• Sep 17, 2008
The 2011 Chevy Volt has been getting the lion's share of news on the EV front, but it could be jostling for attention in late 2010 with an all-EV sedan from Tesla. Tesla has secured $100 million in private equity and another $150 million in loan guarantees from the federal government to build a new factory in San Jose, CA. The company on Wednesday announced that the facility would build the $60,000 Model S sedan, which was originally dubbed Whitestar. The new Tesla plant will be able to produce 11,000 Model S sedans per year by the end of 2011, giving customers a much more mainstream EV entry than the $100,000 Tesla Roadster.

We haven't heard too much about the Model S sedan, but earlier in the year Tesla co-founder Elan Musk said there could be a fully functioning prototype and a finalized design by the end of 2008. We're with you in hoping it looks as good as the Tesla Roadster while providing similar range in a more family-friendly package.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Looks as good as the Tesla Roadster?"

      It's essentially a Lotus Elise with a head and taillight swap. It's not bad looking but it's not exactly original. I'd like to see what they can do with a blank sheet because I for-damn-sure wouldn't pay $60,000 for a head and taillight swap on a Dodge Charger or Magnum or whatever it was they were using as their mule.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Plus the cost of a replacement pack after 5 years.
      • 6 Years Ago
      At $60,000, the price range is still above my paygrade. For now, I'll have to stick to something a little more practical for me. Like a scooter or an electric motor bike:

      http://www.kaboodle.com/iamelf/go-green-buy-an-electric-motor-bike.html
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't know why I haven't done this already, but I need to send my resume in to Tesla.
      • 6 Years Ago
      20, 10 even 5 years ago it is believed companies like this were shut down by politics andor oil companies. Its great to see some innovation from hungry companies. Competition always wins for us. I must ponder "why not the LS2LS7?" point about costs. The cost of living in California is high, why not move over a state or two and go rural to make it affordable on all fronts?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Also a good point. You have GM, Toyota and Honda already to roll out electric based vehicles and dozens who have plans or are planning. He has a shot at it by staying boutique, however he will need to stay ahead performance and design wise, which frankly, he is 20 years ahead of the electric competition in those areas.

        "I think Musk just thinks that the parts in electric cars will remain expensive enough that he can sell "boutique cars" for a long time."
        • 6 Years Ago
        You give Musk too much credit.

        It's likely he just doesn't know what he is doing. He can't see the future or doesn't care since he doesn't plan on owning the company that long.

        Intel stopped making CPUs here in Silicon Valley. They are mde in huge batches from sand and sell for $1K a pop. I can't see how making cars here makes sense.

        I think Musk just thinks that the parts in electric cars will remain expensive enough that he can sell "boutique cars" for a long time. Well, if the prices on battery packs really drop as he hopes they do to make Whitestar affordable, the cost of putting it together becomes really important. Plus, his rivals (any big car company) will be buying everything, including switchgear and taillights, in larger volumes and thus get them cheaper than him. Add on the fact that hand-assembled boutique cars tend to be less reliable (see any British car or current Qvale/Sparrow/Zap/etc. US boutique car) and you are going to have a tough time competing.

        So why start yourself behind the 8 ball with expensive labor and enormous land costs?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Keep in mind Tesla is founded by Silicon Valley techs as well. They're a start-up company trying to sell a range of vehicles from $60,000 - $90,000 and they have to make a name for themselves. I'm sure manufacturing in a wealthier area for the sake of saying they do it, will bring some prestige to the Tesla name to people who aren't normally into cars like we bloggers may be, even if it comes at a slight pinch in their wallets. It's worth it to them in the end.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure Toyota is building the Corolla just a few miles down the road from there (Fremont). Cheap labor doesn't mean smart or efficient labor! And think about the target demographic: no shipping costs, cause ain't nobody in Flint is gonna trade their house for one.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok, so maybe it was a cache problem, my bad...
      • 6 Years Ago
      The auto industry is chasing me. I move from Flint to San Jose and look what happens.

      It would have to be either up on Old Oakland Road or down in Coyote Valley, right? There's a tiny bit of space way out on Blossom Hill.

      I can't wait to see the labor costs. Given that you can't get a house in this valley for under $600K. In Flint a house is $250K.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You must have been away from Flint a long time, I think you added one too many zero's on your housing price estimate.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow, you're a local too eh? It'll be cool to have two auto plants in the valley. NUMMI by all accounts is running full steam ahead producing the corolla and vibe.
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