Print 38 comment(s) - last by Jeffk464.. on Aug 1 at 9:57 PM

Tesla Model S
Beta models will be used for testing and for marketing

The Tesla Model S is the next EV that will hit the streets from Tesla. Tesla made its name with the $100,000 Tesla roadster that had an electric driving range of about 200 miles. The problem was that the Roadster cost so much and only held two people making it impractical for the masses.

Tesla has now started the beta production of its new car, the Model S. Like the Roadster, the Model S is an all-electric car with no gasoline motor. The Model S is also a larger vehicle that will hold four adults inside and it is much cheaper than the Tesla Roadster. The Model S is still, however, far from what most would consider affordable  (base price $57,000). 

“We have started assembling the Beta vehicles,” Tesla Motors’ Model S Program Director Jerome Guillen said. ”While most Betas are intended for testing to prepare for production, a few are earmarked for visits to North American Tesla stores later this year.”

The first of the beta vehicles will be used for testing and for press drives.

The S is expected to have a driving range of about 300 miles. The car is about $20,000 more expensive than the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf is rated for 100 miles on a charge, but the real world driving range varies greatly from 80 miles to as low as 60 miles in some areas. The real world driving range of the Model S will likely be lower than the estimates of Tesla.

VentureBeat reports that Tesla is also working on an all-electric SUV called the Model X. It will run on the same powertrain as the Model S. There is no indication at this point when the model X will be seen.

“Alpha” versions of the Model S started rolling off the production line back in January.

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Thoughts and comments
By jrs77 on 7/30/2011 10:21:07 AM , Rating: 1
Well, I do like th econcept of 100% electric cars tbh. Combined with regenerative enegry like solar and wind these are running basically without exhaust gases.

Electric cars are looked at to be a secondary car, but that is the totally wrong approach imho. Most distances people are driving on a daily basis are less then 50 miles, especially when you look at Japan, western Europe and eastcost US. For all these people living in city areas driving from home to work and back these electric cars are the primary car and the cars with more range needing gasoline fuel are purely used for holiday-trips.

The best symbiosis to get the best of both worlds currently is the Chevy Volt (US) or Opel Ampera (EU). It has enough electric range for commuting and if needed can be used to do long trips aswell. However, the prime goal is to have a car that can be used to commute purely by electric drive and be recharged overnight, even if you don't have anything else then your usual 110/220V at home. With 380/400V it gets only better.

The Tesla is a luxury-class car I would say, targeted at early adopters who don't have to think that much about money. Seeing that the BMW i3 that was shown to the public a few days ago is priced somewhere around the $40k mark this becomes obvious. The tech can be offered cheaper, especially if your target is mass-production.
All electric vehicles for the masses have to hit the $20k mark. Something in the size of a VW Golf is sufficient enough for commuting and making a few trips with a family of three to four persons.

The current problem with all electric vehicles is the people living in the outbacks or the profesionals, that need to travel more then 150 miles a day. But this problem can be solved with cars like the Chevy Volt, so I don't really see any reason to still bet or invest on the gas-engines.

Fossil fuel is running out and there's better things to do with gas or oil then to burn it in our cars. Plastics need the oil we're left with and gas is better be used to drive energy-plants where there's no possibilty for solar or wind.

RE: Thoughts and comments
By Jeffk464 on 7/30/2011 11:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think electric cars can cost maybe 25-50% more up front and still be cost competitive. You need to look at the total cost of ownership. This is basically the 2nd production electric car on the market and its upscale so $57,000 doesn't seem to terrible. As more companies mass produce electric cars and battery or fuel cell tech improves the price should drop significantly.

RE: Thoughts and comments
By Spuke on 7/31/2011 11:14:15 PM , Rating: 3
I think electric cars can cost maybe 25-50% more up front and still be cost competitive. You need to look at the total cost of ownership.
Which one did you buy?

RE: Thoughts and comments
By Jeffk464 on 8/1/2011 9:57:46 PM , Rating: 2
2005 Tacoma prerunner, and there weren't many electrics on the market at the time. I also don't drive enough to really care that much about fuel efficiency, but it did convince me to buy the Tacoma instead of an F150. The difference in fuel mileage was probably 15-25%.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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