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Second Tesla outlet opens in Melbourne

Shopping online: Telsa’s second Australian store has gone-live in one of Melbourne’s largest retail centres, allowing shoppers to get up close to the Model S.

Tesla customer service network grows as Chadstone store follows Sydney dealership

Tesla logo29 Dec 2014

By DANIEL GARDNER

TESLA has opened the doors to its second Australian ‘store’ over the festive period, this time in Victoria’s capital Melbourne, doubling the dealer network just weeks after its Sydney outlet opened for business.

While the first branch was more recognisable as a bricks and mortar dealership, the Melbourne version takes an unorthodox approach, finding a home in the corridors of the Chadstone shopping centre in the capital’s eastern suburbs.

Visitors can learn about the Californian EV car range, see a flagship Model S P85+ in person as well as a bare rolling chassis, which reveals some of the pure electric car’s secrets and how it manages a 500km range on a single charge.

Existing Tesla customers can charge their vehicles at dedicated parking spaces while they browse the end of year sales, but while their credit cards might be getting a workout, topping up a Tesla at an official charge station is free.

Sydney is currently the only Australian city hosting Supercharger locations with rapid-charge points at both the new dealership and The Star hotel/casino.

The high-performance chargers allow vehicles to be half charged with a special rapid top-up in about 20 minutes, or a full recharge in a little more than an hour.

Conventional plug-in charging is the only method currently available at the Melbourne Tesla establishment, but the Californian technology company has demonstrated an even faster battery-swap option that is on the way.

In a live event, Telsa CEO Elon Musk staged a refuelling race between a conventional combustion engine car and the Tesla Model S, but with a battery-swap time of just 90 seconds, two batteries were changed in the time the liquid fuel car took to fill one tank.

Swapping the pack will cost Model S owners a fee but during the on-stage show the company’s boss said the second option gives customers more flexibility and choice.

“The only decision you have to make when you come to one of our Tesla stations is do you prefer faster or free,” he said.

A second more central outlet is planned for Melbourne and when open, the Richmond Tesla store will take the Down Under total to three as part of the company’s aggressive push to spread the customer service network in Australia.

The second store will be home to Victoria’s first Supercharge station and more of the full-fat charging points are due to be rolled out as part of the expanding Australian infrastructure.

The first Australian customers took delivery of their Model S’ at a high-profile event to launch the Sydney dealership earlier this month, with three core variants of the EV now on sale.

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