takes more than 500 Model
S reservations in a Week and delivers a Record 104 Roadsters in March
Tesla Motors has taken 520 reservations
for the Model S, an all-electric family sedan that carries up to seven
people and travels up to 300 miles per charge.
Tesla launched the car March 26, and
orders immediately began streaming in online and at showrooms in
California. Tesla plans to open stores in Chicago, London, New York,
Miami, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Munich this year.
"Frankly the number of cars reserved in
the first week has exceeded our optimistic internal projections," said
Tesla CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk. "Enthusiasm
surrounding the Model S is proof that there's pent-up demand for more
affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles - including those made in America."
The Model S will likely be the world's
first mass-produced, highway-capable electric vehicle when production
begins in late 2011. The company has applied for a $350 million loan
from the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle
Manufacturing Program, which would be used to build the Model S assembly
plant in California.
The Only Car You Need
The Model S can be recharged from any
120V, 208V or 240V outlet or quick-charged from an external direct
current supply in only 45 minutes. You can recharge the car during rest
stops or meal breaks, enabling the Model S to go from L.A. to New York
in approximately the same time as a petrol car.
The Model S does 0-60 mph in 5.6
seconds, and will have an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph. A
17-inch touchscreen with in-car 3G connectivity means you can listen to
Pandora Radio or consult Google Maps, or check the car's state of charge
remotely on your iPhone.
The anticipated base price of the Model
S is $49,900 after a government tax credit of $7,500 in the US. The $5,000
reservation fee is refundable, and the car is a better value than far
If you account for the much lower cost
of electricity vs. gasoline at a likely future cost of over $4 per
gallon, the Model S is equivalent to buying a gasoline car with a
sticker price of about $35,000, such as a Ford Taurus. Importantly,
those savings are realized immediately if you lease a Model S, so there
is no need wait years to earn back the price difference.
Three battery pack choices will offer a
range of 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge. The company has not released
Tesla also is taking reservations for
the Model S Signature Edition with a $40,000 reservation fee. Tesla will
produce only 2,000 Signature Edition cars, which will be the first built
and have unique interior and exterior features. Signature Edition cars
will be evenly split between U.S. and European customers.
Tesla is the only production automaker
selling highway-capable EVs in North America or Europe today. With 0-60
mph in 3.9 seconds, the Roadster outperforms almost all sports cars in
its class, yet is more than twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius
and delivers 244 miles per charge.
Tesla delivered 104 Roadsters to
customers in March, marking the first triple-digit delivery month in the
company's history. Tesla delivered over 170 cars in the first quarter -
more than the total delivered in 2008.
Tesla has delivered about 320 Roadsters
so far. The base price of the Roadster is $101,500 after a $7,500
goverment tax credit.
not require routine oil changes, and have far fewer moving (and
breakable) parts than internal combustion engine vehicles. They qualify
for federal and state tax credits, rebates and sales tax exemptions. The
Roadster costs roughly $4 to drive more than 240 miles - a bargain even
if gasoline were less than $1 per gallon.
Tesla plans to introduce more
affordable cars and partner with other automakers to help them produce
mass-market EVs. Tesla announced in January it is partnering with
Daimler AG to produce the battery packs and chargers for at least 1,000
"Tesla is relentlessly
driving down the cost of battery technology - similar to what other
technology companies did to make cellular phones and laptop computers
low-cost commodities," Musk said.