Perhaps most exciting, the Model S will now feature adjustable regenerative brakes, which is something we certainly like to see in our EVs. For highway driving, having the brakes grab hold each time we take our foot off the accelerator is annoying, so we look forward to seeing just how much "coasting" the Model S will allow. Blankenship writes that, "Having less Regen means you will likely get less range, but some people still prefer the feel of their car with less Regen." We can't wait until some inspired hypermiler decides to test this for him- or herself. The resistance in the steering wheel and the car's suspension can also be adjusted.
As we learned during the Detroit Auto Show, Tesla's Fremont factory (the former NUMMI plant) has been quite busy preparing to make the Model S. The picture above shows plant employees with the first customer Model S body. 2012 production of the Model S is sold out, but Tesla is still out there trying to drum up sales with Model S promotional tours stops on the west and east coasts of the U.S. as well as a five-city tour of Canada.
Befitting a 21st Century automaker, Tesla says it will webcast the first Model S delivery on its website. Leading up to June 22, Tesla will also post a weekly video about Model S production. So, there's more to come.
*UPDATE: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has Tweeted the following: "Major Tesla milestone: All crash testing is complete for 5* (max) safety rating. Cars can now be built for sale to public!"
World's First Premium Electric Sedan Ahead of Schedule
PALO ALTO, CA, May 22, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Tesla Motors TSLA +6.01% will begin delivering Model S, the world's first premium electric sedan, to customers on June 22nd, 2012. Several customers will receive their cars that day at an invitation-only event at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California. In its Q1 financial results communicated earlier this month, Tesla announced Model S would begin deliveries ahead of the July timeframe originally communicated.
"In 2006 our plan was to build an electric sports car followed by an affordable electric sedan, and reduce our dependence on oil," said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors CEO and Chief Product Architect. "Delivering Model S is a key part of that plan and represents Tesla's transition to a mass-production automaker and the most compelling car company of the 21st century."
Model S is the first premium sedan designed from the ground up to take full advantage of electric vehicle architecture. A revolutionary powertrain sits under the floorboard of Model S, creating an ultra-low center of gravity. Paired with an aluminum body engineered for superior handling, Tesla has created a vehicle that will raise the bar for vehicle handling and efficiency while meeting the highest standards for safety.
Without an internal combustion engine or transmission tunnel, the interior of Model S has more cargo space than any other sedan and includes a second trunk under the hood. Model S seats five adults and two children in optional rear facing seats and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 4.4 seconds. The interior features a 17" in-dash touchscreen with internet capabilities, allowing for streaming radio, web browsing and navigation. With the most energy-dense battery pack in the industry and best-in-class aerodynamics, Model S has the longest range of any electric car in the world. Model S comes with three battery pack options to fit the unique needs of different drivers.
Tesla will be publishing regular updates about the event on June 22nd, as described in this company blog post. Model S test-drive events will begin rolling out to select North American cities in July. Tesla will be ramping up production throughout 2012 and plans to deliver 5,000 vehicles by year end. Reservations for the premium electric sedan currently exceed 10,000. Customers can reserve a Model S at one of Tesla's retail stores or online.
Tesla's goal is to accelerate the world's transition to electric mobility. Palo Alto, California based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components for partners such as Toyota and Daimler. Tesla has delivered more than 2,250 Roadsters to customers worldwide. Model S, the first premium sedan to be built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, begins deliveries in June 2012.
Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the initial delivery date of Model S, Model S safety, Model S test drives and Model S production in 2012, are "forward-looking statements" that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations, and as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Various important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including the risks and uncertainties identified under the sections captioned "Risk Factors" and "MD&A" in Tesla's Form 10-Q filed on May 10, 2012. Tesla disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements.