Tesla CEO Announces Three New Models… Coming After 2012

The Tesla Roadshow

The electrifying Elon Musk, Tesla’s boss, is on the road touting the company’s IPO (coming possibly this week) and business plan. He revealed that three new models, based on the Model S sedan to debut in 2012, are also in the works: a cabriolet, a van, and a crossover/SUV (renderings above).

Also coming—and this sounds very interesting—will be a liquid-cooled, quick-change, removable battery pack for the S. Down the road in 2015, Tesla plans a smaller-platform, entry-level luxury car.

Musk has compared his operation to something “closer to an Apple or a Google than a GM or a Ford.” We are impressed by his confidence and salesmanship. Whether he can deliver on these happy projections is another matter. Tesla right now has a lot going for it, and I think the IPO will be a success.

Tesla cabriolet

Tesla Cabriolet concept (from PowerPoint)

Let me add as a disclaimer, however, that this blog is in no way trying to promote Tesla or its cars, though we have given them some extended coverage of late. But their story provides undeniably good copy, and we wish the company well in its gutsy, calculated approach to making fast and luxurious green cars.

What follows is a quote from the company’s IPO filing, explaining (somewhat) how they are going to do all this.

We are designing the Model S to have an adaptable platform architecture and common electric powertrain in order to allow us to efficiently create other electric vehicles, which may include, as examples, a crossover/sport utility vehicle, van or a cabriolet. By developing our future vehicles from this common platform, we believe we can reduce their development time and, as a result, reduce the required additional capital investment. Our longterm goal is to offer consumers a full range of electric vehicles, including a product line at a lower price point than the planned Model S.

The Model S will sell for $49,900, not including state and federal rebates. Tesla is going to build it at the old Toyota-GM (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, Cal., which has plenty of room for expansion. The wider-market, third-generation Tesla car planned for 2015 will also be produced there.

So there’s plenty of room to scale up production. Now all they need is the cash.

Do you think Tesla’s plans are realistic—or are they overly ambitious?


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1 Comment

  1. If the Model S platform will really offer the flexibility to support a bunch of different types of vehicle, I think those three other models could be great, and the convertible looks good. But we’ll have to see whether Tesla has started making money in time to get those other models launched.

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