Tesla debuts prototype of Model S, its new, all-electric sedan

James Raia

Tesla debuts prototype of Model S, its new, all-electric sedan 1Tesla Motors has introduced the prototype of its second all-electric sedan, the Model S, a zero-emission car that will cost about half of the fledgling company’s current exclusive, high-speed sedan.

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.

Tesla debuts prototype of Model S, its new, all-electric sedan 2

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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