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Tesla Motors Announces Prices For Their Upcoming Models 503

Shivetya writes with a list of prices for upcoming models from Tesla, noting that "they aren't cheap and the prices are listed assuming the $7500 tax credit. A 160-mile range S will set you back $49,900, the 230-mile is at $59,000, and the 300-mile range S will cost $69,000. Battery sizes are 40, 60, and 85kwh respectively. For your money these cars also include a very large seventeen-inch touchscreen. Is this the electric car you've been waiting for or another rich person's toy?"
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Tesla Motors Announces Prices For Their Upcoming Models

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  • Both (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:00PM (#38461444)

    Is this the electric car you've been waiting for or another rich person's toy?

    Can't it be both? Because right now it's both.

    • Re:Both (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <> on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:05PM (#38461504) Journal

      Yeah anything over $40k is well into the "rich guy toy" range, good deal or not.

      • by goldcd ( 587052 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:17PM (#38461650) Homepage
        We need the rich guys to buy it first, so the rest of us can pick them up when they get mass market - if there is a mass market (which personally I think there is)
        The first "motorized carriages" were quite definitely impractical toys for the rich. See also the first airplanes and pretty much "the first anythings"
        • True. I wouldn't even call this impractical at all, just too expensive for the everyman. They look like decent deals if you have the money.

          • I'm not interested in an electric car at all...until they can bring back the sports car version, and price it in the Corvette range.

            Who actually 'lusts' after a freakin' family car...?

            • People that buy Cadillac Escallades...
            • I think that if they can build a 4-door luxury car with these specs for $50k they can build a 2-door sports car with similar power for less... :D

              Although if they base it on the next-gen Elise you might want to walk into the car about fugly x_x

            • by Ossifer ( 703813 )

              Who actually 'lusts' after a freakin' family car...?

              You make it sound like a minivan or station wagon... This "family car" goes 0-60 in 5.6 seconds...

        • by sheehaje ( 240093 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:48PM (#38462168)

          My first tuna sandwich was half eaten by a rich guy.

        • by trum4n ( 982031 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @03:04PM (#38462570)
          The main problem i have is that electric cars are old tech. They shouldn't be niche items anymore. Hell, i got so sick of waiting, i built my own. For under $3,000.
        • need the rich guys to buy it first, so the rest of us can pick them up when they get mass market

          Henry Ford did it the other way around.

          What he saw were limited production run cars built for the luxury market and almost useless beyond the city limits because the infrastructure wasn't there to support them.

          What he saw was that mass market sales would generate enormous funds for R&D.

          The Ford could cruise comfortably at 35-45 miles an hour over the worst roads imaginable at a cost of a penny a mile. Portal to portal service for a family of four and their dog and cat for twenty percent of the pric

      • Re:Both (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nethemas the Great ( 909900 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:25PM (#38461758)

        Yes and no. Obviously "rich guy" is a relative term but there are plenty of people who plunk down $40K on full-size pickup trucks and SUVs that are firmly seated in the middle of the middle-class. Is it a wise choice given alternatives? Debatable. But the $50K base model is definitely not a "rich guy toy" just a white-collar guy toy.

        I'm a software engineer and not what most people in the Western world would call rich, just "comfortable" in my income. I'm actually giving the car serious consideration for purchase in a few years after the lease expires on the next car I'm getting in a month or two. By then hopefully the bugs will be more or less ironed out and production ramped up so there isn't a year long waiting list like their Roadster--a car for which few people would argue against is a rich-guy toy.

      • by Above ( 100351 )

        I don't think I'd count a $40k car as being rich man's territory. There are plenty of working class guys who drive F-250's with diesel engines for their work, and those are $40k+. A BMW M3, their best selling car in the US, can approach $45k with all the options.

        A $40,000 car, financed for 5 years, at 4% interest with a $5,000 trade is $645 a month. About $7700 per year.

        Totally doable on the median household income in the US of $45,000 per year. Wise? A different story, but it's not like you have to be

      • Re:Both (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:47PM (#38462144)

        It's $49.9k *after* the tax credits, so it's not actually $40k. Let's call it $50k to be safer.

        The thing is, the Roadster cost $109k, so this is already a huge price drop compared to that. That's been Tesla's strategy all along. The new tech will initially be expensive, so sell it as a premium product and use the revenues from that to develop the tech farther, driving down the cost. They've said that this is a three-phase process, and the model S is the second phase. Even the difference between $109k and $50k is a big one, and it brings the pricing into the affordable range for a much larger number of people, particularly if leasing is considered.

        Comparing it to other similar cars, it's not a bad deal either. The Nissan Leaf sells for ~$35k, with a 24 kWh battery. The basic model S sells for ~$50k, with a 40 kWh battery, and is a higher-end vehicle. The range is substantially improved, and there's the (very expensive) option for larger batteries that get it within shouting distance of the range of a gasoline vehicle.

        Anyhow, the point was that the model S opens up a much larger market to Tesla, which will give them the revenue and scale to work on the third phase of their plan, an electric car that is cheap enough that it can be afforded by the average person. The Roadster was $109k, the Model S was $50k, and they're planning for their third phase, codenamed BlueStar, to sell for $30k. That's not going to compete with a Toyota Yaris/Vitz, but it could compete favourably with a Camry or Avalon, perhaps. They were originally talking about getting the BlueStar out in 2013-2014, but they're now talking about being able to do it in 2015-2016. I'd imagine that battery pricing/technology is the primary limiting factor at this point.

    • Re:Both (Score:4, Interesting)

      by lgw ( 121541 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:21PM (#38461706) Journal

      It's both. I just spent a similar amount on a lowbrid, but I have to say this is the first electric car done right. Plus it looks incredible on the road (my daily commute takes me from one Tesla plant to the other, and just occasionally you'll see a streetable prototype on that route). On looks alone I should have held out for one.

  • Not this one (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:04PM (#38461496) Homepage Journal

    They've claimed all along (or close to it anyway) that the plan was to sell the rest of us a car on the third iteration.

    The one I'm really interested in is the cheaper sports car, which could be the fourth or fifth model. More range, less performance, enough room for groceries but not for golf clubs.

  • rich person's toy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by buddyglass ( 925859 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:18PM (#38461662)
    It accelerates faster than a Porsche 911 and has other luxury features. Ergo it's a rich person's toy. That said, given the performance, the prices seem competitive, even ignoring fuel costs. From a cursory glance at the Porsche website, a new 911 costs around $80k in the U.S. with an estimated range of ~300 miles. Had to use fuel economy estimates for previous years since 2011 is an entirely new platform and the corporate site doesn't publish fuel economy numbers. My issue with the all-electrics is battery replacement. Figure you're plunking down at least $10k at the end of that 8 year warranty to replace your battery.
    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      From a cursory glance at the Porsche website, a new 911 costs around $80k in the U.S./quote
      Porche uses a nickle-and-dime-you to death pricing model, so equipped as you'd expect a luxury coupe, they're closer to 100K (for the base engine, of course, you can pay arbitratily much for more power).

      Battery replacement is a real concern, but cars in this price range aren't cheap to maintain in the first place at that age. When my last luxury car hit 8-9 years old I was planning $3k/year for maintenance (including tires), and that's at the low end - a V12 Mercedes is a dependable $6K/year for the repairman.

    • Re:rich person's toy (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Fned ( 43219 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:30PM (#38461852) Journal

      Figure you're plunking down at least $10k at the end of that 8 year warranty to replace your battery.

      Compare that, though, to all the maintenance you won't need to do on the car during that 8 years.

    • The Roadster would compare with the 911... This guy you'd want to compare with their four door (Panamera or some other such silly name). In any case, it is surprisingly price competitive for the luxury sedan market.
  • Seems like they jack up just so they end in nice looking retail figure after rebate. Of course we shouldn't be surprised.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:20PM (#38461698) Homepage
    i was waiting for picked me up this morning, didnt need to find parking, and costs less than a cup of coffee. the only people still masturbating furiously over Tesla motors and electric cars in general are people who dont understand that the automobile as a means of personal conveyance is unsustainable no matter what you fuel you choose. If you dont believe me, try getting from long beach to downtown LA at 7:30 am.
    • by yurtinus ( 1590157 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:44PM (#38462094)
      Maybe it's not the automobile, but Los Angeles that is unsustainable...
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:53PM (#38462266)

      the automobile as a means of personal conveyance is unsustainable

      That's why I'm putting all my money into unicycles. My wife, parents, and the doctors at the center all tell me this is crazy. But, mark my words, THEY'LL SEE!

  • I don't understand why people are complaining that these cars are expensive. That's the nature of technological progress. Early cars were also luxury items but now most people in the developed world can afford one.

    Technology can't be forced into being inexpensive. Progress takes time.

  • by rcotran ( 653676 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:23PM (#38461736)
    As far as I'm concerned, the Tesla S is a revolutionary vehicle that will set the bar for future electric vehicles. And I agree with Elon Musk that all future cars will be electrically powered. Tesla is proving that electric vehicles can 1) be practical, 2) have extended range, 3) not be exorbitantly expensive, 4) be friggin' sexy!! This is only their second car and they are already hitting a home run. Imagine what the fourth and fifth generation of vehicles will be able to do... I'm surprised more /.ers aren't impressed with this car... it's a geek's dream!
  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:26PM (#38461786)

    The prices are NOT $49,900, $59,000 and $69,000. That is the price after you redeem your government coupon (Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit (IRC 30 and IRC 30D) []). You will still have to front the full price and then wait until your next tax filing in order to claim your maximum tax credit of $7500. The credit itself will be phased out after 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold.

  • I don't care for the oversized screen. It seems like a good idea, but I'd prefer a smaller screen above large hard buttons. In particular for common functions like climate control.

  • by xeno ( 2667 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:30PM (#38461860)

    I can't help but think that the folks over at Ural motorcycles/IMZ America have a better sense of the market right now. They've just introduced a new "Model T" at the low end of their range, bringing the basic Ural 2-wheel drive sidecar motorcycle to the US for under $10k. [] Irbit Motorworks (IMZ) is Russian, the design is sourced from midcentury BMW, and the last decade+ of updates (e.g. new cylinders/heads with modern compression, better mpg/reliability, etc) have been pushed by enthusiasts in the US and EU. It intersect with the Tesla in the "sheer fun to drive" category, and my guess is that with an economy just holding on, there's gonna be a lot more of these on the road.

    In another post I muttered about T-Mo staying on as the value carrier in the US: "T-Mo isn't making money hand over fist, but they're doing _ok_, and that's good. In these times, in this economy, I want to give my money to an org that's doing _ok_: neither going out of business, nor robbing me. You hear that, T-Mo? "Ok" and "staying in business without f__king your customers" is the new black. So keep on keeping on."

    Same goes for Ural/IMZ versus Tesla. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Tesla business model is too "lean on the rich to get thru hard times" which all too often degenerates to "ran outta high-end customers, so try to screw the next class for as much as we need to stay afloat..." You wanna impress me Tesla? Go buy the tooling for the Corbin Merlin or Sparrow [] and start turning out fun electric 1-seaters for $15k -- price-competitive with the Fiat 500, Smartcar, and Scion iQ.

  • In my state you can go 200 miles on some roads between gas stations. I wouldn't want a car with lower range than that.
    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      In my state you can go 200 miles on some roads between gas stations. I wouldn't want a car with lower range than that.

      But just think how many new jobs there'll be for tow truck drivers collecting all the fancy electric cars that ran out of power in the middle of nowhere.

  • ....keep in mind that ALL brand new techs had to start out as playthings of the rich to help fund the perfection of the tech and the technique such that reproduction could be affordable enough for all. And before YET ANOTHER PERSON starts signing about chestnuts over a volt/tesla fire, keep in mind that thousands of combustion engine vehicles are catching fire every year.
  • by JTsyo ( 1338447 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @03:30PM (#38463096) Journal
    Never fear, there's word of a $30K version being worked on by Tesla. Something like that would blow the Volt away. Tesla also works with Toyota and Benz on some of their electric vehicles.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.