A Quick Update on Model S

George Blankenship, Vice President, Worldwide Sales & Ownership Experience, March 7, 2011

Over fifty Tesla Roadster owners and their guests joined us recently to celebrate the opening of the newest Tesla store in Milan, Italy. Elon and I held a “customer chat” just before the event. It was an incredible opportunity to spend time with current owners. I loved being in the same room with over 100 loyal and committed customers, spouses, and friends. It was great!

The most enjoyable part was the question & answer time we set aside to hear directly what was on our customers’ minds. We discussed everything from the potential of creating third party apps for Roadster and Model S to worldwide differences in charging infrastructure. It was very interesting to hear Tesla customers’ priorities for us as a company.

There were lots of questions about Model S. That was not a big surprise. It is clear that our customers would like to keep up with progress as we work towards first deliveries in 2012. So I’d like to take this opportunity to respond to the “customer requests” I heard in Milan and give the latest progress update about Model S.

Our recent Model S blog posts have focused on our advanced electric powertrain and the ingenuity of our vehicle engineering. The majority of questions in Milan concerned delivery timing, battery option availability and pricing. Although we have not yet finalized the information on all those fronts, here are a few progress updates that hopefully will answer some of the questions:

  • Alpha testing is in full swing. The first Alpha hit the road in December 2010, and we continue to test as planned. Final assembly of the production-intent Beta vehicles will be done at the Tesla Factory this year and provide us with further testing and development opportunities.
  • Deliveries for North America begin in mid-2012.
  • The first 1000 cars off the line will be the North American Model S Signature Series. Those vehicles will be equipped with a 300 mile range battery. In the tradition of a limited-edition series, they will feature unique badging and an extensive complement of options.
  • After the Model S Signature Series, deliveries for North America will continue with the 300 mile batteries, followed by 230 and 160 options later in 2012.
  • Delivery of the European left-hand drive Model S is scheduled to begin in late 2012. In mid-2013 we plan to begin delivering the right-hand drive Model S for Europe and Asia. Each launch will begin with a limited edition Signature Series.
  • We expect to produce approximately 5,000 units in 2012 as we ramp to full single shift production capacity of 20,000 units per year in 2013.
  • The price of the US base Model S with a 160-mile battery is $49,900 after the $7,500 federal tax credit. The 230-mile range option is expected to price at about $10,000 more and the 300-mile option at about $20,000 more than the base.
  • We are currently working on final pricing and options for Model S, including the Signature Series. We expect to have updates on Model S pricing worldwide this summer.

We are very enthusiastic about how Model S is developing, and we appreciate the support we’ve felt from our reservation holders and community. We will continue to share Model S updates as we get closer to production, so everyone can share in these exciting times.

More information can be found in our Model S FAQ.

I hope this information helps answer many of the questions from our customer chat. Thanks to everyone who joined us in Milan for the grand opening. You made it a very special event!

Safe Harbor

This document includes certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the planned introduction, schedule, capabilities, features, options, and pricing of our Model S. These statements are based on the current expectations or beliefs of management of Tesla and are subject to risks, uncertainties, changes in circumstances and other factors. Without limitation, among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are: we may experience significant delays in the design, manufacture, launch and financing of the Model S, including in the build out of our Model S manufacturing facility as well as significant barriers in our attempt to produce our Model S. More detailed information about these and other factors that may affect current expectations may be found in filings by Tesla with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and other publicly available filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements reflect Tesla's expectations only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as reflecting Tesla's views, expectations or beliefs at any date subsequent to the date of this release. Tesla disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.