Tesla Model S 85D, 2015 Detroit Auto Show
Tesla Motors is working to establish its presence in many markets outside the United States, but there's one country the electric-car maker hasn't explored so far.
The company's products aren't officially sold in Russia, even though there is apparently quite a bit of demand.
Wealthy Russians are in love with the Tesla Model S, paying exorbitant prices to get their hands on the electric luxury sedan.
But Tesla has no plans to begin sales in Russia, according to Bloomberg.
One Russian software executive claims to have paid $75,000 for a Model S in the U.S., then spend $12,000 to fly it to Moscow, and another $50,000 to clear customs--some of that potentially for gratuities.
He's since bought another one, and is in the market for a third.
2015 Tesla Model S 70D in new Ocean Blue color
Another prominent owner is Herman Gref, head of OAO Sberbank, who was economy minister during President Vladimir Putin's first two terms.
U.S. economic sanctions may have cut his bank off from the global financial system, but Gref is still enthusiastic about the American-made Model S.
"It doesn't pollute nature and it's super cheap and easy to use," Gref told Bloomberg in an e-mail.
Two dozen Model S sedans are currently listed on Avto.ru--Russia's largest vehicle-sales website--at up to 11 million rubles ($195,000) each.
It may have already won over Russia's plutocrats, but there's no indication Tesla will enter the market there.
Current political tensions between Russia and the U.S. preclude any expansion of the carmaker's sales.
Tesla Model S P85D, 2015 Detroit Auto Show
Tesla CEO Elon Musk's SpaceX recently won U.S. Air Force certification to conduct military missions using its rockets.
At the same time, a joint venture of two SpaceX rivals--Boeing and Lockheed Martin--is being chided for its use of Russian rockets.
Because Tesla does not operate in Russia, there are neither service centers nor Supercharger fast-charging stations to support its cars operating anywhere in the country.
The nearest service center to the capital of Moscow is in Finland--about 550 miles away.
Russia has a population of 144 million, but has just 300 registered electric cars, not including the unofficially-imported Teslas.
That means its official electric-car fleet is dwarfed even by that of neighboring Estonia, which has a population of 1.3 million and about 1,200 electric cars on its roads.