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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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RE: Extended Range
By Spuke on 3/8/2011 7:15:08 PM , Rating: 2
I was mainly talking about the daily commute to and from work, not weekend roadtrips over 100 miles.
You said in your first sentence:

I was thinking about those types of trips as well for people in close proximity to mountains and oceans (not so much in MN where I'm from).

Then went on to say:

was thinking that charging stations might become commonplace at things like parks so you can simply plug in while you're out and about at your destination to come back to a fully charged car.

Doesn't sound like daily commute talk to me. Regardless, 150 miles still wouldn't be enough range for the type of driving that YOU spoke of. Maybe if I lived in Malibu. The mountains there are within minutes of the beach. Nope! I've read of Malibu residents that ran out of juice in their Tesla's romping through the mountains there. And we know those cars have more than 150 miles of range.

RE: Extended Range
By BioHazardous on 3/8/2011 11:39:05 PM , Rating: 1
My original post..

My reply about the weekend day trips still applies and by your comment about 2 hours to the beach and really close to the mountains, if there was a charging station at your destination then it sounds pretty doable with a 160 mile range. Unless of course by 2 hours you mean driving for 2 hours at a greater than 80mph average.

Obviously I haven't done any real world testing here in MN since I don't own one nor do they sell them here. For now I'll trust the specs within +/- 20% of what they claim versus hearsay.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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