Tesla Model S sedan
|Class||Full-sized 4-door sedan|
|Transmission(s)||Single-speed transaxle gearbox|
|Wheelbase||116.5 in (2,959 mm)|
|Length||196 in (4,978 mm)|
|Curb weight||3,825 lb (1,735 kg)|
|Designer||Franz von Holzhausen|
The Tesla Model S is a full-sized battery electric sedan in development by Tesla Motors. It is an electric car that was codenamed WhiteStar during research and preliminary development. It was announced in a press release on June 30, 2008. The prototype vehicle was displayed at a press conference on March 26, 2009.
Production for the retail market is expected to begin in early 2012, with a base price of US$57,400. The base model will have a range of 160 miles (260 km) when fully charged, and a 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) acceleration of 5.6 seconds. There will also be larger battery packs available with ranges of 230 and 300 miles (370 and 480 km). (The prices for the larger battery packs have not been announced yet.) Normal charging times will be 3 to 5 hours, depending on the battery capacity, and a 45-minute QuickCharge will be possible when connected to a 480 V outlet. In addition, a battery swap will be possible in less than five minutes.
The Model S is being designed as a high performance electric sedan, competing with such cars as the BMW 5-series. This is primarily in order to justify the high costs of high density lithium ion batteries. This business model follows that of the high performance Tesla Roadster sports car, which has a base price of US$109,000 or €99,000.
Initial design was performed by Henrik Fisker, and later re-styled by Franz von Holzhausen who previously worked for Mazda North American Operations.
The chassis, body, motor and energy storage system will likely be unique to Tesla Motors.
Construction of the assembly factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico (a central location for shipping) was supposed to begin in April 2007, but was canceled and production moved to San Jose, California.
On February 1, 2008 it was reported that Tesla Motors was planning to offer a range-extended version of its Model S. This version would include a gasoline engine whose purpose is to extend the driving range of the vehicle. Those plans have been scrapped. Speaking at the GoingGreen conference on September 18, 2008, Musk officially said that Tesla was only pursuing all-electric cars and not hybrids.
On February 12, 2009 Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, officially stated in the Tesla Motors Blog that the prototype car will be revealed March 26, 2009 at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California.
On May 20, 2010 Tesla Motors announced it would form a partnership with Toyota to produce the new lower-priced Model S at the former NUMMI assembly plant in Fremont, California, now known as the Tesla Factory.
|Tesla Model S prototype at the 2009Frankfurt Motor Show|
Initial pricing is estimated at US$57,400 for the standard model with a 160 mi (260 km) range, or US$65,000 for a premium model with greater performance and a 300 mi (480 km) range. These models will be eligible for a US$7,500 federal tax credit in the United States. The company also announced plans to rent or lease high capacity battery packs which offer a 300 miles (480 km) range. Profits from the Model S are expected to fund development of a more affordable third vehicle codenamed "BlueStar". The Model S is said to feature a 17 in (43 cm) touchscreen computer with in-car 3G connectivity, enabling access to online services, or to check the battery's state of charge remotely.
In the first week, Tesla Motors reported 520 reservations for the Model S. The very first Model S has been reserved for Tesla investor Steve Jurvetson. As of May 17, 2009, there were over 1000 reservations according to the Tesla Motors web site. An email sent in mid April to newsletter subscribers stated that pre-orders were up to 2,200. With a minimum deposit of US$5,000 required for each reservation, this totals at least US$11 million in commitment from buyers. Some of these orders are for the Signature Series Model S. These reservations require a US$40,000 deposit and previous Tesla Roadster owners were offered an opportunity to reserve these even before the March 26, 2009 reveal. It is unclear exactly what features will be offered on the limited edition Signature Series (2000 units maximum, split evenly between US & European buyers).
In mid-December, 2010, Tesla announced that the reservation count had passed 3000. Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico, had instructed the General Services Division and other government agencies to consider updating its fleet of cars with 100 Model S cars. Tesla Motors, however, has since elected not to build a plant in New Mexico.
Acceleration of the 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg) vehicle is anticipated to be 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.6 seconds aided by a drag coefficient of 0.28.
The base model will have a range of 160 miles (260 km) when fully charged using a 42 kW·h battery pack (24 kW·h/100 mi, 108 mpgge). Larger, longer range battery pack options will be available as well; the options announced include a range of 230 miles (370 km) from a 65 kW·h pack (26 kW·h/100 mi, 100 mpgge) and a range of 300 miles (480 km) from an 85 kW·h pack (26 kW·h/100 mi, 100 mpgge). The base battery pack will contain 5,000 lithium-ion cells, reported to be sourced from Panasonic, while the larger battery packs will both contain 8,000 cells and weigh approximately 1,200 pounds (540 kg). The largest pack will use the same number of cells, but each cell will have a 30% higher specific energy to enable the pack to store the additional energy. A 45-minute QuickCharge of the 42 kW·h pack will be possible when a 3-phase 480 volt, 100 amp circuit is available (80 amp continuous draw from a 100 amp breaker).
The Tesla Model S is expected to have a swappable battery.