Tesla to launch operations in Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The electric car maker Tesla is set to launch Israeli operations in January.

Tesla will be the first car manufacturer to sell its vehicles in Israel rather than through an importer.

The company, owned by Elon Musk, will start by opening a pop-up store at a mall in North Tel Aviv frequented by affluent shoppers, the Israeli business news website Calcalist reported. The store will display some Tesla models and take orders ahead of the opening of an official showroom.

A month ago, Tesla registered a fully owned subsidiary company in Israel — Tesla Motors Israel Ltd. — the daily business news website Globes reported.

The cars will be classified as a luxury vehicle due to a starting price of over $72,000, according to Calcalist.

In 2013, the electric car company Better Place filed for bankruptcy in Israel. The company left some 2,000 charging posts for cars and motorcycles installed around the country.