Click above for more images of the Tesla Roadster testing in the snow

Canada has not always been the friendliest territory for electric cars, but that's changing. After the Tesla empire officially expanded to Chicago yesterday, the company has announced it will join the northern rush and is now ready to take orders in Canada. Canadian buyers will have to wait until the fourth quarter of 2009 to actually get their cars, but they should feel free to sign up for the $109,000 electric car whenever they feel like it. Oh, and that's the U.S. price; the cost for Canadians will be set later this year) The first deliveries will be made out of upcoming Tesla "regional centers" in Seattle and New York, but Canada-based stores are in the works.

In the announcement of the Canadian sales, Tesla highlights one big difference between American and Canadian Roadsters: the electricity used to power the vehicles is much more likely to be clean up north:

Canada and Norway are the only two countries worldwide where the majority of electricity comes from renewable resources, including run-of-river small hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal and solar energy. An EV recharged from the current Canadian grid, on average, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 85 percent compared to an equivalent gasoline-powered vehicle. In hydro-dominant British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba, the reduction would be an impressive 98 percent.

Click here for some fun video of the Tesla Roadster undergoing ice testing, and see more images of Roadsters in the snow here.

Related GalleryFirst Drive: Tesla Roadster

[Source: Tesla]


PRESS RELEASE:

Tesla begins selling cars in Canada

Electric vehicle maker expects Canada to become unique showcase for Roadster

March 3, 2009

SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tesla Motors Inc. will start selling cars in Canada today, and the automaker will begin delivering cars to Canadian customers starting in the fourth quarter.

Tesla is the only production automaker selling highway-capable EVs in North America and Europe. The Tesla Roadster competes with any sports car in its class for acceleration yet is twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius.

Canada is uniquely positioned to become a premier showcase for Tesla, which has delivered more than 200 cars to U.S. customers. Canada and Norway are the only two countries worldwide where the majority of electricity comes from renewable resources, including run-of-river small hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal and solar energy.

An EV recharged from the current Canadian grid, on average, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 85 percent compared to an equivalent gasoline-powered vehicle. In hydro-dominant British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba, the reduction would be an impressive 98 percent.

"As they have already for Americans and Europeans, we're certain Roadsters will quickly become the automobile of choice for Canadians who refuse to compromise between performance and the environment," said Tesla CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk. "We have heard from many enthusiastic Canadians over the years and are quite eager to sell there."

Initially, Tesla will deliver cars to Canadian customers through regional centers in Seattle and New York. These retail and service facilities will open in the first half of this year. Eventually, Tesla hopes to open facilities in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.

Canadian Roadsters will comply with all national and provincial safety regulations for mass-produced, highway-capable vehicles. The base price for Roadsters in Canada will be set closer to the start of deliveries, and pricing will reflect exchange rates at that time. In the United States, the base price is $109,000.

About Tesla Motors

San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla Motors manufactures electric vehicles with exceptional design, performance and efficiency, while conforming to all North American and European safety, environmental and durability standards. The Roadster, which has a 0-to-60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds, is the only highway-capable production EV for sale in North America and Europe. Tesla will unveil its all-electric, zero-emission four-door sedan, the Model S, on March 26, and expects to begin selling them in late 2011.