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by Tim Beissmann

Tesla shares have surged off the back off record sales in the first quarter of 2015, in which the high-profile electric vehicle company cracked 10,000 sales for a quarter for the first time in its history.

Tesla shares traded as high as US$207.75 ($273.75) yesterday following Friday’s announcement that the company delivered 10,030 Model S EVs between January and March.

The sales figure was more than 500 units up on Tesla’s own predictions for the quarter, and represents growth of 55 per cent over the first three months of 2014.

Tesla Australia marketing and communications manager Heath Walker said the local division didn’t plan to reveal Australian sales numbers, though said the response to the Model S since its launch late last year had been “really positive”.

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Recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he has been surprised by the popularity of the Model S in Australia.

“Our sales of Model S in Australia have been surprisingly good,” Musk said. “I’ve been pretty happy with our progress there.

“It seems that Australians really do like the Model S quite a bit, and as a result we’re putting a significant investment in Superchargers in Australia so people can get the super-fast charging capability.

“We’re working on Sydney to Melbourne as being the key route. Eventually I think you’ll be able to go anywhere in Australia with the Superchargers.”

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In December, Tesla announced plans to have a complete Supercharger network linking Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane by the end of 2016.

Currently there are only to Supercharger stations in Australia, both of those in Sydney.

Each Supercharger station allows Model S drivers to charge their vehicles quickly and for free. Tesla claims that a Supercharger point can recharge a drained battery to 50 per cent in 20 minutes, to 80 per cent within 40 minutes, and to full charge within about 75 minutes.

The Tesla Model S competes with the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class in Australia, with prices ranging from $96,208 for the entry-level 60 variant to $150,938 for the all-wheel-drive P85D (prices before on-road costs).




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