Tesla has opened its first UK car dealership at the Westfield Shopping Centre in White City, London.

At the opening of the premises, the American premium electric vehicle manufacturer confirmed its Model S saloon will cost £49,900 in the UK, with delivery of the first cars targeted for the end of March 2014.

On Bing: see pictures of the Tesla Model S

Find out how much a used Tesla costs on Auto Trader

Tesla Motors’ co-founder and chief executive officer Elon Musk was at the event hosted specially for UK customers, and hinted at future plans for the brand in Britain:

“Tesla is taking the UK market very seriously, and there are more stores and service centres to come. We’re also going to establish a Supercharger network so Model S customers will be able to drive long distances anywhere in the UK using our network for free, forever.

“The first Supercharger will be energised next quarter and we’ll aspire to have the entire country covered by the end of next year. Most importantly, we are hard at work with right-hand drive Model S, and we aim to deliver the first one by the end of March 2014.”

The Tesla Model S saloon is powered by either a 60kWh or 85kwh battery pack – the latter of which comes in two different specifications.

The 85kWh ‘Performance’ variant is the fastest and most practical Model S available, accelerating from 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and running on to a top speed of 130mph thanks to its 416hp electric motor.

Although the performance and potential range might be mutually exclusive, the Model S can travel up to 310 miles on one charge, according to Tesla.

Using the firm’s network of 480-volt Supercharging stations (which it hopes to establish in the UK), a near 50% recharge giving 150 miles of range could take as little as 30 minutes.

The American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (effectively America’s Euro NCAP) gave the Model S a full five-star safety rating in its rigorous tests, leading to Musk claiming the car was “the safest vehicle in the world.”

Since then there have been three reported accidents that have seen the Model S catch fire after an accident. But in each case the owner of the car has not only stated they would buy and drive another, they also say the vehicle saved their life.

Tesla’s 60kWh Model S in right-hand drive guise is on sale in the UK now priced from £49,900, including a £5,000 discount from UK government Plug-in Car Grant. Deliveries begin in March next year.

On Bing: see pictures of the Tesla Model S

Find out how much a used Tesla costs on Auto Trader

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