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Tesla Model S European price confirmed, but why so expensive?

Tesla Motors has finally confirmed European pricing for the Model S and, at first glance, it appears the European versions will be considerably more expensive than those sold in the US. 

Tesla Motors has confirmed European pricing for its Model S.
Tesla Motors has confirmed European pricing for its Model S.

Model S prices in Europe vary by country due to the varying taxation levels but residents of the Netherlands should expect to pay around €71,400 (£57,992) for the 60kWh version and €81,750 (£66,316) for the 85kWh car, which has a longer driving range. Both versions qualify for electric car grants that, here in the UK at least, reduces the overall price by £5,000. Tesla has no plans to bring the budget 40kWh model to Europe.

At first glance, it appears European customers are getting a raw deal, as US models have a list price of $67,400 (£41,469) and $77,400 (£47,461) for the 60kWh and 80kWh versions, respectively. However, Tesla has issued an explanation for the difference in price. It says the US price of each Model S is listed without sales tax, which varies from state to state, and with the $7,500 federal tax credit awarded to electric vehicle owners applied as standard.

Remove 20% VAT from the assumed UK cost of the 60kWh car and subtract £5,000 worth of government incentive money and you end up with a car costing somewhere in the region of £42,393, which isn’t too far off the $67,400 (£41,469) they charge in the US of A. The extra money, Tesla says, goes towards transport costs, import duties and other minor business costs associated with each European country.

The first imports, all of which will be left hand drive, are scheduled to arrive in the spring of 2013. Fortunately for UK motorists, Tesla will begin production of the right hand drive version at the end of 2013. Expect official prices for that version to be revealed sometime this summer.

Whatever your view on its price, there’s no denying the Tesla Model S is quite the car. It has a rear-mounted electric motor that puts out an impressive 416bhp (310kW) and 443ft/lb (600Nm) of torque. Factor in a kerb weight of just over 2,100kg and you have a recipe for excellent performance. Driving range depends on the battery size you opt for. The 85kWh is said to be capable of going 300 miles, while the 60kWh car can manage around 230.

The Model S’ equipment options will be identical regardless of where you buy it, so you can enjoy keyless entry, eight airbags scattered around the cockpit and the option of the Performance package, which drops the 0 to 62mph time from 5.9 to 4.4 seconds.

Tesla Motors is taking deposits for the Model S now.

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