In about two weeks’ time, Tesla will launch its first store in Ireland. But what do we know about its presence here?
After years of waiting and envious eyes gazing towards neighbouring Britain, Ireland is finally joining the list of countries that officially stock Tesla electric vehicles (EVs).
In the past two years, the company founded by Elon Musk has gone from strength to strength, both in terms of increasing its numbers on the road, and its standing as an EV and renewable energy device producer.
Once an outsider in an industry overwhelmingly producing fossil fuel-powered cars, Tesla has now cemented itself as a major player, rivalling and surpassing General Motors in value.
So what do we know about Ireland’s Tesla store and when can someone (with some money to burn) buy one?
Where is the Tesla store?
Work has been ongoing for the past few months to get Tesla’s first store up and running at 92 Bracken Road in Sandyford, Dublin.
Based on details from planning permission documents, the store will feature a display area, sales office and repair centre for owners.
When is it opening?
The Dublin Tesla store will officially be opening on 26 April.
Is this the first time that Tesla cars have been on sale in Ireland?
No. Despite not having a store here, Irish customers have been able to order the company’s Model S and Model X cars online through its Irish portal since November last year.
How much do they cost?
While the Model 3 is expected to be the first of the company’s affordable cars, the S and X are certainly still in the luxury car bracket, costing more than €81,000 and €110,000, respectively.
That includes the grants and VRT relief made available by the Government and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
The Model 3 is not expected to be ready for purchase until the middle of 2018 at the earliest.
Are we getting any Tesla Supercharger points in Ireland?
The Tesla Supercharger is the company’s own brand of charging points, offering up more power than standard ones.
Tesla claims that the 120kW Supercharger can add 270km of range to one of its vehicles in 30 minutes, compared with the common 50kW Chademo one used by the ESB.
While Tesla remains very coy about where it plans to build its Superchargers, a little digging uncovered that the first operational one will be off junction 27 on the M7 as it approaches Limerick.
Dia duit ireland! We open our first #Tesla supercharger in Ireland!https://t.co/4NKZpiu3La
— Romain Vigué (@RomainVigue) December 7, 2016
Some further digging revealed that towards the end of last year, Tesla filed a planning application with Laois County Council – which was later accepted – to build another Supercharger point at a service station in Oldglass.
Tesla also has plans to launch at least 15 smaller charging points across the island of Ireland at hotels, one of which is based at the Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow.
Ireland's first Tesla supercharger station finally under construction in Laois. $TSLA pic.twitter.com/UI0xYEMZjY
— Gavin Sheridan (@gavinsblog) March 25, 2017
Can I use other chargers?
Thankfully, Tesla’s cars are compatible with the ESB’s grid, including the DC Chademo units that offer fast charging capabilities.
There are also lower-capacity AC charge points dotted across the country – more than 1,000 at the last count.
You can see where these charging points are located on the ESB’s map, and through its app on iOS and Android.
Tesla screen. Image: Aleksandra Suzi/Shutterstock