To those awaiting the most promising electric vehicles to ever enter the market (Tesla Model S), the company has given some more insight as to the Model S rollout. Today, on Tesla’s blog, George Blankenship, Vice President, Worldwide Sales & Ownership Experience, gave an update to the progress of the EV startup company:
Our recent Model S blog posts have focused on our advanced electric powertrain and the ingenuity of our vehicle engineering. The majority of questions in Milan concerned delivery timing, battery option availability and pricing. Although we have not yet finalized the information on all those fronts, here are a few progress updates that hopefully will answer some of the questions:
- Alpha testing is in full swing. The first Alpha hit the road in December 2010, and we continue to test as planned. Final assembly of the production-intent Beta vehicles will be done at the Tesla Factory this year and provide us with further testing and development opportunities.
- Deliveries for North America begin in mid-2012.
- The first 1000 cars off the line will be the North American Model S Signature Series. Those vehicles will be equipped with a 300 mile range battery. In the tradition of a limited-edition series, they will feature unique badging and an extensive complement of options.
- After the Model S Signature Series, deliveries for North America will continue with the 300 mile batteries, followed by 230 and 160 options later in 2012.
- Delivery of the European left-hand drive Model S is scheduled to begin in late 2012. In mid-2013 we plan to begin delivering the right-hand drive Model S for Europe and Asia. Each launch will begin with a limited edition Signature Series.
- We expect to produce approximately 5,000 units in 2012 as we ramp to full single shift production capacity of 20,000 units per year in 2013.
- The price of the US base Model S with a 160-mile battery is $49,900 after the $7,500 federal tax credit. The 230-mile range option is expected to price at about $10,000 more and the 300-mile option at about $20,000 more than the base.
- We are currently working on final pricing and options for Model S, including the Signature Series. We expect to have updates on Model S pricing worldwide this summer.
It’s a bummer that the mainstream release is 2012, rather than 2011. But, it’s totally going to be worth the wait because this car has everything a sport EV should: sexy looks, great range, 17-inch touchscreen IP stack, and a decent price. The Volt will have to undergo serious price cuts if it plans to compete with the Model S.