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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 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.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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