Friday, March 27, 2009

World's first mass-produced electric car

While unveiling the sexy shape of its new Model S saloon, innovative US company, Tesla, announced that it would put the 'world's first mass-produced electric car' into production in 2011.

The Jaguar-esque shape and optimistic timeline are not the only reasons Tesla will be grabbing headlines around the world today (March 27), as claims to the Model S's abilities are quite staggering.

Utilising the company's advanced lithium-ion battery pack, the Model S sprints from 0-60mph in 'under six seconds' on the way to a top speed of 130mph. A Sport version will apparently cut the 0-60mph time by a further second.

Despite such performance, the Model S has been designed to carry up to seven occupants and masses of their luggage. That's thanks to a large space up front where the engine would normally reside, and a flat-floored interior with stowable seats.

The battery pack is located underneath the floor, which lowers the centre of gravity, as well as enhancing packaging. Tesla claims that it will be possible to swap the battery pack for a fully charged one in less time than it takes to fill a conventional car's fuel tank.

Even if battery-swapping facilities are not available, the Model S can be recharged from any 120-, 240- or 480V power supply, with an impressive 45-minute charge possible if the highest rating is available.

In ideal conditions, the Model S will have a range of 300-miles, though buyers will have to pay more for that capability, as the entry-level version does only 160-miles on a charge.

The 2011 launch is, however, dependant on Tesla receiving $350 million (about £242 million) in federal loans from the US government, which the company is confident it will receive.

Tesla will expand its dealer network outside the US with Munich and London earmarked for showrooms, possibly as early late 2009. Pricing is predicted to start at $49,900 in the US - about £34,500.


  1. would electric cars be needed as there are also hydrogen fuel cells?

    Or could they both be used as alternatives to each other in the near future.