Tesla delivers the first RHD Model S in UK, priced from £49,000 [video]

Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors has been quite busy expanding their European sales network and over the weekend the first right hand drive Model S’s were delivered to customers in UK.

The Model S starts here from £49,900 after the £5,000 government grant for the 60-kWh version and from £68,700 for the 85-kWh Performance version.

The keys to first five owners were handed over by CEO Elon Musk at The Crystal in East London. One of the first five owners was a Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James.

In addition Tesla unveiled UK’s first Superchargers and soon owners will be able to drive from Exeter in the south west of England to Edinburgh in Scotland just on Superchargers.

In related news Tesla Motors has done something revolutionary by opening all their patents, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.

Elon Musk commented in the press release:

Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.

When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them…

At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.

At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some produce no zero emission cars at all.

Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.

We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.

Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.


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