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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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Natural Gas and Biodiesel Research
By RedemptionAD on 3/9/2011 10:43:45 AM , Rating: 2
I don't hear much about natural gas research for vehicles any more. And they canned the Biodiesel subsidies right before a few companies were going to mass production. Both of these things the USA has in abundance. Oil in large part is middle east, Russia, some south America as well. EV materials are Rare Earth Metals which China has 97% of the production for. What are these politicians trying to do?




RE: Natural Gas and Biodiesel Research
By Dr of crap on 3/9/2011 12:14:18 PM , Rating: 2
If you don't know by now.....


RE: Natural Gas and Biodiesel Research
By RedemptionAD on 3/9/2011 12:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
Then we as citizens do nothing why? I hear people say next election, but they are screwing us over now, election or not. China has a lot of our low cost labor, $900B of out debt and soon our source of fuel to our cars, WTF? I'm all for a global economy, but why don't we just hand them all the keys to our country. Then be like you know those human rights violations you do that we condemn? Well, do that here too.


By RedemptionAD on 3/9/2011 12:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
The ratio in nature is 3 girls to every guy. The ratio in China is 10 guys to every girl.


By Dr of crap on 3/10/2011 8:17:14 AM , Rating: 2
And you think by electing the "right" person that you can make any kind of change?
Not going to happen. Electing politicans will not get you what you want.
When we all understand that, then we can start to make changes!


By BioHazardous on 3/9/2011 1:14:56 PM , Rating: 2
Biodiesel is still progressing rapidly. There's a patent app out there pending for a way to utilize water treatment plants of our sewage lines which skims the lipid wastes off the top. I don't know the specifics on how it works but it's basically a skimming process and the costs to produce a gallon of biodiesel from that waste was next to nothing.

Then there's algae which can be economically viable at 5000 gallons per acre yield.

Now there's this cyanobacterium which is supposed to be capable of 15,000 gallons per acre.

So Biodiesel will grow organically without any government subsidies is my guess since it's economically viable with the above mentioned sources.


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