Tesla Model S Gets Price, 2012 Release Date

Tesla Model SWe haven’t heard much from Tesla Motors since its successful initial public offering last summer. The electric car company has gone quiet, focusing on its Model S sedan. According to recent comments from CEO and co-founder Elon Musk, retail production for the EV is set to being within the next year and a half.

Deliveries should begin in mid-2012, Musk said, with the previously stated target base price of $57,400 ($49,900 with tax credits) for a Model S with a 160-mile range. A battery pack with a range of 230 miles will cost about $67,000, and a 300-mile option will top out at $77,000. If the figures stay put, the Model S will be a competitively priced full-size luxury sedan. It’s slightly larger than the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6, according to Tesla.

The first 1,000 Model S vehicles will be dubbed the Signature Series. Those vehicles will have the 300-mile-range batteries, which means they’ll cost nearly $80,000 or possibly more. You can reserve a Model S now for $5,000 or $40,000 for the Signature trim. The reservation payment is fully refundable if you change your mind.

If you reserve a Model S, Tesla will contact you three months before production of your vehicle to select options. Production-intent Beta models will go into production in late 2011. Buyers who reserve the model will be able to test drive the EV in early 2012.

For 2012, Tesla plans to build 5,000 to 7,000 Model S vehicles, stepping up production to 20,000 annually thereafter.

By Colin Bird | March 8, 2011 | Comments (20)



The Obama administration gave Tesla $350 million dollars of tax payer money. I won't go into how much of a joke Obama has turned into.


What is achievement of this car? 300 mile battery pack for 77K? I can see this project as test of technology. But America needs mass produced cars that will go 200 miles on 1 charge in winters of Minnesota w/heater on. Obama should really better give these money to MIT or something to get this done.
From other side, I we do move to all-electric cars as a nation, we better build some nuclear power plants because when everybody will plug their auto into grid, we wouldn't be able to watch TV


The high value jobs of the future are starting to show up today! The future is electric and it's coming up roses!

Matt C

Am I looking at a RX-8 or is it the angle of the picture? I can't believe there was government money given to them. I hope they are able to pay it back with how much they are charging for the cars.


There was a good documentary on Bloomberg regarding the government bail-outs. A portion covered how Tesla executives outsmarted the current administration by laying-off 90% of their workers in Detroit in create an air of fear and need. Once Tesla secured $350M in bail-out money they rehired a tiny fraction at their corporate offices in San Jose.


I can think of worse things to spend 350M on. Given Detroits reluctance with change, this might push them in a direction that is better for the public.

Dave M

Actually Tesla received a loan for up to $465M to manufacture (in America) a Sedan that can go 300mi per charge. Price will come down over time. This will nudge the industry to begin to move away from foreign oil, and provide American jobs. No other company has even proposed an (electric only) car which goes more than 100mi on a charge. For once, a Gov't loan well spent. This time Obama got it right!


It's 2011 and Detroit is still cranking out large v8 SUVs that guzzle 4.00++ gallon gas. Price a 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid - 85K and get lousy mileage. Methinks we are already seeing the electric passing the gas guzzler in the Model S. Right in front of your eyes and you can't even see it. Suburban and Expedition in the 50K+ range and lousy gas mileage, 77K ain't so bad and no pay for gas.


The republicans absolutely HATE electric cars since their muslim gods, the Saudis can't make money off of them. Doesn't bother then that the major oil companies don't pay taxes.


That's funny, its the republicans trying to get oil in America instead of overseas while the democrats refuse to drill in America and instead force Americans to buy cheap Chinese crap and Saudi oil.


Democratic or Republican, no matter. Electric cars are going to happen this time and support money for a company that has it right was a smart move that Obama made ($450 million is chump change as compared to the $4 Billion given to Nissan, and $4.5 Billion to Ford). In Cali, the Nissan Leaf is basically a free car if one took the time to figure out the rebates/tax credits available (state, federal, infrastructure, company). It is surprising that everybody did not jump in as early as they should have to buy that "free" car. Of course, many people did take advantage since the car sold (and continues to sell) like hotcakes. As an owner of a Leaf, I can say with confidence that the car deserves every bit of the World Car Award 2011 that Nissan won. I have had many cars and the Leaf is amongst the best drive. For those of you that think the price of the Tesla is too high, then perhaps those individuals are unfamiliar with market comparisons of similar classed cars. It is also good to see an American car company manufacture a product that can finally compete with the Germans (let alone the Japanese). You can have a can-do attitude or a pessimistic one, but the facts speak for themselves if you know how to analyze them appropriately. Looking forward to Ford's EV coming soon, and of course, the Tesla shortly thereafter.

Gary G

The last poster is correct ... The Tesla family of cars ARE the super cars of Electric vehicles, a showcase of what is possible. The model S with the performance upgrade is faster 0-60 than my Supercharged Jag XKR.

They are also making a point of using all American suppliers whenever possible. Unfortuately there are no US battery manufacturers that can handle the quanties so they had to go with Panasonic. Tesla needed guaranteed supply of cells for 80,000 vehicles.. that's a lot of batteries!

Those of us that drop the $80-$90K (I'm #3248 of 5000) will lower the eventual price for everyone. I paid 8K for an HDTV in the 90's, now they are < 1K.

I'm an engineer and not ashamed that I work hard and make good money; finally I can buy American and be proud to have the best in the world.

Tesla IS the automotive Apple. Not supprizing Toyota, Daimler, Google and Panasonic have all invested $. So will I. "If you build it they will come !"

Ignorant Dolt

Let's face it, the energy companies have not managed to buy up all the patents for electric vehicles and can't stand it. Suddenly, the market they have had a death grip on for over 100 years is slipping from their control.

The same held true for the record industry, post office and retail department stores. Something better came along and they were either not ready for it or fought tooth and nail to prevent it's success.

The car is not the most unique looking on the market BUT it's running with the rest of the pack. It's claimed to be larger than the mid sized luxury brands offerings and apparently is faster than the lot of them. The only unknowns are build quality, real world range and resale value.

Gary's analogy was perfect when he said HDTV's cost over $5 grand in the 90's. Walmart was selling 40" HDTV's for $199.00 on Black Friday. That's economy of scale at work for you the consumer.


Gary G,
I think you are my new personal hero. Someone who makes enough money to help support the industry and is willing to do so.
I make enough money to buy a new toy every now and again (after funding my 401k =P), but cant really afford something like this. Since people like you exist, in 7-8 years I hope to have a very similar vehicle!

Gary G

Thanks Khao :-)

I know being an early adopter isn't a financial genius move, but I do have a alterior motive. I am a engineer, where will I be in 10 years if there are no high tech jobs left in the US. I also dropped $42K for solar panels for my home, I will never break even and I know it... but that's not the point. Given the economy it's even more important to support Hi-Tech in the US.


I have had the unique opportunity to drive a Tesla Roadster and suggest you do so if you have the chance. It is an astonishing car, practical, not really but it shows what is coming. The emotion you get when you accelerate from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds with no gear shifts or outragious engine noise is more than memorable. I also have a deposit on a Model S and expect it to be an extraordinary car as well but with a bit more of the practical attributes. Whoever mentioned that it looked like an RX-8 needs to clean their glasses :-)

Gary G

I just signed my contract for the model S.. I let you know what its like when it shows up later in the year.


I signed my contract as well. 85KW . Range 300 miles. Looking forward to delivery.

Gary G

Good for you Steve... I'm #3248 they said December.

I'm frantically trying to clear a space for it in the garage :-)


How dumb do the two clowns - Kabash and Tony - that posted first on this sound now.

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