Elon Musk bets $1 million that Tesla Model S will hit the dealerships this fall

Article by Andrew Christian, on August 31, 2011

The announcements made by Tesla Motors’ CEO, Elon Musk, are oftentimes met by skepticism. It’s likely because Musk has released statements that the company would later fail to accomplish or would turn out to be untrue.

For instance, Musk has said that the 2012 Tesla Model S all-electric sports sedan will be launched before the end of next year. Pulitzer winner Dan Neil, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, is one of the most prominent of his detractors.

In April 2009, Tesla allowed several people to test out a prototype Model S. Neil had said in his article in the Los Angeles Times that the car would be “far more ambitious” and “unlikely” than Tesla's Roadster.

Neil said that Musk has an “audacious timeline” that many in the car industry don’t have any confidence in, according to Greencarreports.

He said that even Tesla officials are “leery” about the schedule. One week later, Musk sent an e-mail to Neil to tell him how wrong he was. After several e-mails were sent back and forth, Neil then challenged Musk to make a bet.

This spring, Neil and Musk talked about the bet again at a panel that was arranged after the premiere of the ‘Revenge of the Electric Car’ movie where Musk is a main character and Neil is a narrator.

Tesla remains to be the sole automaker that manufactures electric vehicles that are highway-capable. In addition, this brand is the only seller of this type of vehicle not just in North America but in Europe as well. While the company has already delivered almost 300 units of the Tesla Roadster, it also revealed that there are 1,000 customers still on their waitlist. With a capability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, it is clear that the Roadster can outperform almost all other cars in its segment. Even then it is six times more energy efficient when compared to other cars as each full charge allows it to be driven 244 miles.

In addition to performance and efficiency, Tesla cars have no need for any routine oil changes and when compared with vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines, the ones inside Tesla models have fewer movable parts, and thus fewer breakable ones as well. Tesla cars are also able to qualify for any state or federal tax credits, as well as rebates, and sales tax exemptions. It can even qualify for commuter-lane passes, free parking, and a whole lot more. The company’s latest is the Tesla Model S which can go from 0 to 60 mph in barely 6 seconds though the sport version is expected to do the same in under 5 seconds.

Maximum speed is electronically limited at 130 mph. Its engine will be paired to a single-speed gearbox to deliver responsive handling and acceleration with almost no effort. There are a number of innovative features fitted like the 17-inch touchscreen which has 3G connectivity and thus enables the occupants to check Google Maps during a trip or simply listen to their favorite tunes on Pandora Radio. Current charge of the vehicle can be monitored remotely through a laptop or iPhone. Base price of the Model S is expected at $49,900, and this is after a $7,500 federal tax credit, though Tesla has yet to release any pricing for options.

A selection of three battery packs will be offered having range per charge of 160 miles, 230 miles, or 300 miles. Thus for the 230-miles battery pack, it means the Model S only costs $5 to drive the whole distance. This is still a bargain even if gasoline was priced at $1 a gallon. For the 300-mile range battery pack, a full recharge using QuickCharge will only take 45 minutes and can be charged using any standard outlet. In terms of space, the Model S can accommodate 5 adults and 2 children comfortably. Musk said that with the Model S priced half that of the Roadster, it is still a better deal even when compared to cheaper cars.

Consider the fact that if one were to lease a Model S, taking into account that electricity costs lower with gasoline expected to be at $4 per gallon in the future, Musk added, owning a Model S is the same as having a $35,000 gasoline-powered car. Musk continued by saying that he is positive that the Model S will appeal to savvy customers. Considered as the first electric vehicle to be mass produced, the Model S is a car that delivers performance, unmatched utility, and efficiency that is twice that of hybrids. Indeed, it may be the only car one we’ll need.

Topics: tesla, tesla model s

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