• Feb 15th 2008 at 3:48PM
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Ready for the Whitestar? CNET is, and recently interviewed Tesla's co-founder, Elon Musk, about the eagerly-anticipated next vehicle from Tesla Motors. Elon says some things we know - the electrically-powered sedan will cost between $50,000 and $60,000 and is estimated to sell 10,000 to 20,000 units a year. He also reveals that the name might change and that the design will be finalized by the second quarter of 2008. A working prototype should follow by the end of the year -- big news, indeed. Musk mentions the "default location" or "most likely" location for the Whitestar production plant is Albuquerque, which, based on earlier reports, is not surprising. Check out the complete conversation between Elon Musk and CNET's Michael Kanellos here.


[Source: CNET]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      @meme
      Hasn't it been said time and time again that the batteries haven't been a problem? Sure most would want to see more real world evaluation of it, but with the typical 500 charge cycle life, 500x200 miles in the whitestar would mean a 100,000 mile life before seeing significant charge deterioration; even then it's a gradual drop. On the other hand, the stupid transmission problem has cost them tens of millions of dollars with no return. Good thing the white star is going to be one speed. And you're incorrect...their first car is only going to be 1-2k in numbers. The whitestar is going to be 10-20k, still a comparitively small number when you considering BMW's been pumping out their 5 series at 200k+ units a year.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Bravo" to Elon and the Tesla project. Innovators take risk and change the world while sceptic sit on the side line and run their mouth.
      Don't let the Oil and Auto indutry mouth pieces stop you. If I had deep pockets I'd throw in with you Elon!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's really no way to know how Tesla's battery packs will perform until they deliver production vehicles for some real-world driving.

      How deeply are they capitalized?

      Will Tesla fold like Delorean if there are major service costs caused by battery issues?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Elon also has says that the name might change. . ." There's some peculiar grammar.

      Anyhow. The name can't change because it has never yet been announced. All we've ever heard is the project code name, White Star.

      Or to put it another way. . . The name will definitely change -- from the code name to an actual product name -- but that isn't news. It would have been news if he said they might use White Star as the product name, but I don't see where he said anything like that.

      • 7 Years Ago
      lascelles, no they haven't fixed it. They have a new plan, but that plan requires a new liquid cooled motor.

      They still have not produced and tested their final drivetrain. They still have not delivered cars (not even a prototype) with the final drivetrain.

      Tesla has had "plans" before and we all know just how well those plans worked: a) transmission vendor A -- failed. b) transmission vendor B -- failed. c) two different transmission vendors -- failed. Now they have plan d) -- single speed transmission and new motor.

      I'll believe Tesla when they are actually shipping cars. Until then, they are a hype machine.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A small company moving 10-20k of an unconventional car per year in its first model, the company's second, at a price that they're "hoping" will be 50-60k? Yeah, good luck with that :P Especially if they keep sticking to LiCoO2/graphite batteries -- the more downscale they go, the more relevant the cost of battery replacement and fire risk is.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The proposed location of the White Star factor is seriously only a 10 minute drive (or to be greener, a 20 minute bike ride) from where I live. If this all does go as they say, I'd be more than happy to provide ABG some "on the ground reporting". :)

      Its easy to be negative about Tesla, but I for one, am an optimist. I hope they have their success.
      • 7 Years Ago
      rgseidl: I certainly hope they transition. Water cooling only prevents overheating fires. It won't prevent case puncture fires, controller defect fires, or battery defect fires. And it'll prevent the batteries from being unnaturally aged due to excessive temperature, but they'll still age at the normal rate (which is very fast).

      I just don't see any realistic potential for selling in those numbers with that price and that technology.
      • 7 Years Ago
      White Star? Babylon 5 fans huh?
      • 7 Years Ago
      You go Tesla. With few other companies producing anything but prototypes and no real plan for mass production, Tesla is well ahead of the game. I too can't afford the roadster, but I love how it looks and what it represents. It's like my football team, I don't "own" it, but it's my team. Tesla is my car company. When Tesla sells a more affordable car, I'll buy it. It's not like the Volt is any better. If they decide to sell it, it's still going to cost way more than I can afford. So it looks like GM sees a market for that price range. I'm glad.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Elon Musk is Tesla's largest investor, but not one of the co-founders.
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