Bumpy ride continues for electric carmaker

Tesla now has 18 charging stations in the US and plans to open more.Picture / Getty Images
Tesla now has 18 charging stations in the US and plans to open more.Picture / Getty Images

Speaking at the opening of a new Tesla store at the Westfield shopping centre in west London, CEO Elon Musk said the company had "quite a big value" but that it was "higher than we could expect to deserve".

This comes after shares in the Silicon Valley firm fell 10 per cent in the last three days amid news in the US that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may investigate a recent Model S fire. Merrill Lynch also released a dour research note on the firm.

In the US, Tesla dominates the luxury electric car market where it has sold 14,000 of its Model S vehicles in 12 months. Musk said the model was expected to arrive in the UK from March and would cost "somewhere in the region of £55,000 ($106,000)".

Musk, 42, also promised a nationwide network of Tesla charging stations covering the whole of the UK by the end of 2014, adding that Tesla customers would get free access to this network and would be able to make use of it to travel "anywhere at all" in the UK.

In response to questions from the audience, he also confirmed that the company expected to bring an "affordable long-range electric car" to market within three years, and that it would cost around £30,000.

In a stilted exchange with British Model S buyers and electric car early adopters, Musk, an inventor who is said to have inspired the character of the charismatic genius Tony Stark in the Iron Man films, also promised to create a forum for customer feedback.

Musk, a physics graduate, co-founded Tesla Motors in 2003.

The company, based in Palo Alto in California's Silicon Valley, was listed on the Nasdaq in 2010.

Tesla recently opened a new Supercharger station with four stalls for public use at their California factory. The Superchargers allow owners of the Tesla Model S to charge their vehicles in 20 to 30 minutes for free.

There are now 18 charging stations in the US with plans to open more in the near future.


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