With the first UK deliveries of the 49,900-pound (about $84,000 at today's rates) Tesla Model S completed, it's time for the company to get back to business. For CEO Elon Musk that means discussing a long-anticipated rumor – a dedicated European production facility to build the luxurious EVs from the ground up.

Obviously, though, such a hefty investment would need to be worth the company's while, which is why Musk told Automotive News Europe that sales will need to hit 160,000 units before a factory is considered. The company has recorded over 3,400 sales in Europe during the first four months of 2014, which actually surpasses the 2,000 cars sold in the US.

Tesla currently maintains a factory in the Netherlands, although it only installs batteries in cars shipped from Tesla's Fremont, CA facility, rather than building cars from scratch. The factory, in Tilburg, is set to expand, while a new research and development facility is set to open in the UK in 2015 or 2016, according to Musk.

Take a look below for the official press release from Tesla's first British delivery, as well as a video of the proceedings.
Show full PR text
New Model S Has A British Accent

We broke out the champagne on a sunny Saturday in London over the weekend to deliver the first right hand drive Model S's to customers in the United Kingdom. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was on hand at The Crystal in East London to pass the keys to the first five owners (including Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James).

The event also marked the unveiling of the UK's first Superchargers, located at the same site. We're just beginning a rapid rollout of Superchargers in the country, but by the end of next year Model S owners will be able to drive the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland relying only on the free-to-use Superchargers for energy, which means they can pack a lunch for the trip and leave their wallets at home.

By the time the majority of our first UK customers get their Model S delivered this year, they'll already be able to drive from Exeter in the south west of England to Edinburgh in Scotland just on Superchargers. We are also making sure that central London and other large metro areas are well served with conveniently located inner-city Superchargers

Not everyone could make it to London for the special occasion, so we put together this video of a large group of folks looking forward to a future without petrol.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      ppellico
      • 6 Months Ago
      but...wasn't the company given US investment greenie funds? Can these investments then be used for over seas investments? How would that help the American economy?
        Grendal
        • 6 Months Ago
        @ppellico
        Tesla is a company selling a lot of cars to overseas customers. That is income into the USA as opposed to most manufacturers trying to export jobs and manufacturing. That is a huge bonus to America that Tesla is proving that, done right, America can be a leader in products and manufacturing.
          Nick Kordich
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          It'll be interesting to see whether Tesla's export sales hit $1 billion this year - that'd be a milestone worth noting. Everything else aside, ppellico, the comment from Tesla was that they would have to sell 160,000 cars a year in Europe or 500,000 globally before they'd open a factory in Europe. They're looking at selling under a tenth of that this year. If you don't think they should have received the loan, that's an opinion many conservatives share. If you're suggesting the government should interfere with business decisions far into the future of a company that held a government loan in the past, however, you're more in favor of the government meddling with a business than the progressive/liberal types I know.
        Technoir
        • 6 Months Ago
        @ppellico
        Paid back ages ago with interest.
          Nick Kordich
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Technoir
          It was just over a year ago - it certainly seems like ages ago, though, and financially speaking that was four quarters ago. Part of why is seems like so long is there have been so many stories since then about their progress, such as new Supercharger openings. When they repaid the loan in 2013, they only had 8 Supercharger stations; now they have 120. Canadian Superchargers are "coming soon" and US routes are expanding by the end of the year, filling in the Great Lakes, connecting the Southern states to Texas and providing more direct routes from coast to coast. The European Supercharger map projects out to 2015 and is dense enough that there are 'pins' in the map touching and overlapping at some points...but by the same token, it probably seems like ages from now, if you're waiting on one to be installed in your area.
      Enrico Pallazzo
      • 6 Months Ago
      Do you mean £49,900? Otherwise that is one heavy car.
      bluepongo1
      • 6 Months Ago
      http://www.technologyreview.com/news/527526/a-cleaner-cheaper-way-to-make-metals/
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