It looks like Tesla’s sales plan is paying off. The electric carmaker Tesla Motors have already booked over 1000 orders for their Model S sedan, a vehicle that can carry up to seven people for a range of up to 300 miles. The Model S starts at $49,900 after tax rebates, but Tesla claims that the operating costs are so low, that it is rely the equivalent of owning something like a $30,000 vehicle.
Tesla has already put more than 400 examples of their $100,000 electric roadster into the hands of customers. The Tesla Roadster is capable of running from 0 to 60 MPH in only 3.9 seconds, besting most sports cars, while being twice as energy efficient as the Toyota Prius. Roadster owners also benefit from a far lower cost of ownership than comparably priced sports cars, with none of the traditional internal combustion maintenance and the added benefit of the cost of electricity compared to the fluctuating price of gas, an amount that could be back up to $5 per gallon by the end of summer. Tesla believes that owning an environmentally friendly Roadster can add up to a savings of around $26,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle as opposed to say, a $100,000 Porsche.
Tesla Motors CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk believes that “despite the enormous environmental benefits, lower total cost of ownership will soon become the primary motivation for consumers to evolve from gas guzzlers to EVs.”
Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors are very similar in their intent to mass-produce electric vehicles for a wide range of consumers, but how they are planning to get the public behind the wheel couldn’t be any more different.
Fisker plans on licensing their products to already established dealerships to sell their Karma Sedan and Karma Sunset convertible. This will streamline the process from the initial manufacturing to the final sale of the electric vehicles. Benefits of this approach include established logistics and knowledge of what it takes to sell to the local clientele.
On the other hand Tesla dealerships will be owned and operated by the environmentally friendly automotive manufacturer. This will give them more control over the sales and service aspect regarding the open air Roadster and Model S sedan. This approach is a risky one because at the moment Tesla only has outlets in California, but with an added cost are planning to open retail outlets in major population centers around the U.S. in places like Chicago, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C.; and across the pond in London.
Tesla’s Model S just debuted last week, and the company is already reporting 520 reservations for the all-electric sedan. Hopefully it can keep up with production demands when the sedan appears in 2010. Tesla has produced about 320 of the 1,100+ orders of the Roadster since production began about a year ago.
Last week Tesla revealed its Model S sedan, but one interesting element that was left out of the debut material was the dashboard. The whole car is controlled through one large touchscreen. Everything from climate control to navigation is on this one panel. It also offers a 3G data connection to keep up with things like Google Maps and streaming radio.
While this is all very impressive, we’d expect nothing less from an electric car company with a internet millionaire as CEO.
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.
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.
Back in October Tesla lifted the car cover to show us the Model S sedan’s rump , and now the company is back lifting the same same tarp to show us all there is more to this electric car than just its ass. Tesla is in a similar predicament to many of the other larger U.S. auto companies, and it has its hand out to the U.S. Government for aid. Because of this the company is looking to get as much as publicity as possible, the Model S sedan has been promised to make its debut on March 26 — right around the same time it will hear about its loans from the Department of Energy.
If all goes right the Tesla’s sedan will hit the streets 2011 to the tune of about 20,000 units per year. The price is expected to start under $60,000 (more than half off the Roadster Sport ’s $128,500.) Range for the all-electric sedan is expected to start at around 160 miles but may possibly be available in a model that has an extended range to as much as 240 miles.
Trying to steal a little thunder from Fisker’s introduction of the Karma , Tesla introduced a quicker version of its Roadster called the Sport. The Roadster Sport does 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, compared with 3.9 seconds for the standard Roadster . Telsa says this new performance comes from a hand-wound stator and increased winding density for lower resistance and higher peak torque. The Roadster Sport also has an improved suspension with adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars that Tesla will tune to the driver’s preference.
Although Tesla has only delivered 150 of the standard Roadster, it says that anyone of the 1,100 people still on the waiting list can upgrade to the Sport model. But the upgrade doesn’t come cheap. Sales of the Sport model will begin in late June at a price of $128,500, about a $28,000 jump from the standard Roadster.
Tesla wants a piece of the bailout pie. It got a $40 million shot in the arm back in October, but now it thinks $350 is the magic number. The original plan was to be in full swing production of the Tesla Roadster by now, but only 100 of 1200 orders have been filled. Now Tesla is trying to entice Government aid by releasing more details on the next step, the Model S sedan .
Although the Roadsters are still in jeopardy, plans to start showing off the five-passenger sedan are still being announced. The Model S may be revealed within the next few months. It is rumored to do 0 to 60 mph in less than six seconds, while the range is 240 miles on a single charge. Tesla is believes that the sedan’s $57,499 price will provide a more everyday electric alternative to the $109,000 Roadster.
Will an electric for the people be enough to bring the Government on board? Time will tell, but the Model S’s planned debut in 2010 will put it against some stiff competition like the cheaper Chevy Volt .
Who knew the folks over at Brabus are really Star Trek nerds? The German tuning house got its hands on a Tesla Roadster , and while it didn’t add any engine performance parts, it did manage to add sound effects.
The car comes with the usual type of body enhancements. This new kit includes a carbon-fiber front apron, new daytime running LEDs integrated in the front bumper activated by the keyless fob or by pulling the door handle, matte-white surrounds for the headlights, new carbon-fiber air inlets, a new rear spoiler and a new carbon-fiber diffuser. The kit is completed by the Brabus Monoblock S light-alloy wheels in size 7Jx18 in front and in size 8.5Jx19 in back.
What makes this kit interesting (geeky) is that it features a "space sound generator". This is a system that simulates the engine sounds such as a V8 engine, a racecar engine and two futuristic soundscapes named "Beam" and "Warp".