Perhaps one of the most progressive and successful automakers in the world, Tesla Motors has really set things in motion with its well-endowed battery electric vehicles.
Tesla Motors’ motion, of course, was set by the original Tesla Roadster, a Lotus Elise electric vehicle conversion with 245 miles of range per charge. Some electric vehicles today, even ones as advanced as the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf, only have a range of 80 mi to 100 mi, not even half that of the original Tesla Roadster, now six years old. Of course, its $100,000 price tag kept it from being a mass-production blowout, in spite of its obvious superiority over fossil-fuel transportation.
The Tesla Roadster was only the beginning of the plan, and the subsequent Tesla Model S started at a mere $70,000. The Model S has been wildly popular throughout the world, the best-selling vehicle in Norway and Canada, one hundred of them convertible-modified and exported to China, and the Tesla Supercharger network is expanding across Europe. All told, Tesla Motors has sold nearly 33,000 vehicles around the world.
• Update One
Speaking of Superchargers, the first Canadian Tesla Supercharger was just installed in Squamish, along the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia. Whistler is a popular vacation destination in Western Canada, and the opening of the first Tesla Supercharger means that Tesla Model S drivers can get there for free. Tesla Motors plans on further expansion into British Columbia, as far as Calgary, by 2015.
• Update Two
Going back to the now-discontinued Tesla Roadster, which may be resurrected as the Tesla Model R, owners will soon have the option of upgrading their existing battery pack. The upgraded pack will reportedly give the Tesla Roadster up to 400 miles range and Tesla Supercharger compatibility.
• Update Three (E, 3, ≡, Ⅲ?)
The next Tesla Motors model will be the Tesla Model X, an all-wheel drive crossover SUV starting about $70,000, but we already knew about that. What we’ve really been wondering about is something that will surely upset the market, a mass-market high-range affordable electric vehicle. For a while, it was rumored to be called “Tesla Model E.” Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has finally let on its real name, Tesla Model 3, which will be written “Tesla Model Ⅲ.” The Tesla Model 3 will be about 20% smaller than the Model S, feature about 200 miles of range, and start at just $35,000, which will put it in the price range of many more drivers.
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