In 2008 Tesla motors delivered 150 of its critically acclaimed Roadsters. Even in the harsh economic conditions they plan on ramping up production in 2009. They plan to increase the rate of production from 15 to 30 cars per week later in the year.
In other Tesla news:
The CEO of Tesla motors, Elon Musk, released more details about the much anticipated Tesla S sedan. The sticker price will be $57,499, which is about half the price of the $109,000 Roadster model. The government tax credit for electric vehicles brings the price down to $49,999. “If you take into account the $10,000 to $15,000 you might spend on gas with a conventional car, the Model S drops to $34,000 to $39,000,” says Musk.
Tesla hopes to have a running prototype by the end of February 2009, and the production model should be ready in 2011.
Tesla received a infusion of $40 million in convertible debt financing from its investors this week. The board approved the cash to speed up the manufacturing process of the Tesla Roadster.
“Forty million is significantly more than we need,” said Elon Musk, Tesla Chairman and CEO. He goes on to say “However, the board, investors and I felt it was important to have significant cash reserves.”
Not only will the money help with production, but they will also use the cash to expand Tesla’s electric powertrain supply business and future product development. Tesla, like every other car maker, has recently had some issues due to the economic downturn and credit crunch, but demand for their cars is still high.
Tesla’s planned S sedan that we wrote about last month looks like it might be delayed 6 months. The horrible economic downturn is causing Tesla to go into capital preservation mode which includes possible layoffs and delays. The company was relying taxpayer backed loans to cover most of the development costs, and with those loans rapidly drying up, they may have to go to plan B for the “S” sedan.
Tesla still expects to make 15,000 sedans a year by the end of 2011. The US Dept. of Energy has approved a loan of $150 billion to Tesla which appears to still be on track. The 5 passenger sedan is expected to have a $60,000 price tag, much lower than the $110,000 Tesla Roadster.
On 10/5/08 CBS’s 60 minutes aired a segment about the electric car race. The story highlights the Tesla Roadster, and GM Volt. Also shown are the Fisker Karma, and some smaller electric models. There are interviews with Tesla founder Elon Musk, and Volt VP Bob Lutz. Although there are some inaccuracies about the electric car industry, overall a well done story.
Tesla is set to make a big splash with its introduction of a second car to their lineup - the Model S sedan. The plug in electric model will run on lithium-ion batteries and is said to have a range of 240 miles. If its anything like the critically acclaimed Roadster, it should have plenty of power. Arriving in late 2010, the sedan is set to have a price tag of $60,000, which is significantly cheaper than the Roadster.
The 89 acre facility should employ up to 1.000 green tech workers.
Read the full press release from Tesla here
Fisker is set to enter the high end electric car market with their 4 door sports sedan model - the Karma. In mid August the company annouced full testing of a drivable prototype is going as planned. Recently the company also recieve a funding boost of $65 million dollars from a Qatar based investment group.
The vehicles on track for a late 2009 release are now completely sold out, but they are taking pre-orders for 2010.
Visit the Fisker Automotive site here
Video of a Fisker prototype
An interesting look at the all electric Telsa Roadster as driven by their first official customer - Jay Leno. The groudbreaking technology and performance of this car should quickly filter down to more affordable applications for the everyday consumer.