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The Tesla Model S vehicle is currently in Alpha testing. Tesla's retail chief George Blankenship just revealed pricing specifics for the vehicle.   (Source: Tesla Motors )
$20k USD will buy you 140 extra miles of range

George Blankenship, former Apple retail chief (and an ex-executive of Gap, Inc.), has been a critical force in driving Tesla Motors Inc.'s strong continued sales of its Roadster EV while the company awaits the Model S.  On Monday Mr. Blankenship, the company's new Vice President and retail chief, blogged on a recent meeting at the opening of Tesla's latest store in Milan, Italy.

Apparently Mr. Blankenship and company CEO Elon Musk were met with plenty of questions about the Model S, including details on the battery and pricing.  And, surprisingly, for the first time in some time they offered precise answers.

According to the pair, the Model S is well into Alpha testing, which began with Alpha vehicles hitting the road in December 2010.  The production-intent beta vehicle will be assembled this year at the new Tesla Factory in California, though the precise month was not revealed.

In the realm of more concrete details, the Model S will be produced with a variety of battery options, at a variety of prices.

The longest range model, the Model S, will be priced at $69,900 USD after $7,500 USD U.S. federal tax credit.  It will get 300 miles on a full charge.  230 mile and 160 mile variants will also be offered for $59,900 and $49,900 USD, respectively after federal tax credit.

But there's one caveat.  The Model S "Signature Series" -- a special 300 mile-range model with additional luxury options, still has its pricing up in the air.  That's a major unknown, given that the first production run will be composed exclusively of "Signature Series" models.

The pricing on the Signature Series will be announced this summer.

As to Tesla's shipping schedule, the company says it will produce and ship 1,000 Model S Signature Series vehicles in "mid-2012".  Later that year Model S production will partially shift to the 230 mile and 160 mile variants.  In total 5,000 Model S variants will be assembled and shipped in 2012, if all goes according to plan.

Then in 2013, the production will ramp up to 20,000 units over the year.  Among those will be the first right-handed variants, which will land in "mid-2013", destined for Tesla's European and Asian markets.  Prior to that, Tesla will exclusively be producing left-handed (e.g. North American) models.

Tesla is in the midst of taking the plunge of developing a mass market EV.  That process has thrust the company deep into the red financially, but it promises big rewards if Tesla is correctly predicting the demand for an entry-level luxury EV.  The company is also buoyed by EV-related contracts with Toyota, U.S. Department of Energy high-tech loans, and hundreds of millions of dollars raised by a highly successful initial public offering of stock.

Engineers at Tesla blog on the development of the Model S here.



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So, remind me
By rcc on 3/8/2011 4:28:09 PM , Rating: 4
Ok, so someone tell me again why the U.S. taxpayer is subsidizing the people that want/can afford one of these???

ARRRRRGGGGHH!!!




RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: So, remind me
By Spuke on 3/8/2011 4:59:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
subsidize wars in other countries in an effort to keep oil prices lower.
Wars make prices go UP not down. Haven't you been paying attention to the gas prices over the last few days?


RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: So, remind me
By FITCamaro on 3/8/2011 5:06:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah because those batteries are made in the US right? And we mine all the materials for them in the US as well.


RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/8/2011 5:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not the middle east..

I don't recall saying the solution was 100% US. It's idiotic to think for a second that all of the raw materials, mining, assembly, etc take place in the US.

Plus batteries are changing every year, so it's not like electric cars will forever be powered by Li-Ion batteries.


RE: So, remind me
By bug77 on 3/8/2011 7:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Plus batteries are changing every year, so it's not like electric cars will forever be powered by Li-Ion batteries.


It what world? Li-Ion has been with us since the 70s and it's still the best idea we have for a battery (aside from SF stuff that only works in a lab.


RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/8/2011 11:44:51 PM , Rating: 1
You probably should've kept reading that wiki page on Lithium Ion battery history beyond them being theorized in the 1970s. The first commercial Lithium Ion battery was released by Sony in 1991. There have been numerous advancements to Li-Ion technology over the past 20 years.

Yes there are a ton of people experimenting with and testing new battery ideas along with ultra capacitors and some of them do hold promise. It's pretty asinine to believe Li-Ion is the end of the road for batteries.. If that's what you truly believe though, I'm not sure why you bother visiting tech websites.


RE: So, remind me
By bug77 on 3/9/2011 6:15:30 AM , Rating: 3
Did you read what I said? It took 20 years for Li-ion to become commercially viable and 20 years later we don't have anything better.

You said battery tech changes every year. That's a bit off, don't you think?


RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/9/11, Rating: 0
RE: So, remind me
By RedemptionAD on 3/9/2011 10:34:23 AM , Rating: 2
It took 50 years for HDTV to come out somethings take longer than others. And the problem with the battery materials is that they are sourced from China. So by going EV we go from being reliant on Middle Eastern Nations to being reliant almost exclusively on China as they have 97% of those materials.


RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/9/2011 12:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
From what I've read about where the raw materials come from for Li-Ion batteries is that the bulk of it comes from SA, not China.


RE: So, remind me
By RedemptionAD on 3/9/2011 12:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm talking global supply. China has the lions share, a few other places have a little. At the moment China has cut the USA's supply as well as Japan's so I am sure we've sourced elsewhere to make up for it.


RE: So, remind me
By JediJeb on 3/9/2011 4:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the Lithium is currently being mined in South America, but China has been buying up those mines so in the end they will own the bulk of the supply.


RE: So, remind me
By sxr7171 on 3/9/2011 10:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
I guess buying cheap Chinese made stuff at Walmart has its price.


RE: So, remind me
By rcc on 3/15/2011 4:54:42 PM , Rating: 2
As I recall, the US has plenty. The environmental lobby has it sewed up for the time being.


RE: So, remind me
By FITCamaro on 3/8/2011 11:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
Once again. We only get a fraction of our oil from the Middle East. This could still be the case no matter how much we drill here because oil is sold on the open market.


RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/8/2011 11:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
What does that have to do with subsidizing a few thousand electric cars made by a company here in the US versus wasting money on wars in the middle east?


RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/8/2011 11:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
Nevermind, I get it, you're supporting my original claim that the wars over there are a waste of money.

Thanks.


RE: So, remind me
By FITCamaro on 3/9/2011 7:36:23 AM , Rating: 2
I don't consider oil in the current wars. It's not why we're there so its a non-issue. But good to know idiots are still sticking the talking points of 2002.


RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/9/2011 8:22:26 AM , Rating: 2
So you must think we're there for...

quote:
Hopety Changity feel good feelings reasons.


RE: So, remind me
By Kurz on 3/9/2011 9:38:23 AM , Rating: 2
We are there because our elected officals have something to gain by waging war with the Middle east.


RE: So, remind me
By FITCamaro on 3/9/2011 4:16:15 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah had nothing to do with Afghanistan long harboring terrorism and being run by a terrorist organization that was involved in a direct attack on US soil. Or 20 years of Iraq violating UN resolutions, every intelligence agency on the planet thinking Saddam had nukes (and him admitting he purposely intended that for fear of Iran), Saddam providing funding and safe havens for terrorist organizations, etc.

But clearly you are far more informed.


RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/9/2011 4:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
I forgot about those WMDs they found. Thanks for reminding me. They've also done a good job of catching Osama.


RE: So, remind me
By rcc on 3/9/2011 3:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
So, what's your point? You cite 2 unrelated things as if it's an either/or or a package.

Besides, you aren't subsidizing wars in other countries, you are paying for them.


RE: So, remind me
By BioHazardous on 3/9/2011 4:40:22 PM , Rating: 2
The point was I'd rather spend money on subsidizing a new technology that could turn into something to curb our dependence on fossil fuels than on wars. What's it going to cost to subsidize the electric car while they try to reach economies of scale? $50 million? $100 million? What's that in terms of how much we spend on wars? A drop in the bucket. I just don't see much point in complaining about some trivial spending on a new technology when the government wastes billions on other endeavors.


RE: So, remind me
By FITCamaro on 3/8/2011 5:07:53 PM , Rating: 1
Hopety Changity feel good feelings reasons.


RE: So, remind me
By phantom505 on 3/9/2011 12:35:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah because investment in new technology and infrastructure is such a terrible thing.

I suppose you hate your internets.


RE: So, remind me
By Kurz on 3/9/2011 10:36:17 AM , Rating: 2
Except the internet wasn't subsidized.
The best Railroads weren't subsidized.
The best Airlines were not subsidized.
Oil for the longest time wasn't subsidized.

What makes technology successful it must be
A. Efficient
B. Cost Effective
C. People need to want it.

We are still missing B and C.


RE: So, remind me
By bobdelt on 3/9/2011 8:36:13 AM , Rating: 2
Think of all those poor souls who wouldnt be able to afford an electric car without the tax credit! The tax credit goes straight to Tesla - its built into the price.

Now if there was a requirement that the car had to be below 25k for the tax credit and required significant sales numbers, than that would actually achieve a goal and drive some growth.


RE: So, remind me
By rcc on 3/9/2011 3:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
Personnally I'd just as soon they left the money in our pockets to start with, that would drive more growth from me.


RE: So, remind me
By ralniv on 3/9/2011 4:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
I understand your frustration, but the subsidy isn't about the Tesla S. It's about developing and transitioning technologies that will hopefully end up in all cars at all price ranges. Tesla S is just a stepping stone to loftier ambitions.


RE: So, remind me
By theBike45 on 3/9/2011 4:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
I see no reason for subsidizing Model S buyers, since the car is worth the price. As for those who one claims can go buy a $35K BMW and so on... needs some education. No $35K BMW is competitive with the Model S. Pay $65K or $70K and you might find a model that can compete. Lots of ignorance
here about batteries, I see. With 300 miles of range, the ONLY time one will need a public charging station or to charge/discharge completely is during a trip. And level 3 charging stations, which is the only type that makes sense, doesn't require 3 /12 hours to recharge. The Model S, regardless of battery pack, can recharge in 45 minutes, usually less. Whether one charges
all the way to full and discharges below 10% (the safe level, despite the Volt's system), is up to the owners, but doing so occasionally while travelling is hardly going to have much effect on the battery pack's lifespan. And fast charging has zero effect on lifespan - MIT proved that several months ago. If you think their battery pack is expensive, why not walk into a Mercedes parts department and ask what it would cost to replace a MB engine, tranny, cooling system, exhaust system, and fuel system? The Tesla electric motor costs peanuts to rebuild and is infinitely less likely to need repair. That battery pack is now looking pretty cheap, and anyone can easily save 80% or more off their gas fuel bill, not to mention oil changes, fuel filters, air filters, etc.etc.


"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson














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