Tesla's Model S all-electric car is mere months away from a right-hand-drive version, which could mean we'll start seeing the odd one appear on Australian shores within six months.
Speaking in Dublin, Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk said that a right-hand-drive version of the Model S, appropriate for the roads of England and Ireland, as well as for Australia, should be ready for production by the end of March 2014.
With a few months grace for various certification and import procedures to take place, you can expect to start seeing Tesla's pioneering all-electric sedan on Australian roads by the middle of next year.
Tesla already has an Australian presence, with a store and service centre in Sydney, although neither is open to the public. The workshop functions to serve existing Tesla Roadster owners in Australia, the most prominent of which is Internode founder Simon Hackett. Hackett is the first in line for Tesla's Australian delivery of the Model S sedan as well, and he drove a world record 501km on one charge in his Roadster as part of the Global Green challenge.
The Tesla Model S is an entirely electric car, using an under-floor array of battery cells that give it far superior range to any other electric vehicle of its size. The four-door sedan starts from US$63,750 for the base-level car with a 60kWh battery but can cost as much as US$122,270 for the top-of-the-line Performance 85kWh model. Despite its 2100kg-plus kerb weight, the performance Model S can hit 100km/h in 4.2 seconds and then on to a top speed of 210km/h, although some autobahn-friendly European models are being retuned to hit 250km/h.
Tesla has been inviting Australian applications for Model S purchases for some time; securing a vehicle from the general production run requires a refundable AU$6,000 deposit, while ordering a top-spec Signature model won't leave you with any change from AU$40,000.