Tesla will be showing off a prototype of their $60,000 Model S luxury sedan next month. The car is the next step in Tesla's plan to make electric vehicles cheap and available to all. This step from a $110,000 car to a $60,000 car is certainly a big one...and all they need to do is halve it again to get to the level of a Chevy Volt! Albeit with no backup system and only a 200 mile range.
Tesla looked as if it was going to have to stall out plans to build the Model S, as they were running short on cash and needed several hundred million dollars to build the Model S factory. Fortunately for them, the Department of Energy will likely be granting them a $350 M loan for the factory. They hope to have those funds in "four to five" months.
The Model S represents Tesla's opportunity to become a truly significant company that makes an actual impact on the environment. But it's also the company's biggest risk yet. I've got no problem with the Roadster, but it's a small market and impractical car built for a small-market filled with impractical cars. Buyers of luxury sedans expect a lot more from their cars than buyers of sports cars.
It is yet to be seen if luxury drivers will be able to make the compromises (in range and re-charge times) that electric vehicles currently require. Of course, it's always possible that Tesla will create a range-extended version of the Model S, as they discussed previously.
written by Grant, February 18, 2009
written by richard, February 19, 2009
written by Yamaha Dirt Bikes, February 26, 2009
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