Tesla Model S priced at $57,400 ($49,900)

Tesla is gearing up for the official debut of the Model S sedan on March 26. The design shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering the latest teaser image we saw last month has already given us a pretty good idea of what the all-electric sedan will look like. Instead the big news from Tesla today is the pricing. The Model S will start at $57,400, but that is reduced to $49,900 after applying a federal tax credit of $7,500.

Production of the Model S should begin in 2011. We expect Tesla’s sedan to have a range of at least 160 miles from its lithium-ion battery pack, and all this will likely be confirmed at the unveiling next Thursday.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

Tesla will unveil its Model S prototype sedan March 26 at the Tesla design studio inside the SpaceX rocket factory, in Hawthorne, Calif. This is going to be a historic event for car enthusiasts; the Model S will likely be the world’s first mass-produced, highway-capable EV when it rolls off the assembly line in late 2011.

The Model S will have an anticipated base price of $57,400. After a federal tax credit of $7,500, the effective price will be $49,900. Because of tax incentives and relatively inexpensive maintenance and refueling, the lifetime ownership cost will be closer to cars with far lower sticker prices. Tesla executives will provide a lot more product details at the launch party in Southern California, home to Tesla’s design studio and the world’s largest new-car market. The Model S will become the car of choice for environmentally conscious and discriminating drivers throughout North America and Europe. Tesla expects to roughly split initial sales between the two continents, later expanding to Asia.

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