Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc. is charging into Norway after some cold weather testing with the Tesla Roadster and Tesla Model S and will open a new showroom is Oslo, the company announced Wednesday, all as part of plan to expand its Norwegian customer base.
There are currently 75 Tesla Roadster owners in Norway (out of a global total of just 2,500 cars), and the company plans to bring the new Model S sedan to the opening of the Oslo showroom. The fact that Norwegians account for 3 percent of Roadsters, despite not even having a dealership, means that the market could be ripe for inroads by the electric car manufacturer.
Tesla released a video of the Tesla Model S undergoing cold weather testing yesterday at the AET Proving Grounds in Baudette, Minn., and the timing of the video with the opening of an Oslo dealership, while it may be coincidental, seems calculated.
Tesla engineers worked for days in sub-zero weather in order to put Model S through a rigorous set of demanding winter driving tests, the company said.
The winter conditioning of the Model S will surely be a huge consideration for any would-be Norwegian drivers -- the average temperature in Oslo during January and February is around 15F and it has been known to drop as low as -15F.
Tesla has worked to ensure that cold weather does not sap the range of the vehicle. The batteries in electric cars are subject to an optimal operating temperature, and anything above or below that can degrade the range of the cars.
We have built an array to keep the battery temperature ... in the perfect temperature, heating and cooling, Tesla spokeswoman Kathrin Schira said, explaining that the battery is liquid cooled in hot weather, and heated when it gets too cold.
However, the car may experience a slight degradation in range in cold weather due to increased heater use. The company was quick to note, though, that this is has nothing to do with the performance of the car's batteries or drivetrain.
In terms of snow handling, though, the Tesla Model S drives quite well, according to the company.
It has been tested, and it turns out perfectly. It's really difficult to try and make the car slip. It's really more difficult to make it slip on the snow than it is just to drive it, Schira said.