Tesla Motors Taking the Auto Industry by Storm

In mid-July, Tesla Motors cut the ribbon on a new showroom located in Manhattan’s trendy Chelsea Art District. The opening came just weeks after the all electric automaker debuted its new lithium-ion battery powered Roadster sports car on the streets of London.

Tesla Motors, Incorporated is a privately-held, Silicon Valley startup founded in 2003 with design and assembly facilities located in England and motor manufacturing facilities in Taiwan.

In addition to its Manhattan showroom, Tesla has stores in Los Angeles (its original dealership), Menlo Park, California and Seattle. The company has plans to open additional showrooms in Chicago, Miami and Washington DC in the near future.

Overseas showrooms are also planned for Monaco, Munich and Toronto.

Other planned expansions include an additional assembly plant and powertrain design facilities. Tesla has not announced locations for either facility, but unconfirmed reports place them in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area, respectively.

The company may also set up operations in the NUMMI assembly plant located in Fremont, California. The facilities are currently under contract to Toyota and General Motors, but both have indicated their intention to vacate the facilities.

Tesla currently offers two versions of their Li-ion battery powered Roadster. According to the company, the standard Roadster is capable of acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Another version of the Roadster, the Roadster Sport cuts that time by .2 seconds. The standard Roadster has a base sticker price of $109,000 and base models of the Roadster Sport are priced at $128,500. In July of this year a 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport model competed in the Wayland Invitational Drag Race and turned in a 12.643 second time in the quarter mile. The performance set a new record for National Electric Drag Racing Association’s SP/A3 class vehicles.

Both the standard and sport versions of the Roadster qualify for a federal tax credit of $7,500.

Tesla has also built a prototype of its S sedan model which is scheduled to go into production in 2011. The automaker plans to offer three battery pack options including 160 mile, 230 mile and 300 mile per charge capabilities. The company has already received over 1,000 orders for the S model which is expected to sell for $57,400. After federal tax credits, the price drops to about $49,900 and because of the reduced cost of operation, Tesla claims the actual cost over time will be comparable to traditional combustion engine vehicles in the $35,000 price range.

In partnership with Daimler AG, Tesla is developing the Smart; a two passenger vehicle intended for use in congested urban areas. No release dates or pricing information has been released on this model.

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