GENEVA, Switzerland – Tesla Motors said it will divert some production of its Model S electric car from U.S. buyers to Europe, so that it can make up for delays in promised deliveries to customers here.
The Palo-Alto, California based Tesla also rejected the idea that the threat to the Model S range from high-speed roads in Germany could be solved by using a Chevrolet Volt-like range extender.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a press conference at the annual Geneva car show that production for Europe will begin in June, so that deliveries can start here in July.
Musk didn’t say how many vehicles were involved.
Musk said that a network of supercharging stations across Europe would mean that Model S drivers could travel for free on their long distance drives. More details are expected tomorrow.
Tesla said the Model S has a range of up to 500 kilometres (just over 300 miles).
Given that highway speeds in Europe are often much higher than in most U.S. states and are unlimited in Germany, didn’t Musk regret not designing the Model S with range-extending technology?
High speeds have a huge impact on the range of electric vehicles. Last year at the Geneva show Musk said all the Model S data was established at an average speed of 55 mph. General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt has a range-extending small gasoline engine, which generates electricity when the battery is exhausted.
Last month the New York Times in a road test of the Model S reported that because of a sudden drop in temperature, the range of the Tesla was slashed. Tesla reacted by saying the review wasn’t written fairly. Musk stood by his position on the story at today’s press conference.
Musk said Tesla had no intention of veering away from the battery-only principle. He said this would make the Model S into a hybrid, which didn’t do anything perfectly.
“That would be like a frog, able to function in and out of the water, but not very good at either,” Musk said.