With the Tesla Roadster officially out of production, the upstart EV maker is looking towards its next big vehicle, the Model S sedan. We already knew that the Model S will be offered with three different battery sizes, and we were given a general idea of the price and options list. Now Tesla has filled in the blanks, and the official starting price, after the $7,500 tax credit, will be $49,900.
For $49,900, you get an all-electric sports sedan with a 40 kWh battery that gives the Model S a 160 mile range, a top speed of 110 mph, and a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds. All very respectable stats, even the most die-hard EV hater must admit.
Yes, $50,000 is still quite a bit of a stretch for any car, but that extra scrilla goes towards standard features like a Nappa leather interior, 17” touchscreen, 19-inch wheels, and an 8-year battery warranty with no mileage limitations.
Tesla owners also get access to exclusive features, like the planned fast-charging corridor Tesla plans to build between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Stepping up to the 60 kWh battery model will set you back another $10,000, to $59,900 (again, after the $7,500 tax credit.) This adds another 70 miles of range, for a total of up to 230 miles, and drops the 0-60 mph time to 5.9 seconds and top speed maxes out at 120 mph.
Opting for the 80 kWh battery will set you back another $10,000, to $69,900 for a 0-60 mph time of 5.3 seconds and a range of about 300 miles.
The top end model, the Tesla Model S Performance, gets an 85 kWh battery, a 0-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds, a range of 300 miles, and a top speed of 130 mph. And the cost? $79,900.
Tesla has put together a new webpage to help prospective buyers equip and price their Model S.
All that said, Tesla really isn’t that far off on pricing, if you compare it to other electric vehicles on the market. For example, the Nissan LEAF is rated at about 73 miles by the EPA (the Model S range is estimated by Tesla, it should be noted) and costs about $28,000 after the tax credit. With roughly double the estimated mileage, the Tesla Model S, one could argue, is priced right where it needs to be. But once you start tacking on options, like the twin charging system ($1,500) active air suspension ($1,500) or tech package ($3,750) and the price goes up real high, real fast. That said, Tesla claims all 5,000 units from the initial production run are already spoken for…so there is obviously a market for such vehicles.
I still think Tesla should be building even cheaper EV’s, and I hope they get there sooner rather than later. A $50,000 vehicle is still unaffordable for 90% of Americans these days, and if Tesla ever wants to make a dent in the automotive market, they’re going to have to have more mass appeal.
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