California-based electric car company Tesla Motors is reportedly (according to the National) in talks which could lead to their vehicles being sold in the United Arab Emirates. Ventures in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar are looking at everything from bringing the vehicles in as rental cars to starting championship electric car racing.
News of the Gulf interest in the Tesla Roadster comes as Arab states are increasingly aware of the damage caused by air pollution. As Green Prophet has reported, the Emirates has done much work to shift to renewable energies, including licensing the all electric Reva.
Tesla’s Roadster is a sports car that goes from 0 to 60 mph in just under 4 seconds, has a range of around 250 miles, and takes a full charge in just three hours. The car runs on a Lotus Elise chassis and has been in series production since March 2008. In the US car has a base price of $109,000, and the 250 models allocated to the European market are priced at €99,000 each.
European sales and marketing director Simon Rochefort says talks are underway that could allow Middle Eastern buyers to get the cars in their home region within the next few years. He is in talk with the Gold Green Abu Dhabi and Gold Green Dubai ventures to allow them to import the vehicles to the UAE.
The Dubai project is looking to offer Teslas as options to come with thousand flats being sold on an energy independent island being built in the Persian Gulf. In addition they are looking to establish a small fleet of rental Tesla Roadsters, and possibly using a future sedan model to assemble a fleet of taxis.
Meanwhile two separate groups, one in Dubai and the other in Qatar, are talking with Tesla as they vie to create the world’s first electric sports car championships. The Tesla is being credited with having made electric cars sexy to even non-environmentalists, with Motor Trend having written that the Roadster would be “profoundly humbling to just about any rumbling Ferrari or Porsche that makes the mistake of pulling up next to a silent, 105-mpg Tesla Roadster at a stoplight.”
Rochefort says while the cars aren’t yet sold in the Middle East, he has heard of a few individuals who have purchased them in the US and imported them on their own.