Archives for September 1st, 2013

Tesla Offers Roadster Customers a New Leasing Option

Tesla Offers Roadster Customers a New Leasing Option

Since the automaker’s inception, the only way would-be Tesla Roadster drivers could get the electric sports car in their garages was to purchase one outright. But all that’s about to change with Tesla’s new vehicle leasing program.

Purchasing any car — let alone a two-seat all-electric sports car that runs over $100,000 — is a big decision. In order to get more people behind the wheel of its Roadsters, Tesla launched its Tesla Motors Leasing program. Leases last 36 months, and require a $12,453 at signing, along with a $9900 down payment. With this lease plan, monthly payments are estimated to be in the neighborhood of $1658 — in comparison, Tesla’s purchase plan, offered through Bank of America, would run customers an extra $1200 each month.

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To add some icing on the cake, Tesla’s new “Tesla Rangers” service is included in the cost of the lease. As previously reported, the “Rangers” can perform service and maintenance tasks at the owner’s home in lieu of bringing it to a dealership. Normally, this service costs at least $1 per round-trip mile traveled.

Tesla’s lease program begins today, and according to the company, it’s ordered a handful of Roadsters with the most popular colors and options in order to prepare for customer demand.

Be sure to check out our comparison test that pits a 2010 Tesla Roadster against the 2010 Porsche Boxster Spyder (complete with video!).

Source: Tesla

By Michael Floyd

Akio Toyoda Talks EV with Tesla, Hints at New-Age Supra

Akio Toyoda Talks EV with Tesla, Hints at New-Age Supra

NAGOYA, JAPAN — What will Toyota Motor Company get out of its recent minor investment in Tesla Motors? Perhaps an electric vehicle prototype, Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda told a group of American reporters Friday. Toyoda expressed enthusiasm for working with a new, Silicon Valley-based high-technology company and said through an interpreter they can “join hands and develop cars, in terms of being a joint-venture.”

Toyoda said his company is “building a prototype EV unit,” but would announce details to the press at a later date. When asked to clarify whether the EV car is a joint venture with Tesla, Toyota Executive Vice President Shinichi Sasaki said there are two Toyota EVs in the works. One car is from Toyota alone and the other is with Tesla. Bottom line is that Toyota will work with Tesla on something. Whether it ever goes public will depend on its engineering success.

Earlier, Sasaki expressed enthusiasm for Tesla’s use of household personal computer lithium-ion batteries, but conceded that “reliability goes down” when you string thousands of them together to power a car.

And, of course, one thing Toyota doesn’t need these days is a new reliability problem. The whole point of the American automotive and business journalists’ visit to Japan, ending Friday, was a deep dive into Toyota’s quality and safety operations.

Toyoda said that its investigation of more than 3600 unintended acceleration claims found no problem with its electronic throttle control systems. He also said Toyota has no intention of blaming customers for accidents caused by what the drivers claimed were unintended acceleration problems.

Toyoda skirted the issue of whether Toyota’s new quality and safety initiative is eating into its resources to build more interesting cars. His hints that Toyota might build a new-age Supra were no more than hints, and Toyoda acknowledged it will take the approval of the whole company to build such a car; that it’s not simply his decision. Watch for more detail and analysis coming presently in the Motor City Blogman blog.

Tags:

Auto News, Tesla, Toyota

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By Todd Lassa

Tesla Reveals European Pricing For Model S Electric Sedan

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] has announced European pricing for the Model S, set to go on sale there next year.

Speaking on the Tesla Blog, Tesla vice president George Blankenship revealed that the company is using a transparent approach to European pricing, making no more profit per car than it does in the U.S.

In the Netherlands, where Tesla is basing its European operations, a 60 kWh Model S kicks off at €72,600 ($96,000). 85 kWh models start at €83,150 ($110,000), and the Model S Performance starts at €97,550 ($129,000).

Signature models, arriving in the Spring, cost €101,400 ($134,000), and Signature Performance cars will be €110,950 ($147,000). All prices are before local incentives, and inclusive of purchase tax.

That purchase tax, plus a slight price increase to account for transport costs, import duties and other costs relevant to individual European countries (plus exchange rates) explains the large price difference between European and U.S. pricing. U.S. pricing starts at $67,400 for the 60 kWh model.

Blankenship also confirmed that the 40 kWh model won’t be available in Europe, at least initially–Tesla may choose to sell it in Europe at a later date.

Tesla will also offer deductions of €1,700 ($2,250) to buyers who already hold a Model S reservation in Europe, or plan to do so by the end of December. Buyers will need to finalize their order within four weeks of receiving their “Invitation to Configure” from Tesla.

Model S Signature models will start arriving by late Spring, and non-Signature car deliveries will start in Summer 2013.

Interested parties can head to their relevant European Tesla website.

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By Antony Ingram

President Obama Calls for 75% Increase in EV Budget



US president Barak Obama called for a 75 percent increase for the Department of Energy's EV research budget which would reach $575 million as a result.

Convincing Americans that EVs are a viable alternative to their gasoline cars has proved difficult, but adoption of electric cars is on the rise and technology is advancing at a steady pace.

Obama has taken plenty of political flack for his support of green technology. Ex-VP candidate Sarah Palin recently called Tesla and the Chevy Volt "losers", suggesting the president has invested too much money into cars that the vast majority of people can't afford.

Still, that's not exactly true. Nissan has started making the Leaf EV in North America and has subsequently dropped prices below $30,000. After taking into account tax incentives, the car can be cheaper than $20,000.

By Mihnea Radu