“Tesla Motors has just revealed its Model S Sedan at the SpaceX rocket plant in Hawthorne, California”
SpaceX is also owned by Tesla’s Chief Executive and co-founder of PayPal, Elon Musk, who although said to be worth more than A$500 million, is a keen champion for a greener world.
Mr Musk says that the car will be built in California and initial customers can expect delivery during 2011.
Interestingly, you will be able to select three different power configurations, that’s a 257-kilometre, 370-kilometre and 482-kilometre battery packs.
The base model comes standard with the 257-kilometre pack, and will retail for US$57,400 in the United States, but a federal tax credit will mean a US$7500 reduction from the price.
At this point Tesla have not revealed prices on the longer-range battery packs but Mr. Musk did say that these variants could be leased or even rented for long trips.
With the battery packs said to last between seven-to-10 years, and while they can be exchanged or replaced, there is no reported price to do so as yet.
The long range Model S will weight about 1800 kilograms and is said to have a top speed of 209km/h.
Acceleration is impressive, with 0-100km/h being tackled in less than six seconds. If you don’t need to transport five people, you might want to order the Tesla Roadster, which will rocket to 100km/h in just four seconds.
The model S was originally penned by Henrik Fisker of Fisker Khama (another electric car company) fame, but the car was re-styled by Franz Von Holzhausen, who joined Tesla last year after working for Mazda.
But the Model S is no ordinary sedan (apart from being electrically powered) as it can accommodate up to seven people or you can fold the rear seats down, and turn the car into a wagon.
This seating flexibility is achieved with side-facing seats in the rear, but the really cool thing is, you can also fit a 50-inch LCD TV in there, or even a surfboard, but that’s instead of the additional people.
The car shown above has a glass roof, which will also be available on the production model.
The company is planning a production run of up to 20,000 Model S a year once the factory is at full capacity in 2012. However, the go ahead on this particular Tesla model depends on whether the company receives an A$500 million loan from the Department of Energy.