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Tesla opens flagship European dealership in London

California-based Tesla Motors has opened a centre for sales and service at a new showroom in Knightsbridge, London. Tesla Knightsbridge

Tesla will also have regional sales and service centres in Monaco, Munich and Zurich, and four new centres in the United States.

In London, Teslas are exempt from the congestion charge, a saving of up to £2,000 per year for commuters.

Tesla will begin delivering cars to European customers this summer of which the first 250 will be the Signature Edition Roadster model, priced from £94,000 on the road, with the option to upgrade to the more powerful Roadster Sport.

A right hand drive entry-level variant of the two-seater sportscar will be on sale in the UK during the first quarter of 2010 to capitalise on the growing demand for the roadster, for which 1,300 orders have already been taken across Europe.

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and product architect, said: “Thanks to an abundance of discriminating drivers and progressive public policy, Tesla is already well known in Europe.

“We expect the London store to dramatically increase our brand identity throughout the continent, and with right hand drive models now due at the beginning of next year, the UK market will provide a solid foundation on which to build this.”

According to Tesla, the Roadster gets the equivalent of 256 miles per gallon, travels more than 240 miles on a single charge and produces zero tailpipe emissions.

Tesla is also taking reservations for the Model S saloon, which Tesla expects to produce starting in late 2011. The Model S, which will likely be the world’s first mass-produced, highway-capable EVs, will have unrivalled passenger and cargo space and travel up to 300 miles per charge.

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