Tesla Model S Not Your Grandfather's Electric Phaeton

The Tesla Model S electric sedan was unveiled in California today. It can carry six adult passengers and will sell for $57,000. Vehicle sale will not begin until the third quarter of 2011.

With production goals of 20,000 units per year, it will come with three battery options. The entry-level car will have a battery capable of a 160 mile range, while the sedan can be upgraded a 230-mile range battery or a 300-mile range battery. The basic model of the car will go from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, Tesla said, and in the second year of production, a "sport" model will come out capable of much faster times.

"We're trying to accelerate the electric car revolution," Tesla chairman and chief executive Elon Musk said to an audience of about 100 journalists and film crews. "This is not a handmade car. It's not a derivative on an existing gasoline car."


(Tesla Model S Electric Sedan)

Although the first electric carriages were designed in the 1830's, John Jacob Astor IV set forth a marvelous vision of a national fleet of electric phaetons that would truly revolutionize motor transport in his 1894 story A Journey in Other Worlds:

The electric phaetons, as those for high speed are called, have three and four wheels, and weigh, including battery and motor, five hundred to four thousand pounds. With hollow but immensely strong galvanically treated aluminum frames and pneumatic or cushion tires, they run at thirty-five and forty miles an hour on country roads, and attain a speed over forty on city streets, and can maintain this rate without recharging for several days...

...we feel that `Excelsior!' is indeed our motto.
(Read more about Astor's electric phaeton)

Take a look at a Tesla Model S video. From Tesla's Model S is here.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/27/2009)

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