Electric carmaker Tesla Motors will soon launch a new SUV called the Model X. The company has released a dark teaser photo of the new car along with the tagline “Utility meets performance,” and promises the Model X will be revealed next Thursday, February 9, in California.
We don’t really know anything about the Model X, although lightening the teaser image with Photoshop reveals a curved hooded, sloping roofline, and oval front grille opening. The Model X’s lines are reminiscent of those found on the company’s forthcoming Model S large hatchback. Furthermore, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote on his Twitter feed that, “Most cars are pretty blah. This is not.”
As with the company’s Lotus-based Roadster and long-awaited Model S, we expect the Model X to use a proprietary all-electric powertrain developed by Tesla. This won’t be the first time Tesla has dabbled with building an SUV: the company previously partnered with Toyota to build an electrified RAV4.
Sources: Tesla, Twitter
By Jake Holmes
2013 Tesla Model S
Let’s assume for a moment that you’re interested in electric cars. (Not a far-fetched idea, since you’re reading a blog called “Green Car Reports”.)
You’re intrigued by the growing number of options in extended-range vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, but most of all, you’re interested in fully electric rides. The Nissan Leaf isn’t quite your style, but the Tesla Model S might fit the bill — especially in light of Tesla’s new leasing program. But before you sign on the dotted line, you’d really like to take one for a long test drive.
According to The Verge, if you’re heading to Las Vegas in the near future, you might be able to do just that, thanks to something called Project 100.
Project 100 is a new initiative spearheaded by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. It’s one of many programs that fall under the umbrella of the Downtown Project, which aims to make Las Vegas a technological and cultural mecca.
Project 100 hasn’t officially launched yet, but initial reports indicate that it’s going to be much more than a simple car-sharing service like Zipcar. Not only will Project 100 members be able to share vehicles, they’ll also have access to bikes, bus passes and more. The goal is to keep Las Vegas residents on the go without being bogged down with the hassle of owning a car:
Ultimately we decided to build something different that’s designed to replace your car 100% of the time. You have one key to your car and we wanted to build something that replaced that one key with one membership and not force you to decide each time which system was best for your need right now.
Of course, to keep those folks rolling, they’ll need to pay a high-roller price: “We’re aiming to keep the monthly cost for most members in the same range as a traditional monthly car payment + insurance which averages around $400 per month.”
Project 100′s first fleet of vehicles will include the Tesla Model S — 100 of them, to be exact. That’s the largest single U.S. reservation in Tesla’s history. Why 100 Teslas? Hsieh is glad you asked:
We chose the Tesla Model S as our primary vehicle for a lot of reasons. It’s a beautiful yet functional sedan that’s very fun to drive. It’s also a big computer on wheels which gives us the opportunity [sic] optimize the member experience over time and test a lot of theories about how people use vehicles. Tesla thinks like a startup and our conversations with their program and engineering teams so far solidified that they were the right long-term partner. Most importantly we wanted to replace peoples’ traditional vehicles with vehicles that do less harm to the environment than a traditional gas-powered vehicle. Since Teslas are 100% electric with excellent driving range, the choice was clear.
Project 100 hasn’t officially opened to the public, so we don’t yet know if it’ll offer daily or weekly memberships to Las Vegas visitors. (We’d be surprised if it didn’t, though.) You can keep up with Project 100′s progress by signing up for email updates on the front page of its website.
By Richard Read
Tesla Motors launched its all-electric Model S on June 22, delivering the first 10 cars to customers at its California headquarters. The company said it was on track to deliver 5,000 of the electric cars by the end of the year, but that seems increasingly unlikely. Tesla has not delivered any cars since June, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Tesla says it has 12,200 people on its waiting list, meaning this year’s production run and a good portion of next year’s (Tesla says it will build 20,000 cars in 2013) have already been spoken for. So where are the customers’ cars?
“The production steps up in a geometric and exponential way,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk told analysts in a conference call, “the production ramp is this sharp S curve. In 2013 we’ll produce at least 20,000 units. That’s all that matters.”
Musk said the delays are due to his attention to detail. He personally inspects as many cars as he can, and he claims the delays are the fault of suppliers who don’t meet Tesla’s quality standards. Musk has sent interior trim and chromed door handles back because they did not satisfy him.
“There are these little things that are extremely annoying,” Musk told the analysts, “they are mostly interior, soft trim issues.”
Musk said Tesla has made a total of 40 production cars this year. In a letter to shareholders, the company said it will deliver 500 more cars in the third quarter, and the balance of the 5,000 scheduled cars in the fourth quarter. Tesla currently makes 10 cars per week, and will need to make 375 cars per week by October to meet its goal.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s losses continue to pile up. Despite the beginning of Model S production and a possible joint project with Mercedes-Benz, the company posted a $106 million loss in the second quarter of 2012, compared to $89.9 million in the previous quarter.
The Model S is supposed to break new ground for electric cars by focusing on luxury, style, and performance, as well as efficiency. A base model with a Tesla-quoted 160-mile range costs $57,400, while a top-spec model with an EPA-rated 265-mile range costs $105,400. The Model S qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
Tesla plans to sell the majority of its cars through retail stores in malls, instead of traditional dealerships. The first of these Apple Store-like outlets opened in White Plains, New York in June.
Everything about Tesla’s products and marketing is very clever, but it seems the company has gotten hung up on one of the fundamentals of the car business: actually making cars.
TVs, tablets, and smartphones might take center stage at CES, but cars put in a good shift, too. This year’s selection of sweet rides may have been rather tame when compared to years’ past, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t an eye-catching array of autos to feast upon. From Nvidia-powered Teslas to LADAR led Lexus, be sure and rifle through our gallery of the coolest cars from the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show.
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.
The 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 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.
The 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.
By Jason Udy
We’ve tested our 2013 Automobile of the Year, the Tesla Model S, extensively. But some people are curious to see what else the electric sedan is capable of, as these two amateur test videos show. In one clip, a driver tries to find the Model S’ top speed, while the other seeks to find out if you can squeeze a kindergarten class into the EV.
As we’ve seen in other videos, the Tesla Model S can out-accelerate such powerful sports sedans as the BMW M5, and this new video gives us an idea of how fast it will go if you keep your foot on the gas pedal. The video shows a man driving his Model S Signature Performance equipped with the 85-kW-hr battery on a sparsely populated highway. As he mashes the “throttle,” there’s a subtle hum but otherwise the cabin is eerily quiet. There’s no physical needle to peg, but the digital display finally tops out at an indicated 133 mph.
In the second video, a group of kindergartners questions the Model S’ seven-passenger capacity. The five- to six-year-olds, who are all naturals in front of the camera, count out loud as they appear out of the car’s cargo area, cabin, and frunk. By the end of the video, a total of 16 kindergartners are found stuffed in the Model S’ various orifices.
Check out both videos below.
Before Tesla were sure they were going to use the old NUMMI plant in California as their main (and so far only) production facility, back in 2007, they signed an agreement with Rio Real Estate, for the building of a massive factory, in New Mexico.
Rio Real Estate were to build the facility and then lease it out to Tesla for $1.35-million per year, for a 10 year period. However, after reaching an agreement with Toyota for the NUMMI plant, Tesla seem to have forgotten about their past commitments.
We hope they resolve this peacefully, so that Tesla can still make the Model S, regardless of where that might take place. The Model S needs to be made, so that Tesla can make enough money to thoroughly develop their 3-Series rival, a car which promises to be much cheaper and more accessible than the Model S.
Story via greencarreports.com
In an aggressive move to ramp up its product line-up, Telsa has announced it will build a new compact sedan aimed at competing with the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.
The new all-electric car will share the same underpinnings as the upcoming new Tesla X crossover vehicle due in 2014, according to a report by Reuters.
News of both the compact car and sedan confirm earlier reports by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that the automaker wants to build on the popularity of the $70,000 Tesla Model S with more affordable EVs.
Musk said the new sedan, known as Generation 3 because it will be built on the Tesla’s third-generation platform, will be priced for around $30,000 and will likely even share some of the Model X’s unique design cues.
The Tesla Model X will likely be targeted at Audi Q3 and BMW X1 crossover, which is priced around $30,000 as well.
Like the Model S, the new sedan and compact crossover will be powered exclusively by electric motors and lithium-ion batteries, as indicated in the Reuters report.
The new vehicles are also being designed to use Tesla’s high-tech fast-charging stations, which are currently being rolled out in cities such as Chicago, Denver, Houston, Seattle and Portland.
By the end of June, Tesla is slated to have 25 of the Supercharger stations in the designated markets with plans for 100 stations by next year and eventually 200 total.
The carmaker currently has eight of the high-tech stations in operation, including one in Connecticut, one in Delaware and six in California, the U.S.’s largest market for EVs.
Tesla’s Supercharger stations, touted by the carmaker as “the fastest charging station on the planet,” can provide half a charge to a vehicle in 20 minutes, according to the carmaker’s website.
It all creates an interesting challenge for other carmakers as Tesla continues to build on its popularity beyond the Model S, as one of the most highly coveted brands in the premium EV market.
By Marcus Amick
The Tesla Model S is officially here, and everybody seems to love it. So far, no problems have been reported, but then again it’s too soon to judge the car on its reliability. However, taking into account the simplicity of the drive system, the manufacturing techniques which Tesla have shown us in a their four official videos, we genuinely expect it to be durable.
Another thing that seems to impress people is the sheer power of the electric drivetrain which can push the Performance version to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds, as well as its flat cornering capability. It also seems to be very quiet, as the conversations in the car can be heard, even while driving on the highway at 100 km/h (62 mph) or more, as there is little wind buffeting and tire noise – refinement being a very important aspect of any car which wants to be luxurious.
We will have to wait a few more months in order to assure ourselves that the car is durable and reliable, but aside from that, we cannot fault the Model S, and we think it is a great addition to the automotive world as a whole, because it embodies some great philosophies translated into a very competent overall package.