Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors opened its first showroom in Italy with a spectacular gala that attracted more than 400 VIPs, including world-famous personalities in fashion, sports and music.
Tesla's 17th worldwide store, at Via Cerva 31 (angolo Via Borgogna) in Milan, is steps from the Duomo, La Scala Opera House and the iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. The store, now open for business, serves Tesla owners throughout Italy and offers test drives to all prospective customers.
Football sensation Florent Malouda is one of the newest Roadster owners and accepted a donation to his charitable foundation from Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
"The Milan store captures the imagination and attention of Italy's sports car aficionados and the many trend setters and early adopters who set the pace for fashion and design," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who hosted the star-studded party last week.
In addition to Italian TV celebrities Nicola Savino, Daniele Bossari and Filippa Lagerback, a guest of honor was international football sensation Florent Malouda, one of the newest owners of the zero-emission Tesla Roadster. Malouda, who plays for Chelsea and the French national team, is European ambassador for the non-profit Haitian relief organization Yele Haiti, to which Tesla and Musk personally made charitable contributions.
In addition to its newest store, Tesla is a central attraction at the Milan showroom of Belgian fashion designer Dirk Bikkembergs, renowned for his unique role at the intersection of fashion and sport. Bikkembergs was the first fashion designer to hold a fashion show in a football stadium, and his couture displays - including the centerpiece Roadster in the flagship store -- set the agenda for cutting-edge fashion.
Tesla is also participating in events throughout Italy. Tesla will be hosting prospective customers all week at the Hotel Aregai Marina as part of the world-famous Sanremo Music Festival.
The Tesla Roadster does 0-100 kph in 3.7 seconds and gets an average of 340 kms per charge. Owners simply plug Roadsters into conventional outlets in their homes, offices or garages. Every single morning they wake to the equivalent of a "full tank," without ever visiting a dark, messy gas station.
Owners may also refuel at public charging points. Tesla's biggest corporate customer in Italy is Ancona-based Energy Resources, Italy's leading renewable energy provider. Energy Resources Green Mobility builds charge points - including those that run on pure solar energy. Italy aggressively promotes renewable energy development, ranking second to Germany for solar installations.
The community of Tesla owners in Italy stretches from Naples to the Lakes District. Roadster owners do not pay Milan's notorious congestion fees, and they can park and charge for free at hundreds of charging stations nationwide.
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio are all said to own a Tesla.