Tesla Motors is planning to open over 30 new service centers and stores in Europe, expecting a surge in demand in the region and Asia, which may rise to almost twice those in North America by the end of 2014, according to a statement by the carmaker. Tesla disclosed it will launch right-hand-drive versions of the Model S sedan in the United Kingdom and offer leasing and financing schemes in Europe.
"Growing international sales is a crucial part of the plan for the Tesla, but it won't be easy," remarked Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis for consultant AutoPacific. "Both in China and Europe, many potential customers may not have access to charging infrastructure that's as good as here in North America."
The Elom Musk-led carmaker is expecting over a 55-percent climb in global sales in 2014 and has disclosed plans to invest up to $5 billion to build what it dubs a "gigafactory" in the United States. The facility would allow Tesla produce cheaper versions of its cars, possibly doubling its global market share to about 1 percent, remarked Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley analyst.
In 2013, Tesla delivered almost 22,500 EVs. The Tesla Model S has a starting price of $71,000 in the US. The carmaker also sells them in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Musk told Bloomberg in January that he would travel in China in late March to promote the brand.
The new Model S could -- digitally and independently – manage torque to the front and rear wheels, thanks to the fact it features an electric motor on the front and another on the rear. This allows the new Model S to offer outstanding traction control in any perceivable condition. While the conventional all-wheel drive vehicles typically have to compromise fuel efficiency to achieve increased traction, Tesla's Electric All Wheel Drive system actually hikes efficiency.
As engineered, the Model S is the quickest four-door sedan so far, with the capability to sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Moreover, the new Model S has low center of gravity, allowing it to deliver superior handling.
This was made possible by having the battery pack located along the floor pan, just between the axles – considered as an ideal placement of mass to achieve optimal handling. Furthermore, since the Model S has no internal combustion engine, it offers the passenger cabin room enough to accommodate five adults and two children (in rear-facing jump seats) while delivering additional cargo space.
In addition, the new Tesla Model S is provided with a 17-inch center touchscreen that could smoothly integrate a number of functions – like cabin control, communications, media, navigation and vehicle data -- into one intuitive interface. Several of these functions are mirrored on the instrument panel and could be activated in order to allow the driver to focus on the road.
It should be emphasized that the Model S – being an electric car – could move without using gasoline. Its fuel economy is rated by the EPA at 90 mpg equivalent.