Tesla: We’ll Build Electric Sedans in California

The company has teamed up with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to say it has changed its mind about building its four-door sedan, now called Model S, in New Mexico.

by: Rachel Barron and Ucilia Wang

June 30, 2008 Tesla Motors will be building a plant for making its electric sedan codenamed WhiteStar in California instead of New Mexico, the company said Monday.

The startup, based in San Carlos, Calif. said it wants the new manufacturing center to be close to its headquarters for the rollout of the second car model in its company history. Tesla originally considered building the plant in New Mexico, which offered strong incentives.

Tesla will market the sedan as Model S, which would cost $60,000 to consumers before any tax credits or other incentives. Model S will be all electric, with a drive range of about 225 miles per charge. The company had discussed in April making both an electric and a plug-in hybrid model (see Tesla’s Second Unveiling).

Tesla plans to begin producing the four-door, five-passenger car in 2010. The company is looking at two locations in the San Francisco Bay Area for the new plant, said Darryl Siry, Tesla’s vice president of sales and marketing, who declined to name the two locations.

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