Peter Harte and Celine McInerney shipped their electric blue, right-hand-drive Roadster from Swansea, UK, to Cork last weekend, and have already clocked 200 miles of zero-emissions motoring on the roads around their home south of Cork.
The Roadster is the first sports electric car the couple has owned. They charge it with wind energy from their utility company and store it in their garage next to a Subaru and Volvo.
“We have two responsible cars. We wanted one that was fun,” said McInerney, a finance lecturer at University College Cork. She plans to use the Roadster to commute to campus. UCC recently won the prestigious “Green Flag” environmental award and is exploring the option of installing an electric vehicle charge point on campus.
Harte is technical director of SWS Energy, Ireland’s second largest wind farm developer. He paints a future where electric vehicles will automatically match their charging to windy periods to help the national grid, but admits that his true motivation for buying the car was more emotional than professional. “It’s absolutely just for the crack,” Harte said.
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 Ireland and Spain, where an owner near Granada charges exclusively from solar and hydro power.
Eire: One of the world’s leading wind energy providers
Tesla will deliver more cars later this spring in Ireland, a country extremely well suited to the Tesla Roadster – the only sports car that can be charged fully or partially with renewable energy.
Ireland has become a world leader in wind power generation. The country recently set a daily record when 39 percent of Ireland’s demand for electricity came from wind alone. Ireland has a target of getting 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. That means Roadster owners in Ireland get to drive world’s hottest sports car – and charge it from one of Europe’s most progressive grids.
Peter Harte powers his Roadster with Ireland’s abundant wind energy.
In addition, the Roadster gets a full waiver of Ireland’s vehicle registration tax – a savings of more than 20 percent compared to a similar petrol sports car. Roadsters also get free metered parking, free road tax and free use of the high-occupancy vehicle and bus lanes in some places.
“People in Ireland have been following Tesla for years, but interest has grown exponentially since this year’s introduction of our right-hand-drive model,” said Cristiano Carlutti, Vice President of European Sales and Operations for Tesla. “This is truly the only choice for people who want one of the fastest production cars on the road today – without the guilt or carbon footprint of internal combustion engine cars.”
The first delivery in Ireland comes as Tesla representatives plan a week of test drives in June in Dublin. Prospective customers may book slots in advance by e-mailing the regional sales representative anytime.
Tesla Motors is world’s only automaker selling highway-capable electric vehicles with lithium ion batteries –the only company whose electric cars equally emphasize design, performance and efficiency. With a relentless focus on customer service, Tesla sells cars directly to clients, both online and out of showrooms and galleries in London, Munich, Monaco, California’s Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, Colorado, New York, Seattle, Chicago and South Florida.
Tesla has delivered cars in at least 23 countries worldwide and is already considered the must-have car among Hollywood celebrities, European royalty and trendsetters worldwide. Advertising Age magazine recently named Tesla one of the world’s "hottest brands."