Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors has announced their Model S sedan. This is a four door vehicle with a price tag less than half of their electric Roadster. Availability is targeted for late 2011 and has several improvements over the Roadster besides the reduced price tag and two additional doors.

It has seats for five adults, a hatchback and additional trunk space under the hood.  The range depends on the battery pack installed. They come in  in 160-mile, 230-mile or 300-mile range models.  Using a standard 110-volt wall socket, expect recharge times in the four hour range, which all things considered isn’t too bad.  You can hook your charging outlet up to a timer and recharge during non-peak hours in the middle of the night.

Like it’s older Roadster brother, the Model S is capable of decent performance. Zero to Sixty in six seconds.   The first models will be rear wheel drive, with four wheel drive coming in later models.

If this isn’t geeky enough for you, toss in a 17″ touchscreen and 3G wireless.  Yes, you will be able to stream Pandora while crusing around in your performance electric sedan.  If Tesla tosses in a WiFi hotspot option, you can chat on Skype as well.

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8 Responses

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  2. They’re set to offer it multiple ranges. What I wonder is what running things like A/C, or the heat does to the battery life? Also how well does it do in subfreezing temps? Recharge time?

    That’s the problem with Electric vehicles – what the typical consumer expects in terms of performance(operating at 0F-100F, while keeping the cabin at 70F, with a 300mile+ range and a “recharge” time(IE how long it takes to fill the gas tank) of 10 minutes or less, costing less than 10c a mile to operate.. with no balloon cost of major replacements in 5 years(Li-Ion battery tech has a shelf life)..

    Electrics can’t do that. And until they can get close to doing that, it’s gonna be a nonstarter outside of toys for the rich econuts.

  3. Valid points. Also keep in mind that Telsa is where Henry Ford was when he started out.

    You are also mocking their very valid funding plan. Yes, rich people are funding a lot of their development by paying early adopter prices. Would you prefer the do it with tax dollars?

    Bottom line, Tesla Motors produces a car that gets rave reviews from Car & Driver and other industry magazines. I’d rate them a praise worthy American business success story so far.

    Most of my driving is well under a hundred miles a day. A run into Boston and back is only sixty, so I wouldn’t worry about running heater or streaming an Outlaw Country mix over the 3G wireless while driving.

    My issue would be wanting four wheel drive for the winter driving. Oh…that’s right, the Model S will have four wheel drive.

    Ok, so my big issue would be the sky high electrical rates here in the Bay State. Well, if I can afford a Model S, I can afford solar panels and hydrogen based generator so I can charge it at night. It would be worth it just to avoid paying the massive gas tax hike our governor is pushing for.

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  5. […] electric compact car A step down from the luxury ride of the Tesla Type S Sedan is the Aptera, a compact sized electric car, which looks like it just rolled off a SciFi movie […]

  6. Not mocking, just pointing out things that too many of those cheerleading such technologies overlook. – the engineer in me can’t help but look for flaws in new technology.

    And it’s not really where Henry Ford was. Henry Ford took the market AWAY from those catering to the rich and selling them “automotive toys” at the turn of the century. He was the first to mass produce a cheap form of transportation to the masses – which is exactly the market they SHOULD be pushing. a cheap, sub 15K 2 door commuter with a 100 mile range(think electric smart car), with an emergency generator.

  7. As you pointed out in another comment, the battery technology isn’t up to snuff to support the wide spread use of electric vehicles. The batteries you need to get enough power into a small enough space just cost too much.

    There isn’t going to be a cheap, sub $15K, electric car until the battery technology improves. Take that compact electric car I posted about. Entirely impractical for most of the United States and the cost estimates are getting into the range of the Tesla Type S.

    It should be a wake up call for folks that an electric car that starts to be comparable with a modern IC powered car is going to cost $50K or more.

    One of the things I admire about Tesla Motors is their business model. They are producing production quality cars and not doing it on tax payer dime.

    The break through technology needed to drive the price down is, IMHO, going to come from the private sector, driven by market pressure.

  8. I admire ANYBODY who can start up a new car company in this day and age. The costs are extreme, and the competition brutal.

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