Founded in 2003, Tesla’s debut vehicle is the $109,000 Roadster sports car. The 300th Roadster was recently delivered to its owner and the waiting list includes more than 1,000 wannabe owners.
The Model S, which Tesla touts as the first mass-manufactured all-electric car, will cost $57,400, or $49,900 after tax credits.
Elon Musk, Tesla Motors’ chief executive, and chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, debuted the Model S to a gathering and industry analysts and the media March 26 in Hawthorne, Calif.
According to a report in the New York Times, Musk said, “When gas savings are taken into account, buying a Model S will be comparable to buying a $35,000 Ford sedan. Would you rather have this car (the Tesla) or a Ford Taurus?”
Tesla is seeking funding for the vehicle via a hopeful $450 million government loan and private finances via several high-profile investors, including the co-founders of Google.
According to Tesla, the Model S will travel 300 miles on one battery charge, and it can be recharged in 45 minutes. The car will seat five adults and two children in rear-facing seats in the trunk. The console features a touch screen with touch connected to the Internet.
According the the Times’ report, the Model S could be available im mid-2011, but that will depend on securing the government loan and a production plant. A pending deal with a plant in Southern California is in negotiation.
Tesla has spent $50 million developing the Model S and needs $250-300 million more, according to Musk. Production of the first Model S could take 2 1/2 years.
Article Last Updated: March 27, 2009.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.