US tech company Tesla, which also produces electric cars, is aiming for 50% fleet sales of its Model S luxury car that went on sale in right-hand drive form this month.

Georg Ell, Tesla’s UK boss, believes the low running costs plus a 100% first-year capital allowance mean the rival to a Mercedes S-class will have a high take-up with business users.

While Ell refuses to be drawn on exact sales expectations, speaking exclusively to BusinessCar he offered the comparison with the Californian market: “The Model S outsells the S-class in California, which was the best seller in its class.”

Last year Mercedes sold 1864 S-class models in the UK, taking first place and 30% of the luxury car segment.

While Tesla operates a Daewoo-style no-haggle sales operation, the company also has a traditional regional fleet sales team, which Ell calls “rangers”.

“There is a small team of people dedicated to fleet sales. These people will talk direct to larger fleets, like any other car maker,” said Ell. “These ‘ranger’ staff will spend most of their time on the road.”

While the Model S is priced between £50,000-£100,000 depending on power outputs and options, Tesla is also planning an SUV for the near future, to be called Model X, plus “there will be a third model that will be lower in price and more mass market” some time after 2017.