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Tesla’s electric family car attracts massive interest

Hot ticket: The Tesla Model S electric-powered family car is in hot demand.

Tesla Motors takes 520 Model S reservations – at $US40,000 each – in first week

6 Apr 2009

TESLA Motors revealed last week that it had taken 520 reservations – at $US40,000 ($A55,600) each – for its all-new Model S since the seven-seat electric vehicle (EV) was launched on March 26.

“Frankly, the number of cars reserved in the first week has exceeded our optimistic internal projections,” said Tesla chairman and chief executive Elon Musk.

“Enthusiasm surrounding the Model S is proof that there’s pent-up demand for more affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles – including those made in America.” As reported last week, the Model S will enter production in late 2011 and its future could hinge on whether Tesla Motors secures a $US350 million loan from the US government.

This first wave of orders, which amounts to $US20.8 million, will support its case.

To be priced from $US49,990 ($A69,500), the Model S is being touted as the world’s first mass-produced, highway-capable electric vehicle. Tesla claims the vehicle will offer a range of 300 miles (483km) on a single charge, along with acceleration from 0-100km/h in less than six seconds.

55 center imageFrom left: Tesla Model S and the Lotus-based Tesla Roadster.

Reservations are being taken for the initial batch of 2000 “Signature Edition” Model S variants, which will feature unique interior and exterior features.

Meanwhile, the Tesla Roadster has travelled 388km on a single charge – a record for a production EV – in the Rallye Monte Carlo d’Energies Alternatives, answering critics who have lamented the vehicle’s perceived lack of range.

According to Le Blog Auto, the two-seater Tesla travelled from Valence, France, to Monaco, across a route that included slow-speed driving, mountain passes and highway cruising. The indicator reportedly said that the car could run for another 61km.

Read more:

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First look: Tesla uncovers Model S sedan

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