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.