Dmitry Grishin really wanted a Model S. And being the man behind Mail.ru, one of Russia's largest online portals, he had the means. But how do you get a car into a country with no Tesla dealerships, no maintenance facilities, and minimal charging infrastructure? Money, of course.
The Verge spoke with Grishin on the process of getting his maxed-out Model S into Moscow, which involved placing an order in Amsterdam, moving it across Europe and into Russia, and then employing a team of people to handle the legal and logistical challenges. But that seems like the easy stuff.
Living with the Model S day-to-day presents a raft of challenges. There's the obvious charging issue (a few chargers installed at his company's headquarters), the lack of a data connection to run the center stack (he tethers to his iPhone), insurance (no company is willing) and service (importing parts or ferrying the car to Stockholm for major work).
Total cost? About a $70,000 premium over the $110,000 price of the car. But Grishin can say it's one of the first – if not the only – Model S sedans in the country, which is all it takes to justify the expense to a multi-millionaire.