Tesla's retail store conceptEnlarge Photo
European electric car fans will soon get to enjoy the Tesla Model S as much as their American counterparts, when the car is launched in Europe this summer.
Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] has spent some of the last year preparing service and repair centers in Europe, but the company's sales network is also expanding before the car hits European shores.
Wards Auto reports Tesla is adding dealers in London, Brussels and Amsterdam, covering a dozen cities across the continent.
Service centers will also spring up in Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Vienna and Hamburg.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Tesla is also spreading itself across electric-car-loving Norway, with dealers, repair centers and a recharging service all set to open in the Scandanavian nation.
Select Tesla dealers have kept themselves busy selling Roadster models while waiting for the Model S, Europe's electric car take-up meaning some have remained in stock since Roadster production finished in early 2012.
Of the 2,500 Roadsters delivered worldwide in 2012, 850 were sold through Tesla's existing European network of nine dealers.
Preparations for the Model S have also given dealers plenty of work to do. Order books opened in the UK at the end of last year, reservation holders placing a $6,400 deposit--or a full $48,000, for those wanting a Model S Signature edition.
While electric car sales have remained relatively low in Europe, heavy tax breaks for electric vehicles and plenty of positive press from the U.S. should bode well for the Model S. It might do even better in Norway, where electric cars amounted to 3 percent of total vehicle sales in 2012.
Following the model's European launch, Tesla will then move into Asian markets in the fall--and CEO Elon Musk expects worldwide sales of around 21,000 units in 2013.