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Tesla Roadster goes continent-hopping, expands markets to include Canada and Japan

Vlad Savov

Seems like reports of the Roadster's demise were indeed exaggerated. Tesla has announced it's bringing its iconic electric automobile to five new nations. Canada and Japan are accompanied by Hong Kong, Poland and Turkey in being able to now take deliveries of freshly charged Roadsters. Of course, sufficiently motivated buyers could have imported theirs by now, but it's always good to have local support on an official basis and this does seem to signal a more ambitious outlook on the part of Tesla. Also included in the press release -- yours to peruse after the break -- is word that the company has shifted 1,200 Roadsters since inception. That might not be a lot but you have to start somewhere, let's hope the next 1,200 don't take nearly as long to hit the road.

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Tesla Roadsters Reach Five New Countries on Three Continents

First owners in Japan, Hong Kong, Poland, Turkey and Canada take delivery of world's only electric sports car.

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The first Tesla Roadsters have arrived in Japan, Hong Kong, Poland, Turkey and Canada in recent weeks as world's leading electric vehicle maker rapidly expands its retail footprint.

Tesla Motors (TSLA) has sold more than 1,200 Roadsters to customers in at least 28 countries. The Roadster accelerates faster than premium sports cars 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 sockets throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

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!"

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.

About Tesla

Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. Palo Alto, CA-based Tesla has delivered more than 1,200 Roadsters to customers in North America, Europe and Asia. Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components. The Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than most sports cars yet produces no emissions.

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