Update: From next year onwards the Tesla Roadster will no longer be a U.S. only model as the company has confirmed it will start selling its all-electric car in Europe in just over 12 months. Tesla had always planned to make its Roadster a global model but with the U.S. dollar falling sharply against the euro over the last two years and Europe’s strong concerns about global warming and its eagerness for sustainable motoring company bosses sped up the export program.

Furthermore, rules for homologating a new car for sale across Europe will be simplified in April next year and will allow Tesla to introduce a special limited edition model ahead of its original scheduled launch planned for later in the year. This special limited edition will sell for €99,000 for a fully loaded car, to be delivered in 2009 shortly after the rule change takes effect.

Tesla’s first planned event in Europe will be at the Top Marques Monaco on the 24th of this month and will be followed up later in the year with the establishment of sales and service facilities.

Original: Last week we reported that Tesla was speeding up its export program to take advantage of the weak U.S. dollar, and now the electric car company’s CEO has confirmed the roadster will be sold in Europe by the third quarter of next year. Although the Tesla’s chassis is manufactured in the UK by Lotus, most of its hardware, including the expensive batteries, is put together in California. This makes exporting the car to Europe very lucrative for Tesla.

Speaking with the Financial Times, Tesla boss Ze’ev Drori revealed final pricing for the roadster in Europe would stand at €100,000 ($156,000). By comparison the car sells for just under $100,000 in the U.S., but Drori is confident Europe’s higher fuel prices and shorter average driving distances makes the car much more appealing for Europeans than it is for Americans.

Key markets include Germany, France and the Netherlands, as well as countries such as Norway and Denmark, which offer generous tax incentives for low-emission cars. The UK will miss out initially as there are no plans for a RHD version in the short term.

Tesla has already racked up 1,000 firm orders for its electric roadster but with production limited to just 250 units per month there will be significant delays for the car unless capacity is increased. To cope with the extra demand, Drori revealed Tesla will establish another factory for finishing cars in Europe.

Tesla Roadster