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]