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Tesla Model S - Click above for high-res image gallery

While fans of electric vehicles were largely ecstatic to see Tesla's application for a low cost loan under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program approved a few months ago, not everyone was. Some people were skeptical about giving so much money to a startup with potentially shaky finances. Tesla VP of Business Development Diarmuid OConnell has written a post on the company blog about what Tesla plans to do with the money.

It's been known since long before the DOE approved the loan that the money would be used to complete development of the Model S and build a plant to produce it. Some of the money will also go toward a separate powertrain plant to produce motors, electronics and batteries for the car.

What was new in OConnell's post was this statement:
The Model S platform will also be used for derivatives including a minivan, cross-over utility vehicle and a utility van for fleets and other industrial or civic uses.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Tesla realizes that it will need a more fleshed out lineup in order to reach long-term viability and the idea of a crossover has been mentioned in the past. This, however, appears to be the first reference of a van and minivan version of the platform, and can only mean good things for all those EV fans.


[Source: Tesla]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 2 Months Ago
      I have to confess to being skeptical that they can hit all points of affordability, size, power, and range, but if they can pull it off, more power to them!

      I've long considered BEVs to be interesting and promising but several years away, hence my strong support for alcohol fuel via fully flex-fueled ICE vehicles as a short and mid term way to get off oil NOW while we wait for electric tech to be fully ready in all market segments.
      • 2 Months Ago
      what is with all the silly glass on the top? the heat from the greenhouse effect will require constant air conditioning. also, all that glass weighs a lot, all in all seems extremely inefficient and in the opposite direction of progress.
        • 2 Months Ago
        Some people really like sunroofs and like being able to look up at the sky, and open it up for ventilation. Personally, I don't really like the idea for the reason you stated - severe heat gain in summer, as well as additional weight and cost and a potential rain leak site.

        I'm just hoping it will be an option and not standard.
        • 2 Months Ago
        Tesla has an option on the Roadster for solar shield glass. Basically, it has a layer sandwiched in the windshield glass and it blocks UV and infrared from the sun and keeps the interior of the car cooler than w/out this shield. I'd have to assume that will be in the panoramic roof glass.

        The panoramic roof WILL be an option that is not included on the base model. Like Chris M said, it looks really cool from inside the car and out, and it does open up to a much larger extent than a typical sun/moonroof.

        One that that is definitely standard on all versions will be the 17" touch screen infotainment center.

        Cool video: http://www.oncars.com/video/494/2011-Tesla-Model-S-Video-Preview
      • 2 Months Ago
      Elon Musk has stated previously that he wants a Model S as a daily drive for hauling his 5 kids. A minivan would be the next logical step for a growing family.

      I love the Idea of the CEO of a company driving their own creation to work. So Henri Ford...
        • 2 Months Ago
        He has stated that he intends to drive the Model S daily because he can haul his kids around in it. I also love the idea, although its almost REQUIRED, that he plans to drive one on a daily basis.

        It shows that the technology he is using is something he trusts will work for him and not leave him stranded.

        I personally hate minivans (or regular vans) but sometimes they can be good for a larger family or those that need the extra room for hauling things occasionally.

        To add to their list of (mini)vans, CUVs, etc. is the need of a truck so you can tow and haul things around. Yes, you can tow with an SUV but you can't haul barbeque's, dirt and other things like you could with a truck bed.
      • 2 Months Ago
      The chassis of the car is essentially a "skateboard" like you have probably heard about in concepts from a few different companies. This allows different bodies to be put on top. Development cost to go from sedan to van could be quite a lot less than with a standard unibody car.

      For vans like delivery trucks, postal trucks, taxis/shuttles, etc, that drive a whole lot of stop-and-go miles every day, an electric vehicle with sufficient range (let's say the max for this platform remains 300 or a few more miles) would save SIGNIFICANT amounts of money on gas and maintenance for these companies.

      At any rate, it certainly opens up the market to people/companies with vehicle needs that don't involve a luxury sedan. In the more distant future, Tesla will surely have a third platform on which to make more compact, more affordable EV's.
      • 2 Months Ago
      I'm saving my money, I can't wait for the Model S to come out.
        • 2 Months Ago
        I'm waiting for an AWD Crossover from Tesla :)
      • 2 Months Ago
      Will this sell?
        • 2 Months Ago
        Not to call you out or anything, but if i had to place bets on a person who could guess what is going to sell, my money would bet on Elon Musk really quickly. Is it going to outsell the model S? Well, it all sort of depends on what they can do with a certain type of vehicle for a certain price. I would bet he sees something about the performance of these styles of vehicles at a price point that most people wouldn't.
      • 2 Months Ago
      The Model S is a great benchmark to work off, I imagine SUVs and Vans working out really well from this model.