Tesla Motors Inc. disclosed that its Model S is one of the cars being considered by the government of the United Kingdom is for transporting officials. The Government Car Service, which provides vehicles for UK ministers, will initially buy over 150 ultra-low emission vehicles under a GBP5-million ($8.6 million) program.
Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule said the Model S will be under evaluation for inclusion in the program. In fact, the Model is one of the displays at a press conference. Sproule said "it would be great to see California-built Teslas” transporting UK ministers on official business across London. Tesla is expanding overseas as part of its plan to hike output by over 50 percent this year.
The carmaker started deliveries of right-hand-drive Teslas to the UK in June. Musk also inaugurated the commencement of shipments to China in April. Sproule said buyers in Hong Kong will start receiving their units next week.
The prospect of having the UK government as one of its customers comes as China recently established a target to have account for at least 30 percent of government vehicle purchases by 2016.
Karl Brauer, senior industry analyst for Kelley Blue Book, noted that since London streets are cramped, drivers can't go fast, adding that there limitations and fees for gasoline-powered vehicles.
He said that people seeing government officials using Tesla cars could have some halo effect for the brand. The Model S, with a range of around 250 miles or more per charge, has the best range among vehicles being considered by the UK program, Sproule said.
The UK government is already offering consumer incentives for electric car purchases and is bound to install charging infrastructure. On the other hand, Tesla announced that that its third electric vehicle will be dubbed as the “Model 3” and will be rolled out in 2017.
The Model 3 will be developed to travel at least 200 miles (322 kilometers) per charge and will come at a starting price about half that of Model S ($71,000). Tesla will commence the rollout of its second model, the Model X SUV, next year.
The new Tesla Model S isn't just the first all-electric sedan but is also an evolution in automotive engineering as it elegantly combines performance, safety and efficiency in an electrified package. Having earned the highest possible safety ratings, boasting of the longest range of among EVs, and featuring over-the-air software updates, the Model S sets the standards higher for the car of the 21st century.
Riding on Tesla’s architecture, the Model S has a very low center of gravity – as made possible by placing the unique electric drivetrain beneath the car and locating the battery on the floor. Thanks to this, the Model S has improved levels of handling and performance as well as a minimal risk of rollover, making the electric sedan one of the safest cars on the road.
This reputation is boosted by the fact that the absence of an engine gives the Model S a crumple zone larger than other performance sedans. This reputation has been proven through the highest safety ratings from the NHTSA and Euro NCAP. The Model S also holds the record of the lowest likelihood of occupant injury following tests in the United States.
Supporting the status of the Model S as one of the safest cars on the road are standard active safety elements like automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, lane departure warning and collision warning, as well as optional convenience features like autosteer, autopar, traffic-aware cruise control and summon.