Tesla CEO sees continued federal support for EV in Obama’s second term

Article by Anita Panait, on November 15, 2012

Tesla Motors Inc. chief executive Elon Musk believes that President Barack Obama’s second term would lead to continuation of a government policy that promotes electric and hybrid vehicle. Musk said during an event in New York that people can expect things to “continue as they have.” He added that he expects that things will “get a little better” for electric vehicles.

Musk affirmed support for any effort to increase federal tax credits for electric cars up to $10,000. Tesla’s CEO added that the carmaker would install fast-charging stations on major routes across the United States by the end of 2013.

Obama has said that he would like to have one million plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric cars, as well as pure electric vehicles, to ply US roads by 2015. Many analysts view this target as unrealistic given high electric vehicle prices as well as the lack of charging infrastructure.

Tesla's electric vehicle, the Model S, could be availed at prices between $49,900 and $69,900, even after a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Model S was recently awarded by Motor Trend magazine as 2013 "Car of the Year." In 2013, most of Tesla's engineering efforts will be focused on the company’s second unit, the Model X, a crossover utility vehicle set for rollout in 2014.

Tesla is likewise about to commence designing its third vehicle, which is expected to be a volume car that that fetches price of around $30,000. Musk said that Tesla needs to stay the course and ramp up production as well as start making the next generation of vehicles affordable.

The company was granted a $465 million financing from the U.S. Department of Energy in early 2010, under the same program that doled out federal loans to Ford Motor Co and Fisker Automotive to develop green cars and advanced batteries, as well as create new jobs.

As the world’s all-electric sedan, the new Tesla Model S is considered an evolution in automotive engineering. This is not surprising though, as the resulting performance, efficiency and safety levels of the Model S tell it all. As an evolution, the new Model S boasts of earning the highest possible safety ratings as well as the longest range of any EV. In addition, the new Model S continues to improve thanks to the over-the-air software updates sent from time to time.

The new Tesla Model S features a low center of gravity, thanks to the placement of its battery on the floor. This low center of gravity doesn’t only improve the car’s handling and performance but also makes the Model S safer, as it helps reduce the risk of rollover. Moreover, the electric drivetrain of the new Tesla Model S is placed beneath the car.

This further lowers the car’s center of gravity, further reducing rollover risk. In confirmation of this attribute, the new Model S has capture high safety rating from both the NHTSA and Euro NCAP. In fact, the new Model S has already a record of the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants during safety tests in the United States.

The safety levels of the Tesla Model S can also be attributed to the fact that it has no engine, which means its crumple zone – an area that helps absorb the energy of a front end impact -- is much larger than other performance sedans. In addition, the new Model S provides a number of standard active safety features like automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, collision warning and lane departure warning. Moreover, the new Model S could be availed with an array of optional convenience such as autosteer, autopark and summon, as well as traffic-aware cruise control.

Topics: tesla, ceo, electric car

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