The Tesla Model S, a full-sized battery powered electric sedan, is still in its prototype stages with production having been delayed a number of times since the concept was launched, to great fanfare, in February 2009 at the SpaceX exhibition held in Hawthorne, California. Since the launch, despite making firm commitments to honor orders placed, Tesla have suffered a series of setbacks and many delays. However their new factory, based in Fremont, California, is now moving well into the production stages, with the first models are expected to be rolling off the line by June of 2012, with 5,000 Model S expected to be produced by the end of 2012.
Tesla recently unveiled the working prototypes of both models, receiving very positive reviews in the process, especially when they backed up the launch with a firm commitment that the first one thousand Signature Series sedans will hit the dealerships by mid June. When they do, the Tesla Model S Sedan will be (hopefully) driven off by their proud new owners totally powered by a battery pack ready to provide them with 300 miles (480 km) of silent, pollution free motoring.
When the batteries run out of power, charging times are expected to vary depending on a number of factors, should take around five hours in total, or around sixty miles of motoring per hour of charge. Those who don't have the time to wait can either visit a QuickCharge center, of which there are many around, and let their battery go through a rapid charging process that will zap 80% maximum power ( 240 miles) in less than an hour. Obviously this process will be more expensive than an end-of the day, do-it-yourself trickle charge, but certainly less than a full "out and in" battery swap, which will take just a few minutes.
The Tesla Model S Saloon will come with active air suspension, performance wheels and tires as well as sport-tuned traction control.The Tesla Model S Sedan's styling is straight out of the Far East, providing a refreshing change from its principally European rivals. Tesla's sedan also belies its title as actually being a five-door, seven seater hatchback. This means the Model S can offer seven seats (although the two third row seats are for children only, and face outwards).
At the prototype unveiling, which in itself is a first for the luxury car industry, the Tesla Model S Sedan put on a show for its reviewers, proving that it does have the power to earn a place in the luxury car niche, by producing a top speed of 130 mph from a standing 0 to 60 mph in around six seconds.