Tesla Motors delivered its first electric Model S sedan over the weekend at its factory in Fremont, California. The financially challenged company – it has never earned a profit – says it will build 5,000 electric vehicles by the end of 2012, followed by 20,000 cars in 2013. Tesla claims it has received more than 10,000 reservations worldwide for the Model S. Deliveries of Model S in Europe and Asia will begin in early and mid-2013, respectively.
The base price of Model S is $57,400 and ranges to more than $100,000, but there are taxpayer subsidized federal credits of $7,500 possible, as well as other state tax credits, rebates, sales tax exemptions, free parking, commuter-lane passes and other subsides for those rich enough to consider buying the EV.
The starting model comes equipped with the 40 kWh battery, 19-inch all-season tires, black microfiber interior and ersatz leather, a 17″ touch screen, a 200-watt, seven-speaker stereo system with AM/FM and HD radio tuners, a Universal Mobile Connector and J1772 adapter. The EV also has eight airbags.
The first 1,200 Model S vehicles delivered in North America will be Signature models – $95,400+ – with a large and expensive 85 kWh battery. This requires a reservation payment of $40,000 – U.S. or Canadian – to the company whose future is riding on the success of the car.
The Model S has electric powertrain that delivers a new EPA record for electric vehicle range of 265 miles and a 0-to-60 mph time of less than 5 seconds with the biggest battery. It will ultimately come with three battery options – 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh. Traveling at 55 mph, the kWh figures can be translated to the stated range capabilities of 160, 230, and 300 miles, respectively, according to Tesla. For owners Tesla assumes that average energy usage per mile is about 300Wh/mile (188Wh/km). Using the EPA Miles per Gallon Equivalent or MPGe (1 gallon of gasoline=33.7 kWh), the EV is rate at 89 combined, 90 highway and 88 city- 38 kWh per 100 miles.
Tesla has only 22 company-owned stores or galleries worldwide. The company will open four additional stores and galleries this summer at 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California, Fashion Square in Scottsdale, Arizona, Washington Square in Portland, Oregon, and on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Florida. Tesla plans to open about twelve New Design retail stores and galleries worldwide in 2012, mostly in North America.
In its 10Q SEC filing for Q1 2012, Tesla said it had revenues of $30.1 million while posting a net loss of $91 million. There are 104,784,343 shares outstanding – 45% held by insiders – for Tesla Motors, which trades on the NASDAQ: TSLA. Since inception in 2003, Tesla has incurred significant losses, using about $495 million of cash in operations through 31 March 2012.Tesla has delivered 2,300 Roadsters – at also ~$100,000 – to customers worldwide since its 2008 introduction.