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Tesla-NY Times Dispute Sparking Larger Debate

Tesla stock tumbles, but will it charge back?

by on Feb.13, 2013

Tesla CEO Elon Musk apologized to the Times' Broder before blasting him in a series of tweets.

A dispute between Tesla Motors and the New York Times over a review of the maker’s Model S sedan is taking on an increasingly strident and noisy life of its own raising questions about just what the California-based battery-car start-up hopes to accomplish.

Clearly, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has been angered by what he has dubbed a “fake” story by veteran Times reporter John Broder.  But more than a few observers warn that Musk’s decision to angrily fight back could backfire and raise even more concerns about battery-car technology.

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It certainly has gotten investors skittish, Tesla’s stock taking a sharp drop from its nearly $40-a-share peak last week – though it has rebounded slightly since the he-said/she-said battle began.

Complicating matters, it appears that Tesla chief Musk called to apologize to the NY Times scribe before turning around and blasting him in a series of Twitter posts.


Tesla Reveals New Model X Crossover

Maybe it is rocket science?

by on Feb.10, 2012

Tesla's Model X features distinctive "falcon" doors that can open even in tight quarters, like this garage.

It’s not rocket science.  Well, maybe it is.  Using his other big venture, the Space X rocket factory, as a background, Tesla Motor Co. CEO pulled the wraps off the company’s next new product, the Model X crossover.

Sharing the same basic platform as Tesla’s upcoming Model S sedan, the new 3-row, 7-seat crossover is a visual standout with its unusual “falcon” rear doors.  The unusual design allows them to be operated in even a tight parking spot, unlike traditional gullwing doors. And it provides easy access to the crossover’s two rear seats.

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The Model X is set to be the second mainstream offering from Tesla which plans to bring its first, the Model S sedan, to market later in 2012.  The Model X is expected to follow within a year.

The crossover will use the same pancake-style battery layout, with the lithium-ion pack mounted in the platform beneath the passenger compartment.  One difference is that the small, 40 kilowatt-hour pack offered in the Model S won’t be available for the Model X. Crossover buyers will have the choice of a 60 or an 85 kWh pack.


Tesla Teaser Reveals Model X

Complete, on-line unveiling scheduled for Feb 9.

by on Feb.01, 2012

Tesla provides prospective buyers a look at its next mainstream model.

It hasn’t even put its first mainstream offering, the Model S sedan, into production yet, but California electric car start-up Tesla Motors already is teasing the product to follow, the Model X crossover.

As with the Model S – with which it shares the underlying platform – the Model X crossover was originally scheduled to debut last year but has been pushed back until late in 2013, according to the battery-car maker.

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The high-contrast image, a silhouette sent in a mailing to customers, was taken at the maker’s Southern California design studio. There are clear similarities to the Model S visible in the image, starting with the stylized “T” logo on the grille, but the Model X appears to have a higher roofline that tapers rearward more like a BMW 5GT or X6.


Tesla Sets $57,400 Base Price for Model S

300-mile range carries $20,000 premium.

by on Dec.21, 2011

Tesla is still nearly a year away from the official launch of the Model S.

Tesla will offer its first mass-market model for a base price of $57,400 – with a super high-range lithium-ion battery adding another $20,000 to the price tag for the Model S sedan.

The new 7-seater is expected to reach production late in 2012, Tesla launching production at an old California assembly plant until recently operated as part of a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota.  The maker has received hundreds of millions in federal loans to push the Model S project forward, while Toyota has also come aboard as a minority investor in Tesla.

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The prices quoted by Tesla reflect the figures after including a $7,500 federal tax credit, so the MSRP for the base Model S, with a 160-mile, 40 kilowatt-hour battery will actually be $64,900.  A top-line Performance Model will carry a sticker of $94,900 – or $87,400 after accounting for the federal tax credit.


Tesla Sets Price, Production Plans for Model S

Battery sedan will start at $57,400 - before federal tax credits - when launched in mid-2012.

by on Mar.07, 2011

The Tesla Model S will go on sale in mid-2012 at a base price of $57,400 minus the federal $7,500 tax credit.

The first Tesla Model S sedan will roll off the maker’s new assembly line in mid-2012 and carry a base price of $57,400, which would drop to $49,900 after federal tax incentives of $7,500.

Tesla will offer a wide-range of options – including a choice of three battery packs capable of delivering up to 300 miles per charge, according to the Silicon Valley start-ups Vice President of Sales George Blankenship.

“It is clear that our customers would like to keep up with progress as we work towards first deliveries in 2012,” the executive writes in a new blog post that follows a meeting with 50 current Tesla Roadster owners at the company’s newest dealership, in Milan, Italy.

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The first so-called “Alpha” engineering prototypes began road testing in December, noted Blankenship.  Preparations are now underway for “Beta” models, which are described as “production-intent,” or essentially identical to what Tesla will produce when manufacturing gets underway in mid-2012 at the factory the company acquired last year.