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Tesla’s Model S: All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go?

Maker’s planned 300-mile battery pack may be effectively unusable – unless you have plenty of time to wait.

by on Jan.19, 2011

Tesla plans to launch production of the Model S sedan sometime in early 2012.

A new video released by Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors suggests the maker is moving rapidly ahead with the development of its planned Model S sedan, and may very well make its ambitious target of going to market in 2012.

With a planned price tag under $50,000 – after federal and state rebates, where available – Tesla is hoping the Model S will prove naysayers wrong about the viability and flexibility of electric propulsion.  Notably, to overcome so-called “range anxiety,” the ambitious automaker will offer three different battery packs: a base version delivering 160 miles under optimum conditions, one that pushes to 230 miles, and a third lithium-ion pack that will get as much as 300 miles per charge, about what a motorist might expect on a tank of gas with the typical automobile.

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But company sources acknowledge that the larger batteries, especially the pack providing a 300-mile range, may be not only priced beyond what most motorists could afford – but that few, if any owners would be equipped to utilize its extended range without long layovers between drives.