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The Model S' huge LCD mounted in the dash.  (Source: Gizmodo)

  (Source: Gizmodo)
Not available for delivery until 2011

Pioneering electric car company Tesla Motors has unveiled its new Model S electric sports sedan. It will have a range of up to 300 miles (482 km), and be able to go from 0-60 MPH in 5.5 seconds according to Jalopnik. It will also be able to seat seven passengers, through the use of flip-up seats stored in the trunk. The rear-facing seats, however, are only suitable for small children.
 
A regular charge will take four hours to complete, but there is a 45 minute fast charge option to provide enough power for a quick jaunt. Tesla expects the batteries to last between seven and ten years based on regular usage models.

According to Autoblog Green, the battery pack for the Model S weighs in at a whopping 1,200 pounds. Total vehicle weight, however, is just over 4,000 pounds.

One of the more interesting features of the Model S is its gigantic touch screen display which takes up most of the center dash/console area. According to Gizmodo, the Model S has an “always on” 3G connection which delivers streaming content to the LCD screen.

The Model S will enter production in the third quarter of 2011, with a targeted ramp up to a production rate of 20,000 sedans per year in the middle of 2012. It will carry a base price of $57,400, but that will drop down to $49,900 after a federal tax credit of $7,500.

The launch event showed a prototype using a single speed transmission to reduce complexity, but an all-wheel drive variant is planned. The drivetrain will be produced at its new San Jose facility.

Maintenance costs will be much less than other cars in the same price category, as there are no oil changes required, and the regenerative braking system means much less wear and tear. The biggest savings will be in fuel costs, regardless of its current price at the pump.

Tesla plans to use profits and experience generated from the Model S to develop a second, more affordable family sedan for the mass market. It will complement its Roadster sports car and provide more options to its potential customers.

The firm recently delivered its 250th Tesla Roadster to a customer in California. Production of the Roadster is currently at 20 cars per week, but will steadily increase to 30 per week this summer. There is currently a backlog of over 1,000 customers awaiting delivery of a Roadster.



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Volt who?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/26/2009 7:02:20 PM , Rating: 5
Screw the Volt. I'd just pay the extra $10,000 for this. This car is so damn sexy it makes the Volt look like Dennis Rodman in drag.




RE: Volt who?
By Spuke on 3/26/2009 7:22:29 PM , Rating: 3
It's more like $17k and that's for the base car.


RE: Volt who?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/26/2009 7:25:24 PM , Rating: 1
Ahh, you're right. I was looking at the after tax credit price of the Model S.

That being said, I'd still find a way to get the Tesla :-)


RE: Volt who?
By Keeir on 3/26/2009 7:32:58 PM , Rating: 3
Just to point out to people

the base car is the 160 mile maximum car..

And they say replacement packs from 5,000?!?! Shouldn't that mean for cars like the Volt replacements costs under 2,000?


RE: Volt who?
By Spuke on 3/27/2009 12:10:50 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
the base car is the 160 mile maximum car..
Really? Care to post a link?


RE: Volt who?
By Doormat on 3/27/2009 11:36:35 AM , Rating: 3
The LA Times also has stated that...

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tesla27-2009...

quote:
Elon Musk, chairman and chief executive of the San Carlos, Calif., start-up, made the announcement as he unveiled the prototype of its new vehicle. The $57,400 Model S gets up to 160 miles on a single charge. Another version of the sleek four-door will get up to 300 miles.


RE: Volt who?
By Spuke on 3/27/2009 11:45:55 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks much for the link. I wonder how it will take Tesla to release the 300 mile version and how much will that car cost?


RE: Volt who?
By Keeir on 3/27/2009 1:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
I think alot depends on the cost of the batteries in the future. In the original release, Telsa estimates ~$5,000 for a replacement pack for 160 miles would translate into no more than a 5-10,000 premium for the 300 mile version I image.

But I seem to remember that when evaluating E-REV/Plug-In Hybrids, most analysts projected battery costs into the 5-10,000 for 40-80 mile packs...


RE: Volt who?
By Jedi2155 on 3/28/2009 4:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
I think its going to be a bit more than that, I heard the current costs of deliverable energy storage to be in the range of $500-800/KWhr for Li-Ion. For a 160 mile range you'll need around 40-50 KWhr which means the battery pack is closer to $20,000 on the low end, and $40,000 on the high end.

A 300 mile range version would easily reach $80,000 for the vehicle.

And to those were arguing about it being a great use of tax dollars to give discounts into these vehicles, they need to realize the primary costs is STILL the battery packs. Large format packs are extraordinarily expensive still....and we won't ever reach reasonable pricing without proving a market exists to buy them in the first place.


RE: Volt who?
By FITCamaro on 3/26/2009 8:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
Except the Volt can drive several hundred miles in one day. This thing can't.

But yes it is a good looking car.


RE: Volt who?
By Clauzii on 3/26/2009 9:06:32 PM , Rating: 1
Doh!
"It will have a range of up to 300 miles (482 km)..."


RE: Volt who?
By 9nails on 3/26/2009 9:56:28 PM , Rating: 1
If your 300 miles away from an AC outlet, you need a dog sled team, not an electric vehicle!


RE: Volt who?
By Spuke on 3/27/2009 12:28:04 AM , Rating: 2
According to one of the other posters, the base car only gets 160 mile range. I hope he posts where he got that info.


RE: Volt who?
By acase on 3/27/2009 8:32:15 AM , Rating: 3
RE: Volt who?
By FITCamaro on 3/27/2009 9:33:13 AM , Rating: 2
DOH!

But once that 300 miles (that's assuming it can actually go that far) is up, you can't go any farther. With the Volt, you put more gas in it and keep going.

The word "several" typically equates to around the number 7. Just like "few" typically equates to the number 3. So thats 700 hundred miles.


RE: Volt who?
By Doormat on 3/27/2009 11:13:24 AM , Rating: 3
For once I agree with FIT.

I think pure EVs are going to have a hard time, they say it can recharge in 45 minutes, but you need a 480V source. If you figure that 45 minutes is for the 160mi version, at 275Wh/mi, thats 125A at 480V.

Good luck finding a place that can supply that. The electrical service at your typical US house is 240V/100A. The Tesla roadster comes with a 240V/70A recharger. Using that same recharger, it would take about 3 hours to recharge the 160mi battery.

Its why I'm a big proponent of PHEVs like the Volt. I think for the next 15 years at least until some sort of electrical recharging infrastructure is standardized and built out, you wont want to be tethered to an electrical outlet.


RE: Volt who?
By Spuke on 3/27/2009 11:55:32 AM , Rating: 2
What I find interesting is that the article never mentions that the base car has a 160 mile range. Although he said up to 300 miles that implies that the base has the 300 mile range. Could the article be updated to reflect the actual range of the car in question?


RE: Volt who?
By Clauzii on 3/27/2009 10:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
I have the impression that they actually either have more or better batteries in the new one. That's why the '300 miles' in the third line of the article grabbed my attention.

--

Also I don't understand at all why some people still think a recharging is necessary? If the mind would be put into it, there's nothing stopping EV-makers from developing some sort of battery installation frame/box standard that easily (<5min would be ok, I think) is exchanged with a fresh set, at a power-station.


RE: Volt who?
By HammerZ on 3/29/2009 2:03:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
the battery pack for the Model S weighs in at a whopping 1,200 pounds.


How are you going to replace 1,200lbs in 5min?


RE: Volt who?
By ipay on 3/27/2009 12:55:50 PM , Rating: 5
You agree with him since, apparently, none of you understand what's going on in the real world.

Not all of us need a car that can go 400 mile with full deposit.
160 miles will, for a lot of people, be a week's worth travelling (for work) and that is more than enough.
For recharging, even 6 hours is ok since it can do it by night.

I will charge you nothing for bringing you to reality, but that kind of narrowed vision brought some car companies you might now to the brink of collapse.


RE: Volt who?
By Keeir on 3/27/2009 1:30:04 PM , Rating: 1
Here, let me return the favour

160 mile -BEST- range will cause alot of anxiety. With a 160 mile -BEST- range, you really can't count on more than 100 miles (Driving varience, Heating, Airconditing, Radio, Rain, Using Headlamps etc all play a role in reducing a -best- range). If your stuck with 50 miles to get to work and back, that leaves 50 mile maximum for the rest of the day. I know I personally have driven up to 200 miles on a day when I expected at the start to drive 40, and I would have been pissed as all hell that my car wasn't capable of doing the 200 miles.

The Telsa people understand range anxiety is the number one reason why electric cars have failed, even though 90%+ of American drive less than 75 miles 95%+ of the time.


RE: Volt who?
By kmmatney on 3/27/2009 3:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
Completely agree - the volt can use Gas as a "battery" when needed, you can actually use it to go places if you don't have an outlet to plug into. This car is relegated to driving back and forth to work and running errands. That's a steep price to pay for that. Until like get electric "refill" stations around, just car is not going to be practical to a lot of people. As you sy, 95% of the time, I only drive 20-30 miles a day, but I still have that 5% where I drive more, and I need a car I can depend on for real life situations.


RE: Volt who?
By Doormat on 3/27/2009 2:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
And if I want to drive 5 hours to LA tonight, what the hell am I going to do then with a model S?

160 miles, then recharge for however long, if I can find a high enough voltage plug. Another 160 miles and I'm at my destination.

Range anxiety and long trips will keep pure EVs out of the mainstream for a long while. Until they can come up with and build out a mechanism for fast recharge. Recharging a model S in 5 minutes would require 480V and 528A. Have fun handling huge conductors with that much current....


RE: Volt who?
By clovell on 3/27/2009 5:33:02 PM , Rating: 1
I think you strawmanned the arguement in favor of PHEV's. The reality is that people who own cars prefer would prefer not to have to wait four hours to recharge when they take a long trip (which they inevitably will - I don't think that's even a point worth arguing).

Our current infrastructure currently does not support these charging methods. Such an infrastructure will take time, and will induce a significant amount of flux into politics, the economy, the environment, and the basic way of life for many people. It will take a steady approach over time. A practical approach in that direction, in bringing electric technology to mainstream consumers, is the production of series hybrids.

This is not a narrow vision. It is a long-term, practical plan for bringing personal transportation into the 21st century. Had the companies you referenced taken this approach a decade ago, we'd both have nothing to bitch about now.


RE: Volt who?
By ipay on 3/28/2009 8:51:45 AM , Rating: 2
I understand the need for a car which can travel a long time without refueling (or a fast one, like everyday car).
Clearly, it will be a long road till the pure EV can fill your needs in that department.

And i will gladly welcome a car like Volt, that can smooth the transition between this different technologies.
Gas will still be with us for some time, and having a car that can work with 2 power sources have some advantages.
For example, if the electrical power is cut one night, precisly when the car was supposed to recharged... well, start thinking in good way to explaine your boss how come your 57,400 dollar car would not start in the morning.

Still, for a person that works 5 days a week, and have less than a month of vacation in a year, and work in a relative near location, this "model S", besides behing, in paper, a beautiful car, it will provide enough autonomy.
And there are no law that prohibits you from buying another car (which can, perfectly be, a big SUV, providing you have enough money for all this extravaganza).

If you think this car is not good for you, than it probably isn't.
For me, and i imagine i'm not alone, although the price is still prohibitive, it's just what i need.


RE: Volt who?
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/27/2009 11:30:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The word "several" typically equates to around the number 7.

No it doesn't. The word several denotes any quantity greater than 2 but less than 'many'.


RE: Volt who?
By Chernobyl68 on 3/27/2009 12:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
I thought "a few" generally meant 'three or four'. I always though of several as being more than that.


RE: Volt who?
By adiposity on 3/27/2009 3:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
m-w.com

2 a: more than one <several pleas> b: more than two but fewer than many <moved several inches>


RE: Volt who?
By Clauzii on 3/27/2009 11:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
I live in a country where EVs with 300 miles will be great. I know You have longer distances in the US. So of course some battery-pack system is needed.

If they can make easily exchangeable batteries for mobiles, I don't see it not being possible for EVs.

I would really prefer all electric, since the emission would be a big zero. Or rather, the emission would be centralized, which is easier to control.
No big trucks needed to drive around, and once in a while even go up in fire in some accident.

Gas stations are not non-pollutive either. I worked at one here in DK, and know how the whole vicinity get's affected by spilled gas, vapors etc. so seen from were I stand it really can't happen fast enough. I want the smoke off the streets.

Imagine that: A big city with fresh air. And even though I am too far away, I know LA would be vissible from 5 miles again.


RE: Volt who?
By dever on 3/28/2009 2:18:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The word "several" typically equates to around the number 7. Just like "few" typically equates to the number 3.
Both refer to an undefined number greater than two. I think it typically reflects the desired context of the topic. For example... three wives would be "several" where three dollars would be "few."


RE: Volt who?
By Modeverything on 3/28/2009 12:06:08 AM , Rating: 2
BBC America just aired an episode of Top Gear where they reviewed this car. While is did okay as a sports car, it had several problems. They actually brought in a second one that also experienced issues.

Some of the issues were the engine overheating, the brakes failing, and the charge running out after only 55 miles of aggressive driving. Also, the convertible that he drove was very loud from road noise.

Some of the responses from Tesla can be read here, but I would recommend watching that episode if you get a chance and like this car: http://jalopnik.com/5112828/tesla-issues-response-...


RE: Volt who?
By Spuke on 3/28/2009 4:13:17 PM , Rating: 2
They reviewed the roadster. This article is about the Model S. Did you even read this article?


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