At around $100,000 each you’d be forgiven for thinking that the potential market for the Tesla Roadster "electric supercar" was a bit limited.
However, even though the company only started production at their U.S. facilities in March, the 2008 model is completely sold out, and there are already almost a thousand advance orders placed for the 2009 update. Now the company has announced plans to sell the model in Europe by the third quarter of this financial year.
According to CEO Ze’ev Drori, the move was mainly prompted by the weak dollar, but also by the shorter average distances driven by European motorists, and tax breaks offered to EVs and ZEVs in countries like Norway and Denmark.
The initial production target for the continent is reportedly set at 250 per month, with cars retailing at €100,000.
On the surface it appears that such bold moves suggest exciting times ahead for EV start-ups like Tesla and Fisker. However, some skeptics are starting to question the long-term viability of these operations, quoting doubts over issues such as performance capabilities, high prices, slow production, and battery life, as well as relative lack of technological and financial know-how, fierce competition and long-term market potential. See this TreeHugger article for a useful overview of the challenges facing the sector.
Source: Automotive Business Review
written by Mark Bartosik, April 07, 2008
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