Tesla Motors to open seven sales, service centers this summer

Jun 08, 2009 By Tracy Seipel, San Jose Mercury News
The new Tesla Model S all-electric sedan at the car's unveiling in Hawthorne, California, in March 2009. Tesla Motors says orders have been streaming in for its electric Model S sedans due to begin rolling off assembly lines in 2011.

As General Motors and Chrysler close dealerships across the country, San Carlos-based Tesla Motors has announced plans to open some.

Thursday, the electric carmaker said it will open seven regional sales and service centers in upcoming weeks, establishing a coast-to-coast network in North America and retail presence in Europe.

Stores in New York, Seattle and Chicago will open in late June, followed by Miami. The new additions will complement Tesla's flagship stores in Menlo Park, Calif., and Los Angeles, which opened a year ago. The company's first European store will open in London later this month, followed by Munich and Monaco.

Prospective customers can test-drive the cars at all the locations.

"We are rethinking almost every aspect of the automobile _ from the powertrain to the customer experience, both online and in our stores," Tesla CEO and product architect Elon Musk said in a news release.

Tesla said its $109,000 Roadster beats nearly every other car for acceleration yet is twice as energy-efficient as a Toyota Prius. With an EPA-estimated range of 244 miles per charge, Tesla said it costs roughly $4 to refuel and can be completely recharged in as little as 3.5 hours.

This past weekend, Tesla delivered its 500th Roadster in the United States. In late June, Tesla will begin producing the Roadster Sport, a higher-performance electric car that goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. European Roadster deliveries begin this summer.

expects to begin producing an electric, zero-emission, $50,000 Model S sedan in late 2011.

The news follows last month's announcement by Daimler that it will acquire 10 percent of the company in a deal valued from $110 million to $990 million.


(c) 2009, San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).

Visit MercuryNews.com, the World Wide Web site of the Mercury News, at www.mercurynews.com.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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User comments : 17

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5 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2009
Dam, I would love to buy that sedan. It looks sweeet!
3 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2009
Way to go Martin Eberhardt. 10% for $110 million (mostly to Elon, I realize, but anyway, hope you kept some shares).
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2009
from the Tesla Motors website Faq:

How far can the Tesla Roadster drive between charges?
Actual range depends on driving style and conditions. During testing of prototypes cars, Tesla Motors has seen between 170 miles per charge for very spirited driving to 267 miles per charge for city driving that makes use of the Roadster's regenerative braking. Our most recent EPA driving cycle tests, conducted February 2008, at an EPA-certified facility, resulted in the following numbers:

231 mi EPA city
224 mi EPA highway
227 mi EPA combined (city/highway)

That's not too bad, its good enough to get most people thru several commutes on one charge. That will help with the "what if there's a local power outage during your normal recharge period?" type questions. I am guessing this mileage estimates we made while the AC and heating systems were turned off, so those numbers should probably be discounted by about 20% in the summer and winter if you don't live in a moderate climate.

1.5 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2009
knock off $60 000 and it will be an absolute success
5 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2009
knock off $60 000 and it will be an absolute success

Tesla expects to begin producing an electric, zero-emission, $50,000 Model S sedan in late 2011.

1 / 5 (4) Jun 08, 2009
That's gr8, a new way to market fossil fuel burning transport and it only takes 3.5 hours to fill the tank.... Nice One! Forget electric cars, it's all about Hydrogen
5 / 5 (4) Jun 08, 2009
Darkside - please do a little research on how hydrogen is made. It isn't magic.
1.5 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2009
That's gr8, a new way to market fossil fuel burning transport and it only takes 3.5 hours to fill the tank.... Nice One! Forget electric cars, it's all about Hydrogen

On the website they advertise 45 charge times.
5 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2009
S for sexy. ;)
5 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2009
That's gr8, a new way to market fossil fuel burning transport and it only takes 3.5 hours to fill the tank.... Nice One! Forget electric cars, it's all about Hydrogen

High comedy...thanks for the laugh, Darkside.

The hydrogen creation process is extremely fossil-fuel heavy. It doesn't just sit around on Earth in its pure, single-neutron form. It has to be deconstructed from other materials, a process that uses a considerable amount of energy. So, in effect, hydrogen fuel cells are just relatively inefficient batteries.
4 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2009
Second issue with fuel cells is the price of those membranes needed. Ever heard of fuel cell vehicle costing less than 100 thousand? Me neither. And the third: the working life of those membranes is worse than the operating life of batteries. So fuel cells cost more and endure less than batteries. Anyone still longing for stupid hydrogen? Oh, I forgot it's inefficient to store in a car, resulting to same added weight batteries have in EV.
3 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2009
"... [hydrogen] doesn't just sit around on Earth in its pure, single-neutron form"

Hockey68, normal hydrogen doesn't have neutrons. I assume you weren't referring to Deuterium, which does have neutrons?
4 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2009
Hydrogen can be extracted for almost zero cost by using sunlight and a solar process. The only cost is the setup fees. Combined with a highly efficient storage medium like a carbon sponge it is possible to store massive amounts equivalent to a battery.

Hence if the two technologies are combined it would be possible to use hydrogen as a nearly zero emission fuel. It certainly has benefits that can suit certain environments. Like off grid or isolated locations where sunlight is easily accessible but electricity is not.

This could well come down to beta vs vhs or blu ray vs HD dvd.
3 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2009
This earlier article shoots the 'hydrogen economy' down in flames. Hydrogen is not a 'fuel'; it is a transport medium for electricity. The only reason it was ever proposed was so that Bush and his cronies would have something to transport, truck, or pipe once the oil goes away. Save a step or ten, and stick with electricity...


5 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2009
I just want to know when Tesla Motors is going to go public. I'd love to invest in this.
5 / 5 (3) Jun 15, 2009
@goldenrod: Again, why bother with hydrogen? You're still turning solar radiation into electricity to split the water. It's just another storage step. What we really need is a better battery, over Li-ion, NiMH and whathave you. Come on flywheels!
3.5 / 5 (4) Jun 15, 2009
@bmcghie, I agree that what we need is a better battery - one that holds more juice, doesn't self discharge over time, doesn't have a finite number of charge cycles, is less expensive to build, is less polluting to dispose of, and has a quicker charge time.


We don't have that. So, in the mean time, we should explore other possibilities (emphasis on the plural there).

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