Tesla’s first car in Hong Kong went to Philip Liang, CEO of medical device manufacturer General Sensing. Tesla’s first car in Japan went to serial entrepreneur and BizSeek founder Takao Ozawa.
"As an early adopter, I wanted to invest my own money to show the rest of society what the electric car experience is like," said Ozawa, who drives his Jet Black Signature Roadster Sport in and around Tokyo. "And now that I own a Tesla, I’ve found that not only is it efficient and beautiful — but it’s really, really fast!"
Among the first Canadian owners are Vincent and Maggie Argiro, who drive their brilliant yellow Roadster amidst British Columbia’s gorgeous mountain and oceanfront scenery.
"The 2010 Roadster feels solid, quite refined," the Argiros wrote in a blog for Tesla enthusiasts. "The driving was both thrilling and more relaxing than we had experienced with other sports cars we have owned. Breathing totally clean air around us was so refreshing and made it that much more shocking when we re-entered the filthy exhaust stream of a petro-burner ahead of us!"
The couple is selling their Ferrari 360 Modena, which they now describe as "excellent condition, but a bit obsolete."
The Roadster qualifies for a wide variety of incentives in numerous countries, including sales tax waivers, income tax credits and cash rebates. For instance, Hong Kong residents do not pay first registration tax on the Roadster — a savings of up to HK$1 million (US$128,600) on a car with a retail price of HK$1.2 million (US$154,358).
In addition, many of the world’s biggest cities offer free metered parking, free road tax and free use of the high-occupancy vehicle and bus lanes for the Roadster.
Tesla sells cars directly to clients, both online and in a growing network of regional showrooms worldwide. Electric vehicles don’t need routine oil changes, exhaust system repairs or other costly service required by conventional gasoline cars. In most countries, Tesla will dispatch trained technicians to customers’ homes or offices to perform the recommended annual software upgrade.
Tesla currently has 13 regional showrooms and is rapidly expanding. Tesla announced last week that it hired former Apple executive George Blankenship as Vice President of Design and Store Development. Blankenship will build Tesla’s long-term retail development plan, and his initial projects include opening Tesla stores in Tokyo, Japan; Toronto, Canada; and Washington, DC.
Tesla’s goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars to mainstream buyers — relentlessly driving down the cost of Electric Vehicles. Palo Alto, CA-based Tesla has delivered more than 1,200 Roadsters to customers in North America, Europe and Asia. Tesla designs and manufactures Electric Cars and EV powertrain components. The Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than most sports cars yet produces no emissions.