By Neil Halligan
Telsa to invest millions in the UAE’s electric car infrastructure
Tesla will open its new Dubai showroom next week.
Early invitations to the official opening of the Sheikh Zayed Road salesroom and service centre have been issued to customers, with Wednesday July 12 listed as the opening date.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not expected to attend the official opening, but the company's director of new markets for EMEA, Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen will be there.
The invite features the company’s Model X, which UAE customers can order from the Californian company’s website, along with the Model S. The website features an online design studio allows people to customise Tesla vehicle they order.
Prices start from $74,800 (AED 275,000) for Model S and $93,600 (AED 344,000) for Model X.
Some of the first orders of cars Model S (range of up to 632 km) and Model X (up to 565 km of range) vehicles are believed to have been already delivered to Dubai customers through a temporary service centre.
Pictures have emerged on Twitter of Tesla cars being stored at Jebel Ali port, some of which could be delivered to Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) for testing to become part of its autonomous limousine fleet.
The RTA announced a deal in February this year to buy 200 Tesla cars as part of the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy aimed at transforming 25 percent of total journeys in Dubai into autonomous journeys by 2030.
The Model S sedans and Model X SUVs will be fitted with autonomous technology, something which Elon Musk said would become commonplace in cars in the next decade.
"My guess is that in probably about ten years it will be very unusual for cars to be built that aren't fully autonomous,” Musk said, speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
“Almost all cars that will be produced will be capable of full autonomy in about ten years. Tesla cars that are made today have the sensor system necessary for full autonomy and we think probably enough compute power to be safer than a person."
Musk said he expects Tesla to invest millions in the UAE’s electric car infrastructure over the coming years.
"We expect to invest tens of millions of dollars in the UAE for charging, service, and support infrastructure. By next year, you'll be able to travel anywhere in the GCC with an electric vehicle,” he said.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.