Archives for August 6th, 2013

Consumer Reports Rates Tesla Model S 99 Out Of 100 – Rumor Central

Consumer Reports Rates Tesla Model S 99 Out Of 100

The Tesla Model S now has another strong endorsement. Product-review publication Consumer Reports gave the electric car 99 out of 100 possible points — a rating matched by only one other car in Consumer Reports’ history, the 2007 Lexus LS460L.

The Tesla Model S received the ringing endorsement from Consumer Reports because, “It accelerates, handles and brakes like a sports car, it has the ride and quietness of a luxury car and is far more energy efficient than the best hybrid cars,” automotive testing director Jake Fisher said in a statement. The publication called the Model S “the most practical” electric car on sale today, compared its handling to that of Porsche models, and said it is the quietest car CR has tested since the aforementioned Lexus LS460L.

Nonetheless, CR dinged the Tesla for its high price, long charging times, and low rear-seat headroom. The publication also warned that Tesla doesn’t yet have a proven track record of building high volumes of cars, and because so few have been sold, CR doesn’t yet have enough reliability data to give the Model S its coveted “Recommended” label.CR‘s test car is apparently averaging between 180 and 225 miles per charge; the EPA says versions with the 85-kWh battery pack have a driving range of about 265 miles.

This is just the latest in a long line of endorsements for the Tesla Model S electric car, the brainchild of entrepreneur Elon Musk. We named it our 2013 Automobile of the Year, and Motor Trend selected it as its 2013 Car of the Year.

The glowing review comes on the heels of news that Tesla posted its first profitable quarter to date, with a profit of about $11 million in the first quarter of 2013. The company said it had built 5000 units of the Model S in the first quarter, putting it on track to meet its goal of building (and, hopefully, selling) 20,000 cars this year. This news caused Tesla’s stock price to surge; as of writing, according to Tesla data, it was trading for $68, up from a closing price of $55.79 yesterday.

Sources: Consumer Reports, Tesla




By Jake Holmes

It’s Coming: Tesla’s Model S Beginning Deliveries in Second Quarter of 2012

It’s Coming: Tesla’s Model S Beginning Deliveries in Second Quarter of 2012

Tesla is only in the first of two development stages for the electric Model S four-door hatchback, but it might not be long before we see a four-door Tesla rolling through Beverly Hills. Production of the Model S, Tesla announced at the Detroit Auto Show, will start in the second quarter of 2012.

Tesla Model S interior 300x187 imageThe all-electric Model S is claimed to have a range of 300 miles and accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Tesla hopes to build 20,000 Model S cars a year, and has taken more than 3000 reservations so far in North America and Europe. After a federal tax credit, the base price is expected to be $49,000, unless Tesla’s research and engineering budget requires a price bump. That below-$50,000 price likely includes the battery pack that allows for 160 miles of driving between charges. The Model S will also offer 230- and 300-mile-per-charge battery packs.

A 17-inch touchscreen is part of the dash layout, meaning even those in the small third row of seating might be able to see the navigation display. Top speed of the Model S is limited to about 121 mph. We’ll be keeping an eye on Tesla as we approach its target on-sale date. What do you think: Will Tesla find 20,000 buyers a year for the Model S sedan?

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

By Zach Gale

Coda Offers $552 Charging Rebate for California Buyers in October

Coda Offers $552 Charging Rebate for California Buyers in October

Coda Automotive is offering a $552 rebate to buyers in California during the month of October. The automaker says the rebate is equal to the cost of electricity it would take to propel the Coda sedan 10,000 miles in the Sunshine State, based on current electricity costs and the EV’s 88-mile range.

CODA cockpit 1 300x187 imageThe rebate is also being used to draw attention to the lower cost of electrical energy compared to gasoline and diesel. Using figures from the EPA and AAA, the automaker suggests that a gas- or diesel-powered vehicle averaging 22 mpg costs about $1700 to travel 10,000 miles at the national average fuel cost, while drivers in California will pay more than $2000 to drive the same distance.

Coda also says that EVs help protect owners from fluctuating fuel prices that have increased 106 percent on average since 1992, while electrical rates have declined on average 12 percent in the same time period.

The Coda sedan EV has a base price of $37,250 though federal and state incentives could amount to as much as $10,000 in savings, bringing the price to $27,250 before the manufacturer’s rebate.

Would 10,000 miles’ worth of electricity be enough to get you behind the wheel of a Coda? Tell us in the comments section below.

Source: Coda

By Jason Udy

2012 Tesla Model S: First Drive Video

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With Tesla Motors opening new Tesla Stores at a rapid pace, the 2012 Tesla Model S all-electric sport sedan has now been seen by hundreds of thousands of people.

Thus far, however, very few of them, however, have gotten behind the wheel.

Tesla’s working to change that, with a traveling nationwide roadshow from now through early August that aims to put 5,000 Model S reservation holders in the driver’s seat for a few minutes each.

Yesterday, we got our first test drive of the 2012 Tesla Model S. The video above should give you a small taste of what our drive was like.

We really had only about 20 or 25 minutes behind the wheel of the new electric luxury sedan from Silicon Valley startup carmaker Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA], but it gave us a little taste of what owners will start to experience as Model S deliveries slowly ramp up.

The car is quiet, quick–especially the high-end Model S Signature Series Performance model we drove–and smooth.

The 17-inch central touchscreen display is astounding–see a photo gallery of display screenshots here–and easy to use but not distracting.

And with some light jazz playing as we tooled around lower Manhattan, we came to the preliminary conclusion that indeed the 2012 Tesla Model S is a viable car.

It’s also fun to drive, and unlike the crude, cramped Roadster–hellaciously fun in its own way, but not all that practical–we can easily imagine using it as a daily vehicle.

If, that is, we had the cash to cover the sticker price, which on our top-end test car was somewhere around $100,000.

If you’re all about the acceleration, there’s a bit at 0:40 and another burst at 2:30. But watch the whole thing to see the touchscreen and a lot more.

There’s one narration error: At the very end, “2010 Tesla Model S” should obviously be 2012. Sorry ’bout that.

Special thanks to our pal Noonz, who cheerfully let himself be pressed into service as cameraman.

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By John Voelcker

2012 Tesla Model S: Early Buyers Get 1 Year Of Data Free

2012 Tesla Model S display screen [Photo: Flickr user jurvetson]

2012 Tesla Model S display screen [Photo: Flickr user jurvetson]

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If you’ve got a brand new 2012 Tesla Model S sitting in your garage–or you’re soon to have one delivered–then life is probably pretty sweet right now.

Not that it can’t be improved, of course.

Drivers of Model S cars in Signature trim, denoting the first models delivered, also get a year’s worth of mobile data at no extra cost, says Tesla (via Engadget).

When your car has a massive, 17-inch internet-connected touchscreen dominating the center console, that’s pretty useful. Those first owners won’t have to pay a penny to use the screen’s Google maps facility, nor listen to music via the internet.

The free data will also ensure that owners can make the most of other features, like browsing the web for somewhere nearby to eat, creating personalized online channels for music and radio, and automatically-updating cover art for songs.

Owners of post-Signature Model Ss will of course be able to use all these features too, but they won’t be lucky enough to have Telsa pick up the tab.

What aspect of Tesla’s large touchscreen display would you find most useful as an owner? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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By Antony Ingram