Tesla Goes Chic Before Geek

tesla roadster

Tesla Motors launched its first dealership Friday in Santa Monica by throwing a giant party. The Silicon Valley-born sports car won’t actually come to the Bay Area until the summer, when it opens up its Menlo Park dealership – probably because if you throw a party in the Bay, you can’t get Arnold Schwarzenegger and Darryl Hannah to come. Well, maybe Darryl Hannah.

The Tesla Roadster retails for $109,000, and is all electric — it runs on a lithium ion battery pack. The company is also releasing a more affordable luxury sedan for about half the price this year, which will come in two versions: one that runs fully on the battery pack and one that uses some liquid fuel as well. The dealerships themselves are inspired by… wait for it… Apple’s retail outlets, says Tesla CEO Elon Musk:

“The Apple stores have worked out well. It’s a fantastic consumer experience. We wanted a nontraditional automotive experience, and we have it.”

Unfortunately, the dealerships won’t do you much good if you actually want to buy the car — there’s a 400-person waiting list.

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