July 3, 2008 Tesla Motors will build the follow up vehicle to the Tesla Roadster in California. The plan to manufacture the 4-door, 5-passenger sedan was announced earlier this week by Ze’ev Drori, CEO of Tesla Motors, and California Governor Schwarzenegger
Known as the Model S, the second addition to the company's fully-electric line-up is slated for late 2010 production and will reportedly cost around US$60,000 and make 225 miles on a single charge. The new model signals Tesla's intention to evolve beyond the boutique market targeted by the US$100,000 Roadster
“Make no mistake - we are not a niche player with a car only for the rich and famous. As our agreement with the state so clearly demonstrates, we are building a high volume ZERO EMISSION VEHICLE, manufactured in California for mid-range family use. And we aren’t going to stop there. We will continue on and build even more affordable cars. You are witnessing the debut of a new car company, a company unlike all others, a company with a disruptive technology, a company dedicated for the exclusive production of Zero Emission Vehicles,” said Ze’ev Drori.
The decision to build the new sedan in California (not New Mexico as originally planned) keeps the manufacturing operations close to Tesla's engineering and research HQ in San Carlos. Tesla’s battery pack and the final assembly of the Tesla Roadster is also currently in California.
The news also boosts California's push to attract ZEV manufacturers. The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) recently approved a new program that exempts new manufacturers from paying sales and use tax on the purchase of manufacturing equipment and Tesla will also be eligible for at least USD 1 million in Employment Training Panel Workforce Development Funds to train employees according to the company's press release.
There's no details yet on what the new car looks like or exactly when we may see it - stay tuned.