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Sneak peek of the upcoming four-door Tesla Model S

Tesla's new Roadster Sport should offer powerful performance for an electric vehicle at a lofty cost.  (Source: Tesla Motors)
After a tough year, with many cuts, Tesla believes it is finally competitive

It’s been a grueling year for Tesla Motors.  The company angered many of its employees last  year when it laid off nearly its entire Michigan staff, which first found out they were losing their jobs not from Tesla itself, but by a posting on a financial blog.  Later in the year, Tesla seemed poised to make a comeback, announcing its sporty new Tesla Roadster Sport electric vehicle, available for those who preordered the Roadster.  However, it then proceeded to anger customers who preordered by raising the price on the base Roadster model.

However, despite its trials and tribulations, the fledgling company says it will be sold out of Roadsters until around November and that by the middle of the year it should finally be posting profits.  Founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk, who became a billionaire by founding PayPal, also announced that Tesla will be receiving a $350M USD federal loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to help finance the development of its upcoming electric 4-door sedan, to be released in 2011.

Mr. Musk praised the Obama administration for its helping hand, stating, "The Obama administration has thankfully made it a top priority to move quickly on the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program."

Tesla has experienced some preorder customers cancelling their orders "due to buyers experiencing personal financial difficulties".  However, there seems to be plenty who have the money and still want to get the hot new car.  It expects all of its 2009 production of the $109,000 vehicles to sell out.

In 2008, Tesla cut 24 percent of its staff, but it managed to produce 200 Roadsters, and is still sitting on 1,000 reported preorders.  Customers pay $12,000 up front to reserve the right to own one of the hot new vehicles.  Battery packs for the vehicle are reported to last 7 years or 100,000 miles and cost around a staggering $36,000 to replace.

The prototype of the upcoming Model S 4-door sedan will be unveiled on March 26, according to Mr. Musk.  He says that he will be offering a discount of $10,000 to those who preordered the Roadster and want to switch to the sedan as a "gesture of gratitude for their early support."

Tesla also recently announced a partnership with Germany's Daimler AG to create a plug-in version of Daimler's Smart minicar.  Mr. Musk announced that he is currently in the pursuit of two more major deals with other companies.  He also announced that Tesla is set to open stores in Chicago and London and is close to reaching agreements for stores in Miami, New York, Seattle and Munich.



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RE: A $15,000 car?
By A Stoner on 2/12/2009 1:40:48 PM , Rating: 2
I love the idea of an electric vehicle, electric motors have constant torque through the full RPM range they work, and thus will make very high acceleration safer, my understanding is that you do not have to shift an electric motor driven vehicle, because the motor does not lag in power due to too high or too low RPMs, again making them safer. Trains are mostly all electric driven and get great fuel economy, but they use an internal combustion engine to create that electricity.

I am not against new tech. I am against uneconomical new tech being forced upon people for pseudo scientific justification that just happens to fit into the socialist, communist loving people's theories of peoples right place in this world, which is SUBSERVIENT TO GOVERNMENT and not the other way around as well as humans are less important than plants and animals. If the people like the car for the car, that is great, but I suspect a large majority of the people are buying it for the "Green Factor" in order to be a bunch of snobs as shown on South Park. Smug arrogant elite people who are showing the masses how they should live, which is completely outside the reality of the fact that these "Green" items are FAR and AWAY more inefficient than your everyday items. The volkswagon beatle of the 1960's got 35MPG, it did not have any gimmicks in it, we can get 100MPG from a motorcycle with no gimicks. The only thing we have to do is cut the size/weight and power along with every bit of safety that size and weight and the manueverability that power offers to do it.

There is no environment savings from these vehicles. Every last bit of gasoline that is saved and probably much more is burned somewhere else in the manufacture of the thing. The battery pack is $36,000, exactly where do you think the price comes from for that $36,000? It is from the fact that it takes vast amounts of energy to get the raw materials and turn them into batteries. Once again, I could care less if people buy these things, but I do care when my tax dollars go into funding the whole retarded mess. Trust me, tons of tax dollars are going into this mess, and that is the final straw that puts them in the "green" as in profitable.


RE: A $15,000 car?
By yomamafor1 on 2/12/2009 2:54:49 PM , Rating: 5
I agree. The cost of the battery itself probably outweighs the benefits of zero-emission. Think about it. All Li-ion battery contains lithium (duh) that needs to be mined in the 3rd world countries (Bolivia for instance), which requires heavy machinery that burns fossil fuel to operate. Aside from the mining operation, these materials have to be sent to another country with high technology for manufacture (which, may I remind you, also burns fossil fuel for energy). Then the finished product will have to be shipped to Tesla's manufacturing plant in the states, which have to be unloaded with heavy machinery at the docks, then truck to Tesla's manufacturing plant for installation.

Green, zero-emission car? Yeh right. But again, as they said, "ignorance is bliss" =).


RE: A $15,000 car?
By theapparition on 2/12/2009 3:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
my understanding is that you do not have to shift an electric motor driven vehicle, because the motor does not lag in power due to too high or too low RPMs,

Nope, still need a transmision. Tesla's first models only had a single speed (?) model which severely hurt performance.

While torque is pretty much linearly constant with electric motors, you still need the torque multiplication that is necessary with gearing to achieve desireable performance. Otherwise, it would be like trying to move from a stand-still in 6th gear.
It is also necessary to increase top speed utilizing an overspeed gear.


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