Could Prime Minister Cameron End Up Being Driven in a Tesla Model S?

In an attempt to lead by example as part of a renewed nationwide promotion of electric cars, the UK Government announced late on Friday that it would be allocating £5 million in funds to purchase more than 150 plug-in vehicles as part of its official Governmental transportation fleet.

Some of these folks could soon be riding to official meetings in all-electric cars.

Some of these folks could soon be riding to official meetings in all-electric cars.

The program, open to all central governmental fleets, will make it possible for fleet operators to procure a number of different all-electric cars for use on official governmental business.

The UK Government hasn’t published a list of approved plug-in cars that can be ordered by governmental agencies under the scheme, but among the various cars being considered is the Tesla Model S.

“The Model S we understand will be under evaluation for inclusion,” British-born  Simon Sproule, Tesla’s PR Chief, told Bloomberg on Friday. “It would be great to see California-built Teslas transporting Her Majesty’s ministers on official business across London.”

Starting from £50,020 after £5,000 Government grants for the base-model 60 kWh version, the Tesla Model S is certainly more expensive than some electric cars on the market today. But without VAT to pay — we’d presume Her Majesty’s Government can claim that back — we’re guessing Her Majesty’s Government wouldn’t be paying quite that much if it decided to buy a few Tesla Model S as fleet cars for its cabinet ministers to use on official business.

The problem is that not everyone is convinced -- including deputy PM Nick Clegg.

The problem is that not everyone is convinced — including deputy PM Nick Clegg.

What’s more, the UK government stands to save hundreds of thousands of pounds every year in fuel bills, especially if electric cars are used by ministers in preference to gas-guzzling SUVs or petrol-powered luxury sedans.

As for the Prime Minister? Mr. Cameron currently rides in an armour-plated Jaguar XJ, specially-built we presume for the Prime Ministerial fleet. While it’s nowhere near as large as The Beast — President Obama’s heavily-armoured limousine — Mr. Cameron’s future ride would need to be upgraded at least a bit in order to provide the level of safety required for transporting a member of state.

Yet, says Sprole, the top-end Tesla Model S P85 could easily make two round-trips from Downing Street to Chequers, the Prime Minister’s traditional countryside retreat.

Could a Tesla Model S be the Prime Minister's Ride of the future?

Could a Tesla Model S be the Prime Minister’s Ride of the future?

Detailed by Minister for Transport Baroness Kramer on Friday, the £5 million project runs alongside a renewed investment form the UK government in electric car infrastructure and purchase incentives. But with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg going on record recently to say that while electric cars were great – just not for him — we’re wondering just how many of Her Majesty’s Cabinet will be swapping their official governmental cars for something all-electric.

It’s worth noting too that the inclusion of Tesla’s Model S on the list — if indeed it is approved — may raise some eyes in Westminster due to what may be seen as a conflict of interests: Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is currently the UK Government’s official Electric Mobility Advisor.

Which electric cars would you like the UK government to purchase for official use? Do you think Mr. Cameron will ride in a Tesla Model S? And how much would it cost to transform a Tesla Model S into a fully-armoured Prime Ministerial Ride?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield
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Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

Self-confessed geek and mother of two, Nikki has been talking and writing about cars ever since she passed her driving test. Back then, her Internet contributions were all classic car-focused. Now, she’s all about greener, cleaner, safer and smarter cars.
Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield
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  • Jonathan Tracey

    Even if the PM needs to travel in an Armoured Car the rest of the rabble at westminster could use EVs to get around London.

  • philb

    Carrying addition armor should not be a problem for the Tesla could effect the range a little. The cars are not driven fast so full level 4 armor plating with 2 or 3 inch thick ballistic proof glass weight should not be an issue. I am sure that somewhere someone is building an armor plated Tesla Model S for someone already? Already part of the battery area is protected by titanium plates that can withstand part of an engine block flying free and hitting the underside of the Model S. It already tested over 440 ft pounds of torque at zero RPM handling the weight of armor plating should not be an issue.