By Ami Cholia
Posting in Energy
Tesla's Model S will run from $57,400 to about $77,400, depending on the range of the car.
Tesla's much awaited Model S will finally hit showrooms in mid-2012 and the first production version of the all-electric car will be the high-end Signature series, priced at $77,400. The Model S Signature will have a driving range of 300 miles, the company said.
The base version of the Model S, with a driving range of 160 miles, will cost about $57400 and the company will also market a mid-level edition, with a range of 230 miles and a price tag of around $67,400. All prices, though, are before any federal, state or local tax credits are applied.
The cheaper models, however, won't be available until later in 2012.
Only about 5,000 will be produced in 2012, though that number is expected to rise to about 20,000 by 2013. Debunking any myths that electric cars are slow and can't compete with their gasoline-powered counterparts, the Model S will go from zero to 60 miles per hour in about 5.6 seconds and has a top speed of about 125 miles per hour.
The car is large enough to seat around seven people, and rumor has it that we will soon see a crossover sedan -- the Model X -- based on the Model S platform.
Currently, Tesla's only available car, the Roadster, which has been in the market since early 2008, costs about $109,000 before tax credits, though the car is about to go out of production by the end of the year. Tesla is pinning much of its future successes based on the Model S.
The Model S will be charge overnight from a 220-volt outlet, or in about 45 minutes from a commercial fast-charging station.
Car manufacturers across the board are launching electric vehicles on a monthly basis and the Model S will have its competition cut out for it. However, with a significantly higher range than the 87-mile Nissan LEAF, Tesla's Model S knows that it's got a huge advantage.
Mar 8, 2011
So much for the initial plan to be in the same price range as a regular luxury car like an Acura or Lexus. $80k is a far cry from the original touted price tag of $50k.
The problem is always the cost of the battery (initial and replacement) and the need for an upgraded costly power grid, capable to provide additional massive power for charging millions of e-vehicles every day. So the sales of e-vehicles will sky-rocket and totally replace conventional vehicles only when rechargeable batteries will be replaced with another, cheap, powerful, environmentally-friendly, long term power source -like nuclear fusion. Or a fusion-battery if you prefer. There is no future for e-vehicles running on rechargeable batteries.
With no real competition they can raise the price. If Aptera could manage at all to get a product on the market it may help drive Tesla price down but I've been waiting for that for three years now. In order for these things to have an impact they must appeal to the masses and at a price like $80k it is just not reasonable. Tesla remains committed to the more affluent pats of society and until they learn to make something that will compete with the Honda Accord they will have little REAL market growth.
the 300 mile range is great but the price is high. the leaf is $50,000 less and may only go 90 miles per charge, but 90% of the daily driving is in that range. It also charges at the same rate as the tesla and it also has a solar panel charger that charges when parked outside.
I wince when I see the price of fuel bandied about by you chaps on the west side of the pond... Over here, regular unleaded is now at least ?1.30 a litre. That's ?6 a gallon, or (at the current exchange rate) very nearly US$10. It's bad enough over here that we rejoice when the price of a litre of fuel doesn't rise every week. Diesel is not ?1.35++ per litre, but the benefits of significantly greater economy still mean it is popular. I plan to move somewhere with a high number of hours of sunshine. Solar power, stored for charging an electric car overnight, will add to the significant up-front costs, but it makes sense.
One of the key issues with electiricity supply is the power generation itself - coal fired, natural gas, oil... it is still fossil fuel. The ultimate source of energy for our planet is the sun. so why not have a network of solar powered charging stations - wind power is another choice. This would take time and careful planning to make it work on any large scale basis - should it be funded by our tax dollars? or left to private industry? or some kind of hybrid cooperative effort? I like cooperation.
@NickV5 #16 lithium, or some other heavy metal. Lithium, a heavy metal, IIRC it comes right after H (1) and He (2). Li (3) has an atomic weight of only 6.941, I had to look that up, I must be getting old. Hummm I am only 72, ouch, that is old. At least I remembered Li was #3 after H and He. No I was not a chemist.
I attended a test-drive day with the Tesla folks and their "Sport" model. They had reasonable-sounding answers for every objection voiced above. Principal among the solutions was an agreement with one or another hotel chain who are already installing charging stations for the quicker-fill options. Tesla supplies a list of power points throughout California; otherwhere may not be as well-primed as California, although the demonstrators described cross-country trips and regular "commutes" between L.A. and the San Francisco area. If you are interested, dig up the Tesla Web site. The Sport is quick, well-put-together, and impressive in just about every respect. Not real kind to taller people, but I reckon the "S" will handle that.
None of the commenters hit the point. People who spend $80,000 for a car couldn't care less about the price of gas. They will want the unique features of electric combined with the luxury features, as well as the cache of driving a limited edition car. I love competition and wish Tesla well.
Wait til we have a real gas crisis, with long lines at the gas station. Electric car owners will be cruising by with a big smile on their faces. We have to wean ourselves off of gasoline, if only to insulate us from Mid East problems.
NickV5, actually lithium is the lightest metal (atomic number 3) and is not particularly toxic to humans and other life. That's not to say there aren't hazards from using it but environmentally it's relatively benign.
A couple of other thoughts on this. . . . I would guess that the batteries are lithium, or some other heavy metal. . . what about the environmental and "hazardous materials" impact with battery changes, accidents, etc., and the environmental impact of making the batteries in the first place. . . Also, I keep hearing about the cost of gasoline, but no one mentions that a significant portion of that is in road taxes (one form or another), yet, for some reason, there is no "road tax" on electricity. . . but you can rest assured that soon the "gumment" is going to figure out that this is happening and they'll start adding it to electricity, one way or another. And, if anyone says the road taxes aren't siginficant then there wouldn't be such a heavy fine for people using gas, diesel, for farm or industrial (non-road use) -- I believe that they run in the range of $5000 if you get caught.
The real problem is even if electric cars became affortable, and everyone could get one, the U.S electric grid could not handle it. They expect that there will be power outages in the U.S in 5-10 years if we don't build another nuclear power plant. Add 50-100 million people driving electric cars and that will be more like 2-4 years if not less. Sure we could build more nuclear power plants but that just adds more problems than it is fixing.
Omnius: Even if gas goes up to $7/gallon you would need to drive the thing nearly 17 years just to break even on the price using your calculations. And that is not considering any maintenance such as battery replacement. Looking at NickV5's post, let's split the difference and call it $30K for a battery swap. That adds another 8 years you need to drive every time you swap out batteries. If they start failiing after about 5 years (being very optimistic here), then you will never make up the difference with this car. Battery prices need to come down fairly significantly in order for these vehicles to be anything other than a luxury item.
Two issues of concern, but T is a great new way to bring in real electric market and prices will fal, if not T''s then at other manufactures. ISSUES are How much REALLY cold weather, zero F and lots of snow testing done. read where volt/leaf did not do real well, heather in volt not great and cold pulls down battery etc. Second, what do most think the plan will be, read tax etc for electrics when politicians find gas taxes falling off for roads etc? Just got to know the pols and special highway/road interests will find a way to screw electrics'
The Tesla Model S uses the same chassis as the Astin Martin Rapide, which sells for $199,000. So I can buy the Tesla and use the extra $121,600 to buy enough electricity to drive 3,648,000 miles. Maybe only 2,000,000 miles if I have to replace the batteries a couple times. See, electric cars can be affordable! And, to be fair, the Tesla is being built as a luxury car. As such, it's price isn't too far out of line with higher end Lexuses, Mercedes and BMWs. pauc1's argument about how much gas he could buy for the price applies just as well to a Lexus LX540. Seriously, though, electric cars are not about saving money, they're about saving us. The United States uses over 360 MILLION gallons of gasoline EVERY DAY. And other parts of the world are doing their best to catch up to that number. The ecological cost can't even be calculated. Any major disruption in that supply will, I believe, collapse the worlds' economies. Electric cars are part of an answer. Yes, they're expensive now. So well-heeled individuals or those who feel strongly enough about the ecology will buy them now. As the manufacturers make more, the price will come down until the rest of us can afford them. The technology for range and charging will improve over time as well. For myself, there are maybe two times a year where I couldn't get by with a car with a 300 mile range. And those two times I could rent a car or fly or take a train. And I am lucky enough to be living in a house where I can plug in. People who live in apartments have a harder time of it unless/until the apartment complexes put in charging outlets.
I spoke to a friend who is very well off in london recently who said that a top of the range bmw would be better all things considered for a long time to come, price & running costs wise.
Doomed to fail. This car will never pay for itself, because the cost of power goes up just as gasoline does.
trx_1 is "spot on," as the Brits say. Only ten years ago, a car with this kind of range, performance, and size would have cost probably $200K, if you could get it at all. Now they're saying $77K. In another five years, it'll cost $50K, go 400 miles, recharge in 20 minutes (at Denny's), carry your whole family, and be all-wheel drive. Sure, I won't be buying one now since I'm not rich, but hopefully in 5 or 10 years I won't need to be.
This model of Tesla is an improvement, no doubt, but still not economical. First, electricity is not free, and there would be a charge no matter where you go. Asking your friend if you could plug in to his electric plug is the same as asking him to siphon from his tank into yours if both were gas. And companies are not going to offer plugs for free. So we have to determine what a '300-mile' electric charge would cost in real dollars. Probably $5 - $10. That gets a person 300 miles and then they must 'refill the tank" - recharge. Assume once per week is an average fill-up. Now you can compare costs of either option - gas car or electric car. Assme a 300 mile range on the car for gas, and done once a week, and now you can begin to compare. Put the average price of a new gas car at what the average public buyer can afford - say $25,000. With gas at $3.25/gallon and the car gets 25 mpg, it takes 12 gal, or $39 to go 300 miles. Work out the simple math and the $77,000 Tesla will begin saving you money after 34.5 years! Now, guess what happens? The Government takes very little action to stabilize the price of gas, like opening oil drilling and new fields that the US already owns, and gas goes to $5, $6, even $7 gallon, and the Tesla starts looking better, doesn't it? Things that make you go "Hmmmmmmnnnn!"
the long range (300 mile) is 20,000 more than the short range (160 mile) model. . . that means the batteries for 140 miles are $20,000, so one can only guess than when new batteries are needed you can't just pick them up at the 7-11 and it will cost you between 20 and 40,000 plus labor to get them installed. (and regarding comment #2, that assumes that the tesla will be able to go 278,640 miles on a set of batteries, your calculations are significantly low!) GULP!!!!! Also, regarding comment #1 that assumes that your friend has a 220 outlet, not that common in the US except for heavy airconditioners, stoves, and electric dryers -- not just a standard plug by any means.
I'm glad to see the range getting up there. Although it's not priced economically, it does show how fast electric cars are advancing. It's a matter of time before a car with similar range will be priced competitively against conventional vehicles. pauc1: You could use that argument for any new gasoline powered vehicle (which would make the Tesla more attractive in comparison)
The cost of that car is so far out of reach for the average person it's not even on the radar of something possible to buy. If this technology is to ever become viable, it better be $25,000 or below in price, or gas will have to go to $15 a gallon, at which time all economies will have completely tanked, making it a moot point.
The distance the car will go is impressive, but after 300 miles, it takes 45 minutes (at least) to charge up at a commercial charging station. Do you think charging your car up will be free at one of these stations? Imagine a trip to LA from San Francisco, waiting 45 minutes, or more to charge up your car at a comercial charging station. I guess you could have lunch, but how many commercial charging stations have you seen along side a Denny's the last time you were driving down I-5? And taking a trip from San Francisco to Reno, NV, in winter, with a two wheel drive car is not fun if it snows. For almost $80k, you would think the car would have an all wheel computer controlled drive system. Yes, there is an electric car that has just that. It's called the Elica, and was developed in Japan. In my opinion, the Tesla Model S could be successfull in certain markets, but at almost 80 grand can not compete in markets where four wheel drive vehicles are necessary.
For $77,400.00 I can buy 15480 gallons of gas at $5.00 per gallon. My car is paid for and gets 18-20 mpg. For the price of the Tesla I could drive 278,640 miles. And that assumes that the electricity is free.
But, while it has a range close to a petrol car, if you're staying overnight more than 160 miles away, you have to ask very nicely if you can recharge there. And if you want to do more than 300 miles in a day, you can't. And you need off-street parking (preferably a garage) to charge it or you'll be trailing an extension cable across the street. Which most people here in Britain don't have. I'd buy one if I were really rich.
Dear Omnius, On the very day that you could go out and buy an equivalent spec BMW or Merc i.e. silent, fast and fully loaded, and non polluting for $ 25000.- new you would have an argument. Since this will never happen, I think you may be simply confused. Consider this, for the last 100+ years we have had IC based transport with engines that need constant work and replacement. Pollute the atmosphere locally everywhere they go. The price of the vehicle is actually quite cheap all things considered, as the equivalent cost of an IC based vehicle in or around 1910 would have been the same as a three bed-roomed house, would break down at least 4-5 times every 50 miles or so and have a number of punctures along the way to help with progress. Makes the Tesla look very good indeed, over here in the UK the cost of running our EV's is less than 1/10th the cost of the IC based equivalents, not including Govt subsidies. If we charge from renewable energy sources this goes down to 1/30th the cost of an IC. HMMMMMM, some choice !?
There's more to this. The car that you buy for $70,000 (or $50,000 for the 160 mile version) isn't just a way to save money on gas. It's also an elegant, comfortable, high end luxury sedan. You could easy spend that on a comparably equipped 5-series BMW or Mercedes. Tesla's strategy is the inverse of Nissan's. Instead of starting at the bottom and working up, they are starting at the top and working down. THis is particularly wise for several reasons. Profit margins are greater at the high end of the market, and volumes are lower, giving them a chance to get all of the kinks out of the design and the manufacturing processes before they introduce lower cost, broader appeal vehicles.
First - Tesla sells battery replacements for around $10,000 --- but that's today's battery, not what you would be buying in 10 years or so when you need to replace yours. You will be able to use the latest, greatest, cheapest technology then. Virtually all houses in America have 220 power. The normal voltage delivered to our homes is 110 in opposite phases -- that's how you get 220. It costs around $100 to have an electrician install a convenient outlet. As for range - we are only one doubling away from a car that will go farther than most of us will tolerate in a day -- I personally can't really take 12 hours sitting in any car, even a luxury one. The cost to recharge an 85kwW battery is around $6.