Tesla Delivers First Electric Car in Spain

Amsterdam native Otto Poldermans is a founding investor in Solar Hydro Solutions, which builds and installs solar equipment to private and commercial customers in Andalusia. Poldermans, whose twilight blue Roadster is powered by a combination of solar and hydroelectric energy, joins a growing community of Tesla owners worldwide who power their cars entirely “off the grid.”

The retired plastic surgeon moved to a remote valley in the foothills of the Spanish Sierra Nevada in 2001. For nearly a decade he has powered his home with photovoltaic panels and turbines on the Rio Chico. His equipment will now also power his Roadster, which he received this weekend.

“I hope that my Tesla catches people’s eye. I want it to teach people that energy all around us and extremely abundant — more than enough to power our homes and our cars,” said Poldermans.

The Roadster accelerates faster than supercars that cost twice as much, yet it produces zero tailpipe emissions and is twice as energy efficient as leading hybrids. It consumes no petroleum and plugs into conventional 220-volt sockets throughout Europe.

Tesla has delivered about 1,000 Roadsters to customers in 23 countries, including the first deliveries this month in Spain and Ireland.

The first delivery in Spain comes as Tesla representatives host test drives throughout the Easter holiday in Marbella. Prospective customers may book test drives in advance for slots March 28 to April 2 at hotels including the Hotel Villa Padierna, Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort and Hotel Don Carlos.

Tesla will deliver more cars this spring in Spain, which is uniquely positioned to demonstrate the attributes of the Tesla Roadster – the only sports car that can be charged fully or partially with renewable energy.

Solar energy satisfied 3 percent of Spain’s electricity demand in 2009, and the government expects to derive 12 percent of the nation’s primary energy from renewable energy by the end of this year. That means Roadster owners in Spain get to drive world’s hottest sports car – and charge it from one of Europe’s cleanest energy grids.

The Roadster qualifies for a national rebate of at least €10,000 and a provincial rebates of €5,000 or more. Spanish owners get 75 percent off the yearly car tax. Roadsters also get free metered parking and free use of the high-occupancy vehicle and bus lanes – a priceless advantage in the dense traffic of Madrid and Barcelona.

Spain’s €8 million “Project Movele” will also fund installation of charge stations in Seville, Barcelona and Madrid. The government aims to have 1 million electric vehicles in Spain by 2014.

“The Roadster highlights Spain’s 21st century energy technology like no other car,” said Cristiano Carlutti, Vice President of European Sales and Operations for Tesla. “But ultimately, when you come to a stop light next to an idling Porsche or Audi, you will discover the Roadster’s killer app: You will leave other supercars in the dust — without a shred of guilt.”