Tesla Motors announced today that it would start customer deliveries of the Model S on June 22. The long-awaited electric sedan for those with more money (and needs) than me will first roll out to certain select customers “at an invitation-only event at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California,” the company stated.
Originally, deliveries of the Model S were to start in July, so this June announcement is a pleasant surprise (again, mostly for a few rich folks,… but also for all of us EV lovers around the world).
“In 2006 our plan was to build an electric sports car followed by an affordable electric sedan, and reduce our dependence on oil,” said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors CEO and Chief Product Architect. “Delivering Model S is a key part of that plan and represents Tesla’s transition to a mass-production automaker and the most compelling car company of the 21st century.”
If you’re new to the Model S, here’s a brief summary of the car from the folks most in the know:
Model S is the first premium sedan designed from the ground up to take full advantage of electric vehicle architecture. A revolutionary powertrain sits under the floorboard of Model S, creating an ultra-low center of gravity….
Without an internal combustion engine or transmission tunnel, the interior of Model S has more cargo space than any other sedan and includes a second trunk under the hood. Model S seats five adults and two children in optional rear facing seats and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 4.4 seconds. The interior features a 17” in-dash touchscreen with internet capabilities, allowing for streaming radio, web browsing and navigation. With the most energy-dense battery pack in the industry and best-in-class aerodynamics, Model S has the longest range of any electric car in the world. Model S comes with three battery pack options to fit the unique needs of different drivers.
In addition to customer deliveries, Model S test drive events will be launched in July in a variety of North American cities.
Overall, Tesla intends to deliver 5,000 vehicles by the end of the year. Over 10,000 are already reserved.
Other than the Tesla Model S, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, another all-electric vehicle, is hitting a lot of people’s homes in June (it is available nationwide next month). The i-MiEV has been named “The Greenest Vehicle of 2012” by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and it gets a 112 combined MPGe, while the Model S gets a similar 108 combined MPGe. (Note: you can still enter the $200 Whole Foods giveaway from Mitsubishi i via that link above.)
Of course, while these are both pioneering EVs, they are also quite different. The MSRP for the standard ED model of the i-MiEV is $21,625 after the federal tax credit, and the net MSRP for the SE version after the federal tax credit is $23,625 (these prices could be lower in states and cities with more EV incentives). The Model S, on the other hand, ranges in price from $49,900 to $97,900 (after the federal tax credit). And, of course, the qualities and features of the cars vary a great deal.
In my opinion, it’s just great to see a variety of clean EVs making it to market now. Here are some more Model S pics for us all to drool over:
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