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Buy a Burberry scarf first, then a Tesla

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  April 9, 2009 11:10 AM

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Tesla Motors says it plans to open its first European dealership this spring smack-dab in Knightsbridge, the label-conscious epicenter of London high society.

Burberry's flagship store marks the corner of Knightsbridge and Brompton Road, but the beacon of the district is Harrods, the six-story, 4.5-acre department store castle that will leave you penniless. You can buy Burberry there, too, but a signature plaid scarf is still around $100 (sorry, more like £68).

Among the busy shoppers and obvious gawkers in Knightsbridge are the supercar owners. It's not uncommon to see an open-top Carrera GT inching behind a double-decker, or a Murcielago parallel-parked on one of the back residential streets. There's plenty of other deliciously rich parts in London - Piccadilly, Mayfair, Marlborough, Notting Hill, South Kensington - though none so teasingly retail as Knightsbridge.

On Wednesday, London's mayor Boris Johnson proposed a £60 million plan to fund 25,000 charging stations and get 100,000 electric vehicles on the road within the next few years. The Roadster, like all EVs, would be exempt from the city's congestion charge, a controversial attempt to curtail emissions and traffic by making drivers pay £8 to enter designated downtown zones. Biofuel-powered cars get a discount, but the authorities are strict: E85-capable Koenigsegg CCXRs are still full price.

Tesla says it's also considering dealerships in Munich and Monaco - where soup runs about $80 a bowl - when it starts European Roadster deliveries in late June. In a press release today, CEO Elon Musk said sales would "eventually be split evenly between the US and Europe."

The California-based automaker says a Chicago dealership will also open in the spring and that management is poring over locations in Manhattan, Miami, and Seattle.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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5 comments so far...
  1. God, I'm so tired of hearing about cars and luxury items that 99% of us can't afford. When will we get an affordable and practical electric car? When will automotive sections stop fetishizing about high-end luxury toys and give us some information about vehicles that we can actually afford to drive?

    Posted by Pan-1 April 10, 09 05:56 PM
  1. Pan-1, Tesla Motors is currently developing a more mainstream sedan known as the Model S, to be priced around $57k. Fisker Automotive announced plans for a downmarket car as well. Then you have the Chevrolet Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Smart ForTwo EV, and others on the way! The price point of entry into electric vehicle ownership is coming down, and it simply takes time as the early adopters pave the way for more volume and lower production costs.

    Taylor
    LotusEnthusiast.net

    Posted by Taylor April 11, 09 08:21 PM
  1. Yes, Tesla's roadster is a high-end toy at 112K, but their next offering (due out in 2011) is a 50K sedan. It is all electric, very practical, and a sharp looking car. It could bring all electric cars to the mainstream. If Detroit could develop something like this, we would not be talking about bailouts. Hats off to Tesla - the future of the American car!

    Posted by RH April 12, 09 01:05 PM
  1. 50K? Are you serious? How is that "affordable"?

    Posted by mike April 13, 09 06:20 AM
  1. Rumor has it that Mercury is considering an electric version of the Grand Marquis.

    Posted by D. Sanchez April 14, 09 02:28 PM
 

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
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