Tesla Model S The moon shot for batterycar market Business

8 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Tesla Model S The moon shot for batterycar market Business отключены
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S: The moon for battery-car market

CNBC’s Greenberg and Phil LeBeau a look at the first family from Tesla, the Model S, costs between $57,400 and The range is up to 265 miles fully

By Paul A. Eisenstein, The Detroit

Entrepreneur Elon Musk a major milestone last when his SpaceX became the private company to launch a ship. But that was easy to his next challenge: Making his car maker, Tesla Motors, a competitor beginning with its launch of the Model-S sedan

The battery-electric car, which for $50,000 to a bit over $100,000, be delivered to its initial customers and then will be made for test drives later summer for customers with

While Tesla has gotten of attention for its previous $109,000 a high-performance, two-seat sports the 2013 Model-S will be its mainstream passenger car. The car is likely its make-it-or-break-it attempt for the Valley startup, which has run up off more than $750 since its founding in 2003. stock (TSLA) was up 4 percent .

“If it delivers on its promises not in sales volume, but also in and reliability the S will propel into the black and provide capital to develop of the next of Tesla vehicles,” said car analyst John Odell, of the data firm Edmunds.

But Musk and company have some big promises with little history to show can deliver.

The Detroit Bureau

Motors CEO Elon Musk a Model S.

The South African-born made his fortune as one of the founders of He has used the billions he got for selling company to fund what skeptics might call a of fantasies. In a conversation with Musk revealed he has been with both space and with electric propulsion his childhood.

PayPal made it for him to enter both fields

After a series of initial SpaceX finally succeeded in the Dragon capsule into docking with the International Station and safely returning the to earth. The company will now ahead with a NASA while working on plans to a manned version of the Dragon.

meanwhile, is already working up for an array of products, including the X crossover set for introduction next But first, it has to convince a skeptical that they want the Model S, which carries a price of $49,900 after a receives a $7,500 federal tax

That’s a big “if.”

Electric have been around for a century. Henry Ford’s Clara preferred an electric to her husband’s dirtier Model T, and had hoped his friend and legendary Thomas Edison might up with a long-range battery might make the electric more competitive. He failed, and so generations of inventors to follow.

Ford Motor Co.

Henry with the electric vehicle by wife Clara over his T.

Even the most advanced batteries still carry about 1 percent of the energy of a mass of gasoline. The Nissan the first modern battery-electric from a major manufacturer 24 kilowatt-hours of LiON cells or the equivalent of about two-thirds of a of petrol, according to the EPA. The agency calculates a gallon is to 33.7 kWh.

The Leaf, most of its new competitors such as the Focus Electric, the Mitsubishi and the upcoming Toyota RAV4-EV can only enough batteries to get 75 and 100 miles per charge, a key factor in rejection, according to industry

All told, battery-electric vehicles, or as well as plug-in hybrids increase range by adding a gasoline motor, accounted for than 25,000 U.S. last year. And while have been projecting growth this year, hasn’t materialized during the five months of 2012. sales have actually while the Chevrolet Volt are up, but not nearly enough to meet a target.

“We firmly that the electric-car sales will continues (to) though it will be slow,” Musk acknowledged in a recently blog posting.

Tesla has targeted sales of Model S sedans during launch year, with expected to double in 2013. It that 10,000 customers already plunked down deposits.

That would be a improvement from the total of 2,150 2-seat Roadsters has sold since 2008. But the battery-car was as much publicity as proof-of-concept, helping generate especially when high-profile like actor-cum-activist George drove off in one.

One reason for optimism is that the maker is in enough batteries to downplay, if not offset, so-called range It will offer a standard battery pack it claims yield about 160 miles of per charge, with optional and 300-mile packs.

The largest contains a whopping 85 kWh of lithium more than three the size of what’s in the Nissan yet still equal to barely 2.5 of gas. But the EPA rates the hyper-efficient S at 89 MPGe, or miles per gallon-equivalent. The meanwhile, slightly downgraded the range rating for the car, the pack showing just 265 on its Munroney window sticker.

a motorist could just in a drive from New York to with the 85 kWh package. But more that would allow a to run around without constantly about making it home or to find a public charging of which there remain few.

Tesla Model S

Charging times will meanwhile. Using the most Tesla system could cut to as little as about 3 to 4 hours, to the maker. That charger requires more current the typical U.S. home provide.

With a more charger that time climb to as much as 18 hours, to TheDetroitBureau.com’s calculations.


has targeted sales of 5,000 S sedans during this year, with volumes to double in 2013. It claims 10,000 customers have plunked down refundable

At $49,900, the lowest-cost version of the Model S is in line with a of similarly sized luxury in fact, about $10,000 than the $59,825 list for the Lexus GS hybrid. Meanwhile, an fully-loaded Tesla Model S the 85 kWh battery and range-boosting aero comes in at $101,550 or roughly the as a well-appointed version of the Fisker plug-in hybrid.

“Tesla have no problem finding the wave of buyers for the first of years, as evidenced by the 10,000 they have already said Jesse Toprak, analyst with TrueCar.com. bigger challenge will be to the mass market to consider the S, which means going the trendsetters and convincing the average that the economics of the car makes

That is anything but a “slam Toprak cautioned, adding Tesla may need to come up an attractive lease program to out to buyers who might be interested but skeptical of the viability of actually a battery car.

Complicating matters, Tesla have to move the metal only 14 stores around the Nissan has at least that dealers handling the Leaf in states. Musk’s team is that its high-tech approach, online marketing and deposits, overcome the showroom limitations.

The certainly has to hope so. It ran up $759 in losses since its founding the red ink in recent quarters as it halted of the original Roadster. Without the of a $465 million loan the Dept. of Energy today’s launch would have occurred.

Meanwhile, Tesla now has a new to support, a suburban San Francisco that had served for two decades as a venture between General and Toyota. Toyota took control after GM’s then closed it before the Fremont plant to Tesla.

The news for Tesla is that also invested $50 million the nascent manufacturer and is using a battery drivetrain in its own new battery the RAV4-EV. Meanwhile, Tesla is working on several projects Germany’s Daimler. But while deals will generate much-needed revenue, it’s S, then Model X and other now in development that will determine Tesla’s fate.

official sales launch actually start with S number three. The first car was quietly delivered to Silicon entrepreneur and early Tesla Steve Jurvetson early month. The second car went to himself.

As with SpaceX, the boyish-looking has plopped down a significant of his own capital to fund the launch of But while he may come across as and driven he seldom seems to be As with the potential for commercial ventures he is ever-confident in the long-term of electric propulsion.

Even if fails, he told TheDetroitBureau.com year, he is sure the technology ultimately prove successful.

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