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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: 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.


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