In 2009 the electric car company Tesla announced plans for a Model S battery-electric vehicle. The company had hopes that by 2012 the vehicle would see production of about 20,000 per year, however, the vehicle is just now becoming available to customers who placed deposits. The company is hoping that the sales of the vehicle prove significant after woes in the last few years.
Tesla is said to be in the red by approximately $750 million since the company began in 2003. The lack of success is largely attributed to buyers simply not being interested in electric vehicles, especially due to the lack of distance able to drive on a single charge, the lack of charging stations and some hefty price tags. Sales of their sports car Roadster have proven well below expectations, with only 2,150 of the vehicles sold since debuting in 2008. The Roadster sells for $109,000.
The Model S will be sold at fourteen locations across the U.S. and the company hopes to see about 5,000 sold. The vehicle will be available with three battery pack options in order to increase range. The lower end version of the vehicle will cost $49,900 after a $7,500 rebate from the government and can travel 160 miles on a single charge.
The other versions of the vehicle are said to be able to travel 230 and 300 miles on a single charge. The higher end version costs $101,550. Overall the Environmental Protection Agency indicated that the Model S has a miles per gallon equivalent of 89 (89 MPGe). However, EPA indicated that the range of the vehicle may not be quite as advertised as they only found a range of 265 miles for the claimed 300 mile battery pack.
10,000 deposits have been made for customers to be the first with a Tesla Model S according to the company. These vehicles will be the first to be distributed. Tesla hopes to see increased sales beginning in 2013, projecting upwards of 10,000 additional units sold after a projected 5,000 this year. However, Tesla is competing in a very minimal market that is facing an uphill battle with selling the public on the use of electric vehicles. Less than 25,000 vehicles which were electric hybrids or battery-electric were sold in total in the U.S. in 2011.