blow for Monaco-based car manufacturer Venturi. Their electric roadster, the Venturi Fetish, will be released earlier than Tesla's, but at a cost nearly three-times higher. The Tesla Roadster reportedly has a longer range, higher top speed, and quicker acceleration than the Venturi Fetish.
Production has just begun on the Tesla Roadster, and the company hopes to increase production to 100 units per month beginning next year. 1,000 of the cars have been backordered from the company by customers in the U.S. The first run of vehicles for the EU will be limited to 250.