As the Tag Heuer Tesla Roadster continues its world tour, it arrived in Moscow this week. Traditionally, the Russians reserve their most treasured public space, Red Square, for vehicles built with local inputs. Tesla, however, has become the first company ever allowed to park one of its cars adjacent to the Kremlin even though there are no Russian components in it.
The custom Roadster will be on hand in the square all weekend where Tesla will try to recruit some wealthy Russians to place an order. The Odyssey of Pioneers tour continues until October and will hit Asia, Australia and North America and Europe before returning to Europe.
Tesla Roadster makes history in Moscow's Red Square
World's only electric sports car receives clearance to park in front of iconic Russian landmark.
MOSCOW – A Tesla Roadster traveling around the world made history Friday as the first car without Russian components to receive official clearance to park in Moscow's Red Square.
Red Square is the country's former royal citadel and the president's residence – an iconic venue considered the epicenter of Moscow and Russia itself. On Thursday, the Roadster was the center of a VIP celebration with more than 250 guests at Moscow's Autoville Museum, where the car is on display all weekend.
Moscow is the sixth stop in the "Odyssey of Pioneers," the first round-the-world tour by a zero-emission GT car. The 37,000-kilometer voyage, sponsored by Tesla Motors and Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer, includes displays, owner appreciation gatherings, and VIP events in 15 cities and more than 150 towns on three continents.
Previous stops have included Monaco, Milan and Budapest, where Nikola Tesla came up with the design for his revolutionary alternating-current induction motor in 1882. The Tesla Roadster – the only electric car for sale in Europe or North America -- uses an AC induction motor descended from the scientist's original vision.
"The Roadster is an iconic and ground-breaking car, so it's appropriate that it made history in such a poignant way," said Tesla technician Luke McClure, who is driving the Roadster across three continents. "It was humbling to be granted the honor of parking in Russia's most hallowed ground – and at the same time we have been mobbed by fans excited to see the Roadster in person."
Throughout Slovenia, Hungary, Russia and other countries, the Roadster has been recharging from conventional outlets using existing infrastructure. The TAG Heuer Tesla Roadster has charged from standard outlets at hotels, a solar panel array in Italy and even at a barn in rural Switzerland, demonstrating the versatility and ease of charging. Fans can follow the Odyssey online and become part of the tour's social media experiments on Facebook.
Tesla is the world's only automaker selling highway-capable electric vehicles – the only company offering performance with a clean conscience. Tesla sells cars directly to clients, both online and out of showrooms and galleries in Europe and North America. Tesla has delivered more than 1,000 cars to customers in at least 23 countries worldwide. Advertising Age magazine recently named Tesla one of the year's "hottest brands."