Tesla Model S Coupe: Expensive bang for your bucks. The Middle East can only drool for now.
Tesla electric sports roadsters floated a successful IPO stock offering and are now tearing down the roads in European countries like Turkey, Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada. Still considered to be an expensive recreational toy due to its high price (beginning at US $ 100,000) the car is nevertheless being bought by well-to-do people who love fast cars; especially ones that go from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.7 seconds, according to tests run by Tesla. The car was recently featured in the SPEC Smart Products Ecosystem Connections news site, reporting that Tesla has sold more than 1,200 of these roadsters to customers in 28 countries.
One of the satisfied customers was Philip Liang, CEO of the Hong Kong based medical device manufacturing company, General Sensing, and who became the first Hong Kong resident to own one. Another buyer, Takao Ozawa, the serial entrepreneur and BizSeek business directory founder, enthusiastically endorsed his new Tesla roadster:
“As an early adopter, I wanted to invest my own money to show the rest of society what the electric car experience is like. And now that I own a Tesla, I’ve found that not only is it efficient and beautiful — but it’s really, really fast.”
Not only is it fast; the Tesla also has a declared cruising range of 245 miles per charge to its lithium ion battery pack. This is considerably more than the 160 kilometers (100 miles) of other electric models, including Renault’s Z.E. Concept Electric models expected to be going on sale next year.
The Renault models incorporate technology developed the Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agasi and his Better Place company, whose technology evolves around a network of battery exchange centers, which will enable a driver to exchange his used up battery with a freshly charged one in less than three minutes.
I recently took a test drive at the Better Place Electric Car Educational Center near Tel Aviv. And was impressed.
Although the Tesla Motors car has yet to incorporate a battery swapping option with its models, it does claim that its cars can be plugged into a regular electric socket in any country it is sold in, which is very user-friendly when special electric car “charging posts” are not available.
In May, Tesla and Toyota Motors Corporation (TMC ) announced their intent to cooperate on the development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support. Tesla seeks to learn and benefit from Toyota’s engineering, manufacturing, and production expertise, while Toyota hopes to learn from Tesla’s “daring spirit” and futuristic innovations. The two companies plan to produce an electric version of the popular Toyota RAV-4 SUV which they hope to have in full production in 2012.
Since the present models offered by Tesla are still only sports cars; and due to their high price tag, the consumer market for these cars is very limited. Even though the company has been in business for more than 7 years, and has 13 regional dealerships. Tesla has yet to turn a profit from the sales of their cars. This fact may have influenced the company to “go public” by initiating the IPO, which generated more than $188 million of sorely needed operating revenues.
It may be faster than a Ferrari but at $100 K+ per unit, it’s still out of most buyer’s price league. Electric or now. My price league, for sure.
Read more on Tesla and other electric car models:
Maurice Test Drives the Better Place Electric Car: Like a Dragster
Tesla Motors IPO Races Through Abu Dhabi
Better Place Renault Fusion VS Chevy’s Volt Electric Car Model