Tesla Motors to open new Irish store in 2017

Firm run by Elon Musk will also set up four supercharging stations for its electric cars

Electric car giant Tesla is coming to Ireland next year. The Silicon Valley firm, led by tech innovator Elon Musk, is preparing to open a store in Ireland in 2017, along with rolling out supercharging stations on the island.

The store is likely to be in Dublin, while the likely locations of the four supercharging stations are Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast.

The supercharging stations allow for fast – and free – recharging for Tesla owners. Each station comprises between six and eight charging stands and are customarily located near food and retail facilities. According to the firm, 30 minutes plugged into one of these stands gives a Tesla a range of over 270km. According to official figures, Tesla’s current fleet of electric vehicles can travel up to 613km on a single full charge.

Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen, Tesla Motors' director of Nordic sales, says the opening of the Irish store "will happen simultaneously with the introduction of superchargers". He told The Irish Times the firm was "pretty far into the process" of entering the Irish market. The Irish store will be operated directly by Tesla.

Tesla Motors Ireland Ltd was incorporated last August, with a registered address at South Bank House on Barrow St, Dublin 4.

Shopping streets

In many countries, Tesla operates stores on popular shopping streets and upmarket shopping centres. However, Mr Bardenfleth-Hansen said that while this may yet be the case in Ireland, “probably more likely – but still to be confirmed – would be what we call a Service-plus outlet. This is a more traditional dealership set up with a service location and a retail location in the same spot.”

However, the firm will partner with others for the introduction of supercharging stations. “Usually we partner with a site that has the amenities for our customers to be able to use the restrooms and restaurant. Customers will be in that location for anything between 30 minutes and an hour. We have an unwritten rule of thumb that it needs to be a place where a mother with children coming in at 10pm at night feels safe.”

While he would not go into detail on the investment costs, he said there is a significant infrastructural development required.

“Each stand is about 135kW and it’s very rare that we come to a site where there is enough power, so usually it involves quite a bit of digging because we have a lot of cabling to put into the ground in order to set up a supercharger station.” Tesla currently has 4,543 supercharger stands at 727 locations worldwide.

Tax relief

The firm recently launched its new Model X, a crossover SUV, starting in the UK at £76,500 (€85,000) for the 75D entry model. However, Tesla cars imported into Ireland also qualify for tax relief of up to €5,000. The Model X P100D version also manages to get from standing start to 100km/h in 3.1 seconds, a faster acceleration time than most


production cars.

The four-door coupe Model S starts at £50,900 (€56,555). Prices for the upcoming Model 3 – a rival to the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 – will not be confirmed until next year but the car can be ordered in the US starting at $35,000 (€31,900). It is not due to be delivered to US customers until the end of 2017 and 2018 for Europe.

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times