Everyone loves Tesla. I honestly think that their craziness has spurred electric vehicle research across the board. They wanted to see a green car, and instead of doing it the old "tiny, slow, and impractical" model, they went "tiny, blazingly fast, and impractical" instead. The difference, of course, is that crazy rich people pay top dollar for tiny, blazingly fast and impractical cars every day. So really...why not make them green too?
But the long-term goals of Tesla have little to do with the Roadster, an all-electric car with a zero-to-sixty time of around 4 seconds. What they really want to do is bring EVs into the mainstream by appealing to the ultra-wealthy, then to the wealthy, and then to the middle class.
Well, Tesla is taking that second step now, with plans to build a $250 M plant to create its Model S luxury sedan. The sedan will be all-electric and theoretically cost around $60,000. This is certainly cheaper than the Roadster ($109k) but it's still in the realm of ultra expensive.
The problem with the Model S is that it's quite likely to remain somewhat impractical. With current technology, a vehicle this size couldn't have a range of more than 250 miles. That provides an inconvenience that luxury customers will be very unused to. If there's anything luxury sedan drivers hate, it's inconvenience.
Of course, there is a strong possibility that the car will have a plug-in hybrid option, making the it much more versatile.
The factory will be paid for by $100 M in series E financing and a $150 M government guaranteed loan. At least the big banks aren't the only one's benefiting from the government these days.
written by Grant, September 18, 2008
written by DennisSC, September 18, 2008
written by Grant, September 22, 2008
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