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Side view of Tesla Model S prototype at unveiling in Santa Monica. Photo by Sam Smith.
Side view of Tesla Model S all-electric prototype at unveiling in Santa Monica. Photo by Sam Smith.

Our First Look: Tesla Model S

Team EV World partner gets first-hand look at Tesla's next generation electric car.

By Sam Smith

Tesla Motors unveiled their long-awaited, pure electric sedan Model S for Southern California customers in their Santa Monica showroom. There was an enthusiastic crowd on hand when the pearl white four door sedan was uncovered.

The vehicle is a four door sedan which was reported as capable of carrying seven passengers. Compared to the Tesla Roadster, this is a full sized automobile. The design is very attractive with excellent styling and exterior fit and finish. Because this is still considered a preproduction vehicle, the interior was not available for viewing.

The Model S has a unique hatch which allows for oversize cargo and a 60/40 split, flat folding rear seat. There is also additional trunk space under the hood. The Tesla spokesman said the Model S will have a range up to 300 miles on a single charge. It will have a 45 minute quick-charge capability and will be capable of charging from 120V, 240V or 480V service. The vehicle battery pack is also designed for the quick (5 minute) battery pack swap option.

The pure electric Model S is capable of 0-60 MPH in 5.6 seconds. Tesla claims it will be twice as efficient as the current hybrid vehicles. They stated that the electric drive train comes from a leading manufacturer with a proven track record of performance and reliability. Although the interior was not available for viewing, the Tesla spokesman stated that the interior will feature a 17 inch multipurpose touchscreen that will serve for both control and entertainment.

The Model S has a current base price of $49,900 and Tesla is taking reservations (and deposits) for deliveries beginning in 2011. As of the roll-out they claim to have deposits on more than 900 vehicles. If the production model of the vehicles has the same fit and finish as the prototype, it will be very popular. The original Tesla Roadster is a very attractive vehicle and gets rave reviews from those who own it or have the opportunity for a test drive. Based on the appearance, and the attractive pricing, the Model S should be a winner for Tesla.

Tesla Model S sedan

Sam Smith is the managing partner of EV World & Associates LLC (a.k.a. 'Team EVWorld), the independent, professional consulting arm of EV World.com.

Times Article Viewed: 9501
Published: 20-Apr-2009

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