Tesla Says Model S Platform Will Spawn Minivan, Crossover and Fleet Van Models
Currently shipping the Tesla Roadster drivers in the United States and Europe, Tesla Motors is helping to set the standard for high-performance production electric vehicles. Running entirely on lithium-ion battery cells, the vehicle muster 200 miles per charge and a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds.
Tesla Motors has already announced that its next production vehicle will be the Tesla Model S. With a more family-friendly design and base MSRP roughly half that of the Roadster's $109,000 price tag, the Model S will be the first mass-produced electric vehicle fit for highway driving.
The Tesla Model S carries a sedan body style that will seat up to seven passengers (5 adults and 2 kids). However, seemingly aware that a deeper vehicle lineup is necessary to compete with the old stalwarts of the automobile industry, Tesla Vice President of Business Development, Diarmuid O'Connell, recently announced that the Model S platform will also be used to build minivan, crossover SUV and fleet van variants.
As a Silicon Valley startup, Tesla Motors will be funding the production of all Model S vehicles with the help of a low-interest loan awarded to them via the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Manufacturing Program. Specifically, the money will be used to build and operate a Model S assembly plant in Southern California, as well as a powertrain manufacturing facility in Northern California.
As with the Tesla Roadster, all Model S body styles will incorporate lithium-ion battery technology. Range for the Model S sedan is estimated at 300 miles per battery charge. All vehicles can be charged from a common household outlet, and Tesla promises a 45-minute QuickCharge capability.
No additional details for the minvan, crossover or fleet van have yet to be released. However, base price can be expected to be similar to the Model S sedan, which starts at $49,900 (after federal tax credit). While still expensive, O'Connell is quick to point out that fuel savings result in an equivalent gas vehicle cost of $35,000.
The Tesla Model S sedan reports a top speed of 120 mph and a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds. The sedan is due to be released in 2011, though no release date is yet scheduled for the body variants.