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Tesla Brings Right-Handed Model S to UK - Analyst Blog

By: Zacks.com
Posted: 5/21/2014 5:36:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: DDAIF;FOXF;TM;TSLA

Tesla Motors, Inc. ( TSLA ) will launch the right hand version of Model S Performance Plus in Britain next month, according to media reports. This is expected to boost demand for the car in the country where electric cars are not popular. Only 1,547 electric cars were sold in Britain in the first quarter of 2014.

One of the main reasons for their unpopularity is the short range offered by most electric cars. On an average, most electric cars need to be charged for a full night and offer a range of about 100 miles.

This is where Tesla gains an edge, as the Model S can drive up to 130 miles on just a 20-minute charge, which replenishes half the battery charge, from a Supercharger. This means that people can drive the length of UK with just a 20 minute break, once Tesla's Supercharger network is up in the country. Moreover, after a full charge, which takes about 75 minutes using a Supercharger, Model S can drive up to 300 miles. However, charging takes more time in normal charging stations, with a full charge requiring about 9 hours.

Another advantage of the Supercharging stations is that owners of the most expensive version of Model S can charge their car battery for free. Meanwhile, the owners of the other versions have to pay a one-time fee for unlimited free access to these charging stations. This leads to huge saving in fuel costs compared to gasoline cars.

Tesla is working on developing a Supercharger network in the UK, with the first one expected to open soon in Hertfordshire, at the junction of the M25 and A1. The company will open Supercharging stations along a highway from Dover and Bristol to the M25, and north along the length of the M1.

Tesla currently has 17 Supercharging stations in Europe, although none of them are in the UK. However, the company has plans to set up 7-8 Superchargers in the nation by the winter of 2014-2015.

The Model S Performance Plus is expected to be priced at about £70,000 in the UK. The Performance Plus is the most expensive version of the car. It delivers higher range and better handling, performance and efficiency than the Model S Performance. This is achieved using upgraded dampers, bushings and stabilizer bars, along with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires.

Tesla designs and manufactures electric vehicles and electric vehicle powertrain components for partners such as Toyota Motor Corp. ( TM ) and Daimler AG ( DDAIF ).

The automaker currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Fox Factory Holding Corp. ( FOXF ), a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, is currently performing well in the automobile industry.


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