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Tesla: 3,000 buyers lined up for electric Model S sedan


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Tesla: 3,000 buyers lined up for electric Model S sedan

03:18 PM

Tesla says more than 3,000 would-be buyers have plunked down $5,000 reservation fees to get in line for its next model, the all-electric Model S. The first versions will be built next year, crash tested and deliveries will start in 2012, Tesla says in a corporate filing.

In the meantime, Tesla says its busy building an electric version of the RAV4 crossover with Toyota and has been delivering prototypes since July. It has a $9 million contract with Toyota. Tesla is also making 1,500 electric powerplants for Smart and 500 for Mercedes-Benz to go into its small A-class vehicle. As a result, Tesla has doubled its engineering workforce since the start of the year. It now numbers more than 400, it says in the filing.

Tesla now has 1,400 of its electric roadsters running around in countries around the world. It says they have cumulatively logged 8 million miles.



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By Mark Kleis

It’s one thing to pre-order a a book or a movie, or maybe even a car by a few months – but for Tesla its normal for customers to put down the necessary cash in order to reserve an electric-powered luxury sports sedan with what some would consider unproven technology, produced by an unproven manufacturer.

To date, Tesla has managed to take in over 3,000 pre-orders of $5,000 each for its Model S sedan, according to USA Today. Those pre-orders won’t even begin to be filled until next year as the Model S is a 2012 model year vehicle. The Tesla Model S is expected to retail starting at $57,400 before any available tax incentives.

Before the Model S can begin serial production, the U.S. federal government first needs several models in order to properly crash test the car for its safety ratings as well. Until that occurs, however, USA Today says that Tesla disclosed in recent filings that it is busy with production for the electric Toyota RAV4 thanks to a $9 million contract it secured nearly six months ago.

Also keeping Tesla busy are work orders of 1,500 electric drivetrains for Smart, and 500 for Mercedes-Benz for its A-Class electric cars.



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