Click for a high-res gallery of Tesla's Menlo Park Store

It'll be that much easier to test drive a Tesla Roadster in seven cities - New York, Seattle, Chicago, Miami, London, Monaco and Munich - very soon. These cities are where Tesla plans to open its next batch of stores (officially, "Sales & Service Centers") and the first of the batch, New York, Seattle, London and Chicago, should open later this month. As much as possible, Tesla has picked store locations that "quick access to nearby highways and suburbs, giving prospective owners an opportunity to experience Tesla's best-in-class performance under a range of driving conditions." Seems smart.

In related news, a Roadster owner living near San Francisco decided it would be a fun thing to drive to Yosemite National Park. It took some planning to make sure the electric car wouldn't run out of juice during the 400+ mile round trip. The pictures and write-up of the drive are enough to make just about anyone jealous.


[Source: Tesla]


PRESS RELEASE:

Tesla Motors to Open Seven Sales & Service Centers This Summer

Prospective customers can test-drive electric sports cars in New York, Seattle, Chicago, Miami, London, Monaco and Munich.

June 4, 2009

SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tesla Motors will open seven regional sales and service centers in upcoming weeks, establishing a coast-to-coast network in North America and a solid retail footprint in Europe.

Stores in New York, Seattle and Chicago will open in late June, followed by Miami. The new additions will complement Tesla's flagship stores in Northern and Southern California, which opened a year ago. Tesla is also scouting locations in Washington DC and Toronto.

Tesla's first European store will open in London later this month, followed by Munich and Monaco.

Tesla takes its showroom cues from Apple, Starbucks and other customer-focused retailers. Tesla stores provide a welcoming spot to surf the Web, test drive cars and learn more about Tesla, the only production automaker selling highway-capable EVs in North America or Europe.

"We are rethinking almost every aspect of the automobile - from the powertrain to the customer experience, both online and in our stores," said Tesla CEO and Product Architect Elon Musk.

Store locations and hours are updated online. The showrooms are centrally located to allow quick access to nearby highways and suburbs, giving prospective owners an opportunity to experience Tesla's best-in-class performance under a range of driving conditions.

The Tesla Roadster beats nearly every other car for acceleration yet is twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius. With an EPA-estimated range of 244 miles per charge, it costs roughly $4 to refuel and can be completely recharged in as little as 3.5 hours.

Teslas consume no gasoline, never need routine oil changes and require far less maintenance than internal combustion engine vehicles or complicated hybrids. They also qualify for numerous incentives, which significantly lower their total cost of ownership compared to gas guzzlers.

New Jersey, Arizona and Washington, for instance, waive sales and use taxes on EVs, resulting in an immediate savings of $10,000 or more compared to a conventional car. Combined with a $7,500 US federal tax credit and lower cost of electricity vs. gasoline, the Roadster has a lifetime cost advantage of at least $25,000 over a gas-powered sports car with a similar sticker price.

Last weekend Tesla delivered its 500th Roadster in the United States. In late June, Tesla will begin producing the Roadster Sport, a higher performance electric supercar that does 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. European Roadster deliveries begin this summer.

About Tesla Motors

San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla Motors produces 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 and a base price of $101,500 after a federal tax credit, is the only highway-capable production EV for sale in North America or Europe. Winner of the 2009 Globe Award for environmental sustainability, Tesla expects to begin producing the all-electric, zero-emission Model S sedan in late 2011.


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