Tesla Roadster arrives in Paris at conclusion of historic world tour

Sponsored by electric car maker Tesla Motors and TAG Heuer to commemorate the Swiss watchmaker’s 150th anniversary, the Odyssey of Pioneers has travelved through hundreds of towns and 16 major cities worldwide.

The TAG Heuer Tesla Roadster has made history all along the route and has been the subject of an online documentary series. For instance:

* It was the first car without Russian components to receive official clearance to park in Moscow’s Red Square. Red Square is Russia’s former royal citadel and the president’s residence – the heart of Moscow and Russia itself.

* It was greeted by cheering crowds in Budapest, where Nikola Tesla came up with the design for his revolutionary alternating-current induction motor in 1882. The Tesla Roadster – the world’s only electric sports car — uses an AC induction motor descended from the prodigal scientist’s original vision.

* It was hosted in India by Bollywood phenomenon Shah Rukh Khan and in Jaipur by His Royal Highness Sawai Bhawani Singh Bahadur, the last maharaja of Jaipur — considered Rajasthan’s most significant political, cultural and religious figure.

* It traveled to the Great Wall of China. During a stop at one section of the 8,852-kilometer landmark, respected Chinese actor and “Hero” star Chen Dao Ming took a spin.

Additional stops included Milan, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York and London, where it led Prince Charles’ Garden Party to promote environmental awareness and was driven by legendary British racing driver Sir Stirling Moss. His Royal Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco drove it during one of the first legs of the trip.

Tesla technician Luke McClure has driven the car throughout the six-month journey. The car has performed solidly. Co-pilot and award-winning cameraman Vivien Floris chronicled the adventure online.

McClure, 26, grew up in Norwich, UK – not far from the town of Hethel, where the Tesla Roadster is manufactured.

“After making history and meeting incredible people on three continents, it’s going to be an interesting transition back to my day job,” McClure joked. “I may have spent more quality time in the Roadster than anyone else — and it will come in handy for Roadster owners who also do extreme driving and road rallies.”

Renewable Energy Goes the Distance

In India, China, Russia and other countries en route, the Roadster has recharged from conventional outlets using existing infrastructure. The TAG Heuer Tesla Roadster uses standard outlets at hotels and restaurants, and even at churches, private homes and a barn in rural Switzerland, demonstrating the versatility and ease of Roadster charging.

The Roadster is the only sports car that can be fully or partially charged with renewable energy, including solar power, wind energy, hydroelectric and geothermal energy. The TAG Heuer Tesla Roadster has recharged whenever possible with purely renewable energy – for instance, at a solar-powered Hilton Hotel in Switzerland, and at a Roadster owner’s solar energy company in Italy.

Tesla CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder Elon Musk will be in Paris for the Odyssey’s grand finale Sept. 29 – the day before Tesla will open its showroom in the heart of Paris at 41 Avenue Kléber, walking distance to the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées.

“This trip was about showing people the boundaries of an electric car’s performance, durability and efficiency,” Musk said. “This tour demonstrates that the Roadster can go the distance – whether you are commuting to work or embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.”

Tesla’s goal is to produce electric vehicles with lithium ion batteries for mass-market, mainstream consumers. Tesla has already delivered about 1,300 electric cars in at least 30 countries. With a relentless focus on customer service, Tesla sells cars directly to clients, both online and at the following European showrooms: London, Monaco, Zurich, Munich, Copenhagen and Paris starting Sept. 30. Tesla has eight additional showrooms in North America.