Archives for June 16th, 2013
Electric cars are making headlines the past few weeks as Uncle Sam is questioning them about how they used their allowances. Coda Holdings has already called it quits though, after having sold only a hundred or so cars.
The electric car startup has filed for bankruptcy protection today with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The company will use this to restructure itself away from the electric car business and back into clean energy.
The Coda electric sedan was a trick car to sell. It lacked awareness and with the looks from a 90s budget car, it was never going to win heart and minds. The model was priced at around $37,000 before factoring in tax rebates and promised to deliver a range of up to 125 miles (200 km) per charge. In January, they announced it would be available for just $24,995 in California, but even that failed to move customers in a big way.
With Fisker looking to be firmly out of the game, this leaves General Motors, Nissan and Tesla in the running.
By Mihnea Radu
The future is here and you can drive it
It’s exciting times for electric car company Tesla as it begins to roll out the new Model S to North America. We got a chance to hop in the sexy Model S today at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show and needless to say we were left smitten.
To say Tesla’s Model S is impressive is an understatement. Not only is the Model S a sight to behold on the outside, with its sleek and rounded frame, but upon entering the vehicle you are treated to a cutting edge cabin that is both futuristic and cutting edge while maintaining a minimalistic elegance.
Once inside, you quickly begin to realize that the Tesla Model S is a car unlike any other you’ve seen before. Besides the fact that it is, of course, a fully electric car, the Tesla Model S immediately immerses you with its bright lights and touch screen technology, which will be familiar to anyone with a smartphone. The onboard dash is completely touch screen, the middle console where a radio or familiar dials and buttons would be placed are nowhere to be found. In fact, all buttons and dials of any sort have been removed from the car’s interior design, replaced instead with a huge and vivid touchscreen interface displaying standard information like speed and an energy consumption display to monitor your battery consumption.
Within that interface we were treated to a demonstration of virtually all the applications the Model S has to offer by Tesla Interactive Software Manager, Roy Goldman. Much like a glorified tablet or iPhone, the console inside the Tesla features navigation, internet browsing, internet radio via services such as Slacker, as well as smartphone integration.
The Model S smartphone integration was particular interesting. Demonstrated on an iPhone, drivers can download an app that can control various features such as onboard temperature and navigation. Goldman was to keen to inform us that Tesla has partnered with Google, allowing real-time viewing of your trip and that more integration and app capability was in the works.
But while it’s great that the Model S features all sorts of impressive tech within, it’s also worth mentioning some other noteworthy aspects of Tesla’s all electric sedan. To begin, the Tesla Model S is offered in three battery options: a 40kWh that offers an estimated range of 160 miles, a 60 kWh version that will get you 230 miles, and finally an 85 kWh battery that will net an even more impressive 300 miles on a single charge. And those aren’t the only impressive numbers, each battery variant offers up a top speed of 110, 120, and 125 mph.
While nothing has been officially announced or confirmed, Tesla representatives spoke of the car company’s plans to place and implement proprietary “Super Charger” stations for Tesla owners across the country, which should add to the cars already impressive charging scheme.
Down the road
From a design perspective, the Tesla Model S seems to be much more than a car; it’s an experience – a true leap towards what can be achieved in regards to automotive design and technology. Of course as is often the case with new technology pricing can be prohibitively high and that seems to be the case with the new Model S. All three versions of Tesla’s Model S start north of 40 thousand, with the 40 kWh priced at $49,900, the 60 kWh at 59,900 , and the 85 kWh at 69,000. Incidentally the Model S Performance version is priced even higher at $79,900, although to be fair not many EV’s on the market can hit 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds (85kWh battery option). Luckily for those of us with pockets a little less deep Tesla does plan to introduce a more economically priced versions down the line, but until then we’ll just have to start saving our coppers.
If you were anxious to take a stroll in the new Tesla Model X, you might want to keep your shirt on for a while longer, as the company's electric crossover has been delayed.
According to Los Angeles Times, Tesla's plans to repay its DOE loans five year ahead of schedule have led to a production delay for the Model X crossover, which is now set to be pushed on the assembly line starting late 2014. Previously, production of the electric crossover was scheduled to begin later this year, with deliveries commencing early 2014.
However, repaying DOE loans earlier that scheduled is not the only reason why the Model X got delayed. Tesla is also looking to increase production for the very popular Model S sedan to 20,000 units this year.
Tesla Motors has received federal approval to complete the repayment of its $465 million in US Energy Department loans five years ahead of schedule (2017 instead of 2022).
At first glance, the two competitors of this Head 2 Head may appear as though they were picked randomly from a hat, but that’s not the case. Host Jonny Lieberman put the 2013 Tesla Model S and 1956 Citroen DS-19 together because he felt that they share one important commonality: innovation.
Lieberman argues that the Citroen might be the most innovative car in the 20th century for many reasons. For starters, the car’s futuristic body is constructed of fiberglass and aluminum, and its oleo-pneumatic, auto-leveling suspension was unlike anything the public had seen back in the 1950s. And the list of innovations continues: its Citromatic transmission (which Lieberman explains in the video), high-mounted brake lights, and lightweight chassis construction.
Next is the Model S, which was the recipient of our 2013 Car of the Year award. Most of you are probably well versed when it comes to this innovative Tesla, which provides drivers with road-trip-worthy range and supercar-like acceleration, all while producing zero emissions. Both cars are impressive indeed, but only one is declared a winner in this Head 2 Head. Watch the video, and let us know which car you’d rather own in the comments below.
Tesla today announced that the 2012 Tesla Model S, due to launch next year, will indeed carry a base price of $49,900 following federal tax credits. The electric carmaker released the pricing news on its Web site in part to quell rumors that the all-electric sedan for every man — or at least every relatively well off man – might cost more than initially expected.
The price applies to the base model Model S, which will be equipped with the 40 kWh battery, which will boast an impressive estimated range of 160 miles on a single charge and a claimed 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds, according to Tesla. Standard equipment includes an impressive, huge 17-inch touchscreen infotainment system and the Model S rolls on 19-inch wheels. But before the base Model S arrives next winter, Tesla is rolling out its more expensive variants featuring bigger battery packs and extended range.
First on the production schedule is the Model S equipped with the 85 kWh battery, which will go on sale next summer with a price of $69,900 (after federal tax credits); it is expected to have a range of 300 miles. Model S sedans equipped with the 65 kWh battery pack will follow three-months later and should be able to travel 230 miles on a single charge; price is set at $59,900. Finally, a performance model fitted with the 85 kWh battery pack will cost $79,900. Tesla is estimating a 0-to-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds for the top performer of the Model S bunch.
Tesla has also launched a dedicated website for the Model S, neatly laying out all the pricing, specs, and options. The rear facing seats, for example, will increase passenger capacity to seven and will set you back $1,500, as will the available panoramic roof. The site also includes information on the number of charging options that will be offered with the Model S.