Tesla Selects Nevada for Site of New Battery "Gigafactory"

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Tesla Motors and the state of Nevada have jointly announced that the company has selected Nevada for the site of its new "Gigafactory," a manufacturing plant that will supposedly supply the electric vehicle automaker with enough batteries to build 500,000 cars annually by 2020. Speculation has been rampant for months about where the site of the new plant would be, ever since Tesla began courting several Southwestern states for tax and construction incentives in exchange for locating the plant in their state.

Related: Glitches Call Reliability of Tesla Model S Into Question

The plant itself will be a joint venture between Tesla and the company's battery supplier Panasonic, which has agreed to produce cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells there, providing machinery and manufacturing equipment while Tesla provides the land, facility and building management. Half of the plant will be used by Panasonic to manufacture lithium-ion cells, the other half of the facility will be used by Tesla's various suppliers to create battery packs and ancillary support systems for the packs.

Tesla maintains that the plant will eventually produce enough battery packs to support the Model S, Model X SUV (concept shown above) and the recently announced smaller Model 3 sedan, Tesla's less expensive, more accessible EV luxury car. The 500,000 claim is a bit staggering as no luxury brand sells nearly that many cars in the U.S., and Tesla has only just begun exploring sales in China. The company claims that the plant will eventually employ 6,600 people, and Nevada is expecting the plant to generate more than $100 billion in economic impact for the state over the next 20 years.

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By Aaron Bragman | September 5, 2014 | Comments (1)

More Tesla Models and Service Centers on the Way

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We've already seen the Tesla Model S, which is on sale now, and the new midsize Tesla Model X crossover that's due out in early 2014. A compact, entry-level Tesla priced around $30,000 also should be coming in 2015. Now we're learning that the automaker also plans to build a compact crossover and a new Tesla Roadster by 2016, Tesla founder Elon Musk told Wired Magazine. That would bring the carmaker's lineup up to five vehicles from today's one.

The Roadster and the compact crossover are being designed and engineered in tandem, according to Musk, and would go on sale at the same time in 2016. Like the now-defunct Tesla Roadster, Musk says the new model will have supercar performance, but, unlike the old Roadster, it will be less expensive. A base 2011 Tesla Roadster cost $109,000.

By Colin Bird | September 13, 2012 | Comments (3)

2012 Tesla Model S Deliveries Start Today, EPA Figures Official

2012 Tesla Model S

The 2012 Tesla Model S has been in production since at least the start of June, and today, the first 10 Signature models will be picked up by owners at Tesla's factory in California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Signature models are priced from $95,400 to $107,850. Eventually, when more trims go online, the Model S could be had for about $57,400.

The EV startup also announced on Thursday a new partnership with Wells Fargo to provide more retail financing options on the Model S. Tesla is looking into offering a full range of financing options, including leases.

By Colin Bird | June 22, 2012 | Comments (9)

2012 Tesla Model S Will Launch a Month Early, Have 265-Mile Range

2012 Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors has moved up the on-sale date of its 2012 Tesla Model S to June, and the electric carmaker revealed that top-of-the-line Model S trims will have a range of up to 265 miles.

Due to quicker-than-expected approval by government agencies, Tesla expects to deliver its first retail Model S vehicles in June instead of its original July date.

The Model S is now fully certified with the EPA and the state of California, according to Tesla. On the company's blog, the carmaker mentioned that the Model S with the largest battery pack, an 85-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, is EPA-rated as traveling about 265 miles per charge. This exceeds the range of any electric vehicle on the market today. No word yet on what the 40- and 60-kWh batteries will get, but Tesla originally stated ranges of 160 miles and 230 miles, respectively. The 85-kWh battery was originally estimated to get 300 miles per charge, about 12% higher than the EPA's number.

By Colin Bird | May 11, 2012 | Comments (0)

Tesla Model X: First Look

Tesla Model X

  • Looks like: The Tesla Model S gets the crossover treatment  
  • Defining characteristics: All-wheel drive, electric drivetrains, massive roof-hinged rear doors 
  • Ridiculous features: Huge touch-screen might make MyFord Touch look simple  
  • Chances of being mass-produced: Deliveries start in early 2014

While the first Tesla Model S sedans have yet to reach customers, the automaker feels confident enough to show its next new model, the Model X.

The Model X is a three-row crossover that's based on the Model S. Shown here in prototype form, the electric carmaker says it's investing about $150 million into designing the new body style. Tesla also expects the Model X to go into production late next year, with it showing up in early 2014 at customers' doorsteps.

Why should you choose this over the Model S, which also has the ability to seat seven people in a pinch?

By Colin Bird | February 10, 2012 | Comments (5)

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