Tesla's electric cars to charge into Ireland
Tesla Motors - the electric carmaker headed by chief executive, Elon Musk - has secured planning permission for its first Irish sales outlet and showroom in South Dublin.
The Nasdaq-quoted group is to convert an industrial unit in Sandyford Industrial Estate into its flagship Irish premises, with display area, sales offices and repair centre.
The firm said it will install supercharger stations in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast, allowing Tesla owners to charge their cars for free. The application, lodged with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council, faced no opposition and has been granted planning permission having regard to the zoning objective for the site and the precedent for car sales showrooms and motor sales in the vicinity.
A Tesla Model S, which will cost Irish drivers from €81,086, can travel up to 270km on a 30-minute charge. The Model X SUV is priced from €110,042 in Ireland.
The Tesla property is close to the M50 motorway and the Beacon South Quarter. Sandyford is a hub for motor groups, with an Audi centre close to the Tesla location.
Tesla is one of the first companies to develop premium electronic cars.
Tesla has a market valuation of $45.77bn - which is $2bn higher than the current market $45bn capitalisation of Ford Motors.
Last year, the Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA) warned that one in five cars sold here needs to be electric by 2020 if Ireland is to hit its renewable energy targets and avoid fines of up to €130m.
In 2015, electric cars made up just 0.23pc of new car sales, with 562 vehicles sold. This figure needs to hit 50,000 by 2020, the report noted. Tesla expects to commence production on its highly-anticipated Model 3 in July.