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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 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.


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