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Tesla Unveils Model S Electric Sedan

Tesla Motors Inc. unveiled its long-anticipated second model, the four-door Model S battery-electric sedan. The Model S will carry an initial price of $57,400; applying the new $7,500 Federal tax credit for plug-ins will drop the effective price to $49,900. Production is slated to begin in 2011, assuming the funding for the plant is in place.

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The Tesla Model S. Click to enlarge.

The Model S has a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h) and can get to 60 mph in 5.5 to 6 seconds. The base model of the Model S will feature a Li-ion pack supporting a 160-mile (257 km) range, with options under development for 220- (354 km) or 300-mile (483 km) range packs.

Tesla says that rapid charging will recharge the battery pack in 45 minutes. The pack is also designed to be swapped out relatively quickly, in a nod to Better Place’s initiative.

Tesla plans to produce 20,000 Model S sedans a year.



Nice design overall...looks good. The front could be a little better but it could be a lot worse (ahem! Smart).


This looks nice, but there needs to be a new design language -- electric cars don't need grills.

Nick Lyons

Grill is ugly. Air intake is presumably needed for liquid cooled motor and battery pack cooling, but this grille is larger and uglier than necessary. Hope they change it before production. Otherwise it looks OK to me.


Actualy they need a large grill because the radiator works alot worse due to it using much lower temps then a normal car radiator.


Actually they calim a cd of 0.27 that is disapointoing, on an ev it is not a probem to be below 0.2 that would boost the speed and the range, probably wind tunnel test are too expensives for a small company.


I doubt they care much about the CD.

.27 may cut a few mph from the top speed but overall weight will matter more to the Tesla designers.

Buying or driving this car isn't about optimizing anything.

On EVs operating cost per mile won't seem as important. Utility rates do not fluctuate as much as gasoline prices.

And after you have paid $50K for your neat ride what will a buying a few more KWH really mean?

The back window or transparent roof is both horrible and impractical. Unless it can be dimmed electronically the occupants will fry. Still, there is no accounting for taste and someone will love it.


Yes, EVs need a grill, a large grill. The same low temp operation issue for fuel cell vehicles.


They seem to have a need to seem unique and ultra modern. Or maybe they are just trying rationalize the high price.

Just build a car that the people want at a price that they can afford. That is a tried and true formula for success in the car business.


@ SJC,

That would be the ideal. Tesla assumed the batteries were going to price them out of the value-buyer segment.

I wonder if the light weight will make it hard to deliver the feel of a luxury ride. This car could be 2/3rds the weight of a typical German luxury sedan.


Attractive. And a home run for people who buy in this market. Those buyers want something that looks sleek and cool and somewhat future. Don't mind the grill - it gives it a prowler look. The clear roof would only be a problem for people who sit in their car in hot sun regularly - for whom tint is available. And people still love convertibles last I checked.

160 mile range and 45 minute quick charge - very cool.

What we're seeing here is an innovative company creating innovative products for people who built a country on innovation. North Americans will never fall into the one-size fits all category of car buyers. They like variety and innovation and the car makers who give them variety and innovation will sell more cars.

Congratulations Tesla on another winning design!


People may be missing the boat on the market picture. $100,000 toys for stars that sell 1000 units is one thing. $20,000 vehicles that do everything for everyone else it too. But a %50,000+ vehicle that has LESS utility?


People here and naysayers in general refuse to acknowledge the role played by first-to-market technology. The first IBM8080 series 8 bit desktop computers sold for $5,000. US. They are literally on every business desktop today, sell for $700. and are ten times more powerful. Lutz at GM emphasizes that were it not for Tesla's balls to build a Li-on EV the GM Volt program would not have come about.

Get real and quit hiding class envy under a cloak of technical complaints. Not everyone wants a vehicle that does "everything for everyone." It's called "diversity" and it's healthy.


You can have all the diversity you want, but if you want to stay in business, you will make the products that people want at the price that they can afford.

You can stay in business making 1000 units per year at $100,000 per unit, but for how long? Now you are going to sell more units per year at $50,000 each with less range and no charging stations...we will see.

Watch what happens to this in 2011 and beyond. If the idea is that the nation and its investors should fund all diversity and if it fails so what, then the nation and its investors will waste one heck of a lot of money. I see no gain in that.



I thought the people on this board wanted to move transport to EVs?? That's been the hew and cry for the last couple years here. So now you see innovative car makers building EVs to be introduced logically to early adopters and then scaled down into the mass market -- and you whine.

Get real dude. You're getting what you're stamping your feet for. Suck it up, and give credit to those who are actually changing the friggin world and not whining about it!


I have not been for EVs. This is Green Car Congress, not EV Sheep Herd. "Get real dude"...and don't call me dude. Have some open minded critical thought for once. It saves everyone from group think marching right off a cliff together.

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