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Tesla All Charged Up, New Product Coming Down The Wire

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author photo by Autotrader June 2010

Although California-based Tesla has produced just one model – the $100,000-plus Roadster, one of the few all-electric cars on sale today – it has received considerable attention. Clients include popular musicians, Hollywood celebrities and corporate executives. Media reviews have quickly brought the two-seater sports car into public focus.

It seems obvious Tesla would capitalize on this success and high profile by adding new products. Indeed, that's the plan. We already know about the Model S sedan, due to go on sale in 2012, but there's more to come.

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, recently gave a presentation to Wall Street investors to help ascertain a value for his company's initial public offering (IPO) expected this summer. It was then that he unveiled his plans for three more vehicles: a van, an SUV or crossover, and another convertible, all based on the same platform as the Model S and using its powertrain to keep down costs. The van's boxy rear end and lack of rear side windows suggests a strictly commercial application rather than family transport.

Regardless of use, Musk is sufficiently confident of Tesla's future product to state that "each one of these cars is going to be freakin' bad-ass." While Musk didn't speculate on the release date of these new models, they are almost certainly two or three years away.

The presentation unveiled other interesting pieces of information as well. Perhaps the most notable was the revelation that the Model S, first shown over a year ago, will come with a battery capable of a 300-mile range and a charge time of just 45 minutes. It is intended to start under $60,000 and compete with mid-level luxury sedans like BMW's 5 Series.

While the Roadster and Model S are upscale vehicles with relatively high prices, Tesla may soon enter uncharted territory with less expensive and less esoteric vehicles. The automaker will undoubtedly be aided by its IPO, as well as the recent partnership with Toyota, which has provided Tesla with a factory in California and purchased $50 million in Tesla stock.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Tesla All Charged Up, New Product Coming Down The Wire - Autotrader