Tesla is expanding its retail network to three new locations in Washington, Illinois, and California this month, laying the groundwork to deliver its long-awaited Model S sedan to customers in 2012.
The Tesla Bellevue Square, WA, store opened recently with a display of a Model S Beta prototype and Model S drivetrain components. Stores will also open in Chicago’s Oakbrook Center on November 12, and in Newport Beach, CA at Fashion Island on November 18.
The stores are designed to demonstrate Tesla’s advanced technology the benefits of driving electric, according to Tesla CEO and Co-founder Elon Musk. They feature hands-on exhibits, interactive touch-screen experiences, and a design center where customers can customize their own Model S.
The Model S seats five adults and two children, the company says. It comes with three battery-pack options, 160, 230 or 300 mile range. It can be recharged using any conventional outlet and is capable of a fast charge in 45 minutes. Reportedly some 6,000 customers have already reserved the EV,
Tesla has been selling the Roadster, its two-seater electric sports car since 2008 for about $109,000 each. The Model S is aimed at reaching a broader market; it has a starting price of $49,900, after a federal tax rebate. (The longer-range versions of the Model S cost 10,000 to 20,000 more.)