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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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RE: this is all well and good but...
By Suntan on 3/27/2009 11:22:47 AM , Rating: 3
I’m guessing you don’t drive cross country the way I do. If I had to sit and wait 48 min everytime I covered a distance that is equal to “a quick jaunt” (whatever that is) I’d go mad. And I don’t remember seeing too many places that do offer 480v hookups between the Twin Cities and Yellowstone the last time we vacationed out there.

Fair enough the company is doing good things to try new technologies, and they have developed significant advancements in the area of battery management and the electronic handling of high currents, but these kinds of silliness irritate me. However, I’m guessing the marketing guy would get fired if he just came out with the truth and stated flatly,

“The thing costs twice as much and only offers half the usability as a comparable IC based car, but it’s a work in progress and if you’re a bleeding edge kinda tech junky who is willing to grossly overpay for what you get, you can help us try and develop these things into a viable alternative at some point down the road.”


By clovell on 3/27/2009 5:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
Well said.

But I kind of think it'd be cool to floor it on one of these things, and have it silently throw me back in my seat.

By shin0bi272 on 3/28/2009 1:33:16 PM , Rating: 2
no thats exactly what I was saying... I drove from FL to upstate Ny in 1 shot in my car back in college... 20+ hours ... if I had to stop even for 48min to recharge my car every 5 hours that drive would have taken me an additional 3.2 hrs... (then there was that 4 day bus ride from cali to NC) thats also assuming I could get a 480volt plug every time I needed a recharge which would be damned near impossible right now.

Plus where are they planning on putting these high voltage power plugs anywho? At gas stations next to the pumps full of explosive liquids? Thats why I was saying that these going to most likely be used for in town driving for a few decades... taxis maybe. Cause they can bring the car back in for a recharge on their lunch break and the taxi hub can be hooked up with several lines for recharging en masse.

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