Tesla Motors is set to begin deliveries of its upcoming Model S premium electric sedan on June 22 to select customers, the electric car manufacturer announced today. This puts it slightly ahead of schedule for original July planned deliveries of the nearly $50,000 vehicle (this price is after a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric cars).
The Model S from Tesla is a vehicle the company has been building its future around for awhile, particularly since it effectively retired the first generation electric Roadster as its main stable vehicle. We first brought you news of the Model S in January of 2010, when it was showcased at the Detroit Auto Show. The price has stayed the same since that time, reflecting a desire by Tesla to make this car more affordable, at least as far as luxury electric cars go anyhow.
Tesla notes the Model S is designed from the ground up to be an electric car. The vehicle’s powertrain sits under the floorboard, creating a lower center of gravity. The body of this electric car is aluminum, and offers up a ton of cargo space since it lacks an internal combustion engine or transmission tunnel. It is designed to be a family vehicle, sitting five adults and two children in optional rear facing seats.
How fast you can, as well as how far, will depend upon what level of battery option you choose for the Model S (this also, of course, ups the price). The 40 kWh battery will get you 160 miles of range/0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds/top speed of 110 MPH, while 60 kWh and 85 kWh options will get you 230/300 mile ranges, 0 to 60 in 5.9/5.6 seconds and a top speed of 120/125 MPH, respectively. There’s also an 85 kWh “performance” level, with specs of a 300 mile range, 0 to 60 MPH of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 130 MPH.
Features on the interior which are of note for the Model S include a 17” in-dash touchscreen with Internet capabilities, allowing for streaming radio, web browsing and navigation; leather interior; all-glass panoramic roof; and a 200 watt, 7 speaker audio system.
Tesla said it will significantly ramp up production of the car through 2012, hoping to have 5,000 Model S electric sedans delivered by year’s end. With reservations said to currently exceed 10,000 orders, there definitely looks to be a bit of pent up demand for this EV offering. Time will tell if this helps to move the company towards more mainstream acceptance, or instead continued dominance in the niche luxury electric car market.