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Tesla Motors has been getting a lot of press in recent months, be it from First Drives or the shifts in the company's hierarchy. However, even with increasing oil prices, the all electric market remains a small niche. The limited vehicle range, long charging time and lack of charging infrastructure for those who park on the street have left a sizable chunk of potential customers out of reach. Now it seems that Tesla Motors will no longer alienate the general market with their product lineup. They have announced that the Whitestar Sedan, in development for release sometime around the end of 2009, will be offered with two powertrain options. One choice will be the familiar all electric version with an expected range somewhere between 150 and 200 miles and the other choice will be an extended-range vehicle aka REV.

The REV Whitestar will have the ability to go 40 to 50 miles off a fully charged battery pack. It will also feature a small gasoline engine that will have the task of recharging the batteries while the vehicle is in use. With a full tank of fuel the REV should see a range of 400 miles before it needs a trip to the gas station. Obviously, this is a similar setup to GM's Chevrolet Volt concept. The Whitestar Sedan will be aimed at a different market than the Volt though. Luxury manufactures, such as BMW and Lexus, are the intended competition and fittingly, the REV Whitestar's price will fall somewhere between $50,000 and $70,000 depending on the size of the battery pack.

[Source: CNET News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago

      More vapor from Tesla. They've proven that they can't deliver their roadster and now they're talking about delivering a sedan in less than two years with two different powertrains, neither of which exist right now.

      What Tesla should do is just shut up, fix the roadster, deliver it, make sure that it is reliable, and only THEN start thinking about other products. This is a complete distraction to their team that clearly needs to focus on the roadster, not get whipsawed by whatever pipedream the CEO had last night.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That first roadster has a temporary transmission. Can they sustain production? Will the car hold up?

        Being able to deliver one car, and without a fully functioning transmission, is not what I would call a ringing endorsement of Tesla's long-term viability.

        Get the roadster's production "normalized" (and by normal I mean the standards of Lotus or Ferrari at least--normalized by Toyota standards is a pipe dream) and then we'll talk about other products.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sorry tesla hater, but the first roadster has already been delivered. Cant use that one anymore...

      • 7 Years Ago
      400 miles on a tank of gas is special how?
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM simply doesn't have the cash.

      they'd have to finance it w/ high yield bonds (i.e. junk bonds).
      • 7 Years Ago
      What they need to do is hook up with Ford, and develop a Shelby version called...wait for it...Whitesnake. Or at least a David Coverdale edition.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sweet. I guess the petrol engine can be a very efficient one, since it can run at constant rpm and stuff. Maybe they could use a turbine engine.

      I'd be more excited to hear they were making some ultimate electric supercar, but a car for everyday people to drive around in efficiently is big news. I look forward to seeing how this all pans out.

      I wonder if a flywheel type KERS device like they'll be trying in F1 is more suitable for this kind of vehicle than an electric battery.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It seems far fetched for someone to plunk down that kind of money for a sedan, which is a far more rational purchase than a roadster. Expectations are far greater when you go up against BMW, Mercedes et. al. To do so as an unproven start up is asking a lot of the customers. However, I'm sure their limited production won't result in too many new sedans sitting around.

      I'm not to sure who would want to acquire the company given that they are essentially sourcing all of their components and assembly. What established car manufacturer can't do that? Tesla will establish a market, but they will need to continue to stay ahead of the game once direct competition starts coming from the rest of the industry.
      • 7 Years Ago
      it would be special if the tank only holds 5 gallons.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is Tesla run by Malcolm Bricklin? We always hear about the great new products being developed while the previous great new product was never delivered.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @andrew t

      yes they have been delivered.... with temporary transmissions
      • 7 Years Ago
      "I'd be more excited to hear they were making some ultimate electric supercar, but a car for everyday people to drive around in efficiently is big news. I look forward to seeing how this all pans out."
      Yeah, I hope in the future they will make a Veyron class electric car as it's entirely possible with extra motors making it 4WD (look at the 5291lb eliica which got to 230 mph), but I think they should focus more on their core business for now.

      Temporary transmission is only temporary in the sense it can be swapped out later, but you could keep it if you want. There is no sacrifice of durability and it is fully functioning; you are sacrificing some acceleration performance, but not durability because it would be unsafe to drive with a transmission that will fail in a couple thousand miles. I don't think Tesla is dumb enough not to realize the amount of law suits that will follow if that is the case.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Heh, sinking feeling, Whitestar. :P

      • 7 Years Ago
      @chrisdavis - we don't source any of our drivetrain components (they are all original Tesla designs) and do all of our vehicle integration including control systems and firmware in house. That's the hard stuff that others are after.
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