Tesla has given the full reveal on the all-electric Model S. The company’s first sedan will start at $57,400. Tesla is promoting this as a family car, and that’s not hard to believe with seating for up to seven. This sedan has normal seating for five full adults, but it also is taking a page from the old station wagons and has a child-size set of reward facing seats.
Just like the rest of the domestic automakers, Tesla’s Model S comes with a list of options. The standard car comes with a lithium-ion battery pack that is good for 160 miles, but there will also be battery packs good for 230 and 300 miles. The base Model S will do 0-60 mph in under six seconds, and a optional sport version should shave about a second off that time. All cars will be electronically limited to a top speed of 130 mph.
Tesla says the Model S can be charged in any 110V, 220V or 440V outlet. While the 440V takes a convenient 45 minutes for a full charge, we may be a little displeased with having to devote a room in our homes just for the new electrical set up required for 440V service.
UPDATE 01/20/11: Months of research and development has finally led to this point. Tesla is now in the middle of running the first of two stages of testing for the Model S. The first phase, which is called the ’Alpha’ phase, has been running for a few months now, will continue on as the Model S is subjected to extensive testing in all types of climates. Before the car is green-lighted for production, the Model S will need to complete both the Alpha and Beta test phases the feature a thorough examination using computer simulations and test vehicles. In this video released by Tesla, we get a peek at the Model S doing some Alpha road testing. Check it out after the jump to see how far the Model S has come from being just a pipe dream a few years ago.
UPDATE 03/09/11: The price for the highly anticipated Tesla Model S has been set at $57,000 for the Model S with the 160-mile range, or about $49,900 when you deduct the federal tax credit (worth $7,500) when it gets applied. If you think 160 miles isn’t far enough, Tesla is also offering a 230-mile version for $67,000 and the top-of-the-line 300-mile version for $77,000. We’ve also learned that the first 1,000 units of the Model S that will be sold in Noth America will be Signature Series editions that will come with the range topping 300-mile battery pack, which will begin to go on sale in the middle of 2012. Eventually, the base model and the mid-range model will be available later in 2012 with Tesla setting a 5,000-unit benchmark for 2012 with an expansion of 20,000 units beginning in 2013.
Press release after the jump.
Tesla Motors is now taking orders for the Model S, an all electric family sedan that carries seven people and travels 300 miles per charge.
The Model S, which carries its charger onboard, can be recharged from any 120V, 240V or 480V outlet, with the latter taking only 45 minutes. By recharging their car while they stop for a meal, drivers can go from LA to New York in approximately the same time as a gasoline car. Moreover, the floor-mounted battery pack is designed to be changed out in less time than it takes to fill a gas tank, allowing for the possibility of battery-pack swap stations.
The floor-mounted powertrain also results in unparalleled cargo room and versatility, as the volume under the front hood becomes a second trunk. Combining that with a four-bar linkage hatchback rear trunk and flat folding rear seats, the Model S can accommodate a 50-inch television, mountain bike *and* surfboard simultaneously. This packaging efficiency gives the Model S more trunk space than any other sedan on the market and more than most SUVs.
“Model S doesn’t compromise on performance, efficiency or utility — it’s truly the only car you need,” said Tesla CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk. “Tesla is relentlessly driving down the cost of electric vehicle technology, and this is just the first of many mainstream cars we’re developing.”
Tesla expects to start Model S production in late 2011. The company believes it is close to receiving $350 million in federal loans to build the Model S assembly plant in California from the Dept of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program.
Building on Proven Technology
Tesla is the only production automaker already selling highway-capable EVs in North America or Europe. With 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, the Roadster outperforms almost all sports cars in its class yet is six times as energy efficient as gas guzzlers and delivers 244 miles per charge. Tesla has delivered nearly 300 Roadsters, and nearly 1,000 more customers are on the wait list.
Teslas do not require routine oil changes, and they have far fewer moving (and breakable) parts than internal combustion engine vehicles. They qualify for federal and state tax credits, rebates, sales tax exemptions, free parking, commuter-lane passes and other perks. Model S costs roughly $5 to drive 230 miles – a bargain even if gasoline were $1 per gallon.
The anticipated base price of the Model S is $49,900 after a federal tax credit of $7,500. The company has not released options pricing. Three battery pack choices will offer a range of 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge.
“Model S costs half as much as a Roadster, and it’s a better value than much cheaper cars,” Musk said. “The ownership cost of Model S, if you were to lease and then account for the much lower cost of electricity vs. gasoline at a likely future cost of $4 per gallon, is similar to a gasoline car with a sticker price of about $35,000. I’m positive this car will be the preferred choice of savvy consumers.”
The standard Model S does 0-60 mph in under six seconds and will have an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph, with sport versions expected to achieve 0-60 mph acceleration well below five seconds. A single-speed gearbox delivers effortless acceleration and responsive handling. A 17-inch touchscreen with in-car 3G connectivity allows passengers to listen to Pandora Radio or consult Google Maps, or check their state of charge remotely from their iPhone or laptop.
Tesla is taking reservations online and at showrooms in California. Tesla will open a store in Chicago this spring and plans to open stores in London, New York, Miami, Seattle, Washington DC and Munich later this year.