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

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.

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