Tesla Motors tells signature reservation holders: Time to build your Model S
Tesla Motors recently sent a letter (reposted to the Tesla Motors blog) to Tesla Model S Signature Series reservation holders that "It's Time to Build Your Model S". That is, if you have a reservation on a Tesla Model S, of course. This step forward towards Tesla delivering the Model S in July is a step into the reality of Tesla Motors becoming a full fledged automaker delivering electric cars of their own design.
The Tesla Model S Signature Series is the first 1,000 cars to roll off the production line, and these cars have extra features and carry a higher price. Of course. The Signature series cars have the 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack for 300 mile range, special color options are available, super high speed charging is a standard feature, as is the sound and tech packages, air suspension, and more. The base price of the Model S Signature car is $95,400 and the performance version bas a base price of $105,400. If you're more patient you can order the normal Model S with 85 kilowatt-hour 300 mile range battery pack for a measly $77,400.
Unlike the Tesla Roadster, the Model S was designed by Tesla engineers from the ground up. It is manufactured completely by Tesla at a factory in Fremont California (the former NUMMI plant co-owned by Toyota and GM). Tesla has an agreement with Daimler (a part owner of the company) to access Daimler's parts catalog for some of the interior pieces, and it seems the company is limiting Daimler-sourced to interior trim pieces such as turn signal stalks. The Tesla Roadster was built on a chassis provided by Lotus.
The Tesla Retail Store as well as the Tesla Motors website are offering additional tools enabling Model S reservation owners to customize their car. And a bit of good news for Signature Series reservation holders, Tesla is offering a wider range of colors now.
The letter also discusses a "Go Electric" experience Tesla Motors hopes will answer the five most frequently answered questions heard in the stores. Clearly this is meant to help prospective buyers to understand what they're buying, because to be honest electric cars are a different sort of machine than what we collectively have driven the last hundred years, and it takes some learning to understand the why's and wherefore's of making an electric car purchase.
The questions Tesla hopes to answer are:
How far can I go? (answer: 160 miles, 240 miles or 300 miles depending on battery pack size and driving habits)
How do I charge? (answer: Tesla has a proprietary charging port, and the car is sold with a charging station to match the charging port. The car comes with an adapter to use on the J1772 charging stations being installed everywhere.)