Tesla Model S may come early with more range than promised: 320 miles!
That's what Tesla executives Elon Musk and J.B. Straubel might be asking themselves after running single-charge mileage tests of the company's Model S sedan, which could be making the near first customer deliveries in about a month. That's roughly 30 days ahead of schedule, as Tesla is reportedly wrapping up crash testing fast enough to start making the hotly-anticipated EV.
Tesla's Model S battery-electric sedan has about a 31 percent longer single-charge range than the Roadster convertible that Tesla debuted in 2008, Musk and Straubel wrote on the company's blog Wednesday. More importantly, the Model S exceeded the company's goal of a 300-mile single-charge range under a mix of city and highway driving. Read their gloatations here and check out our first-ride impressions here.
In fact, under the so-called 2-cycle EPA testing method involving 55 percent city driving and 45 percent highway, the Model S drove 320 miles on a single charge. Back when the Roadster was tested, it got 244 miles. The biggest battery you can get in the Model S is 85 kWh, while the Roadster has 56 kWh. Oh, and Tesla thinks the potential is there for more miles to be hiding in a Model S pack, and is going to give some sort of prize to whoever can drive a Model S over 400 miles on a single charge first. The glove has been tossed.
The Model S couldn't come at a much better time for Tesla, as the automaker just announced a first quarter loss of $89.9 million. The prospects aren't any better for Q2, but the second half of the year should be an entirely different story. Q1 revenue was only $30 million, and the first half year revenue is expected to come in around $60 million. With the Model S around for the second half of the year, sales are expected to skyrocket into the $600 million range. Tesla forecast earlier this year that 2012 sales would triple from last year's revenue of $204.2 million because of the Model S, which the company estimated would move 5,000 units this year, even though the automaker currently has 10,000 orders in-hand.
Autoblog writer Chris Shunk contributed to this post.
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