Tesla Electric Cars
Tesla Motors is one of the more well known of the American electric vehicle makers. Headed by former PayPal® CEO Elon Musk, the company produces the Roadster and Roadster Sport electric coupes. As the premier EV maker in the U.S., however, Tesla has plans beyond this car.
The Tesla Roadster
The Roadster and its higher-performance Sport version are icons of the electric car world. These cars are Lotus Elise rolling chassis ("sleds" with no powertrain) fitted with Tesla's electric propulsion system - motor, controller, batteries - and rebranded with Tesla's corporate logo.
The two-seat sports coupe is capable of very fast speeds (0-60mph in about 3.9 seconds; 3.7 for the Sport) and up to 220 miles in range per charge.
The cars will cease production in 2012 when Lotus re-designs the Elise, making them no longer available to Tesla.
The Tesla S
One of the most anticipated new electric vehicles coming to market (thanks in no small part to Musk's strong PR), the Model S will be a four-door luxury sedan produced entirely in-house by Tesla Motors.
The cars are expected to release to market late this year and will become the company's flagship product. While slightly slower than the Roadster (0-60mph in 5.6 seconds), the S will have up to 300 miles per charge and will be a more practical car at a more practical price (around $60,000).
It will be produced at Tesla's manufacturing plant in Southern California, purchased from Toyota in 2010.
The Model X
The rumored Model X may be Tesla's plan for the post-S market. It's description is similar to the Model S but as a crossover design (half sedan, half SUV). The Model X would likely use the Model S' platform.
Although still preliminary and mostly just rumor, the X could see market as early as 2014 and was hinted at in the company's initial public offering (IPO) filing when going public.
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