Tesla Model S Ahead of Schedule

Car maker will also supply electric powertrains for Mercedes, Toyota.

Tesla Motors beat analysts’ expectations yesterday, announcing that production of their upcoming Model S sedan is a month ahead of schedule.

The original launch date for the Model S was July, but having completed all the necessary regulatory and certification approvals, the car will ship in June, according to an SEC filing released Wednesday.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk also boasted about two major partnerships with Toyota and Mercedes, in which the venerable giants will purchase electric drivetrain technology.

Toyota is rolling out an all-electric Rav4 SUV with a range of 170 miles, or 60 percent higher than the Nissan Leaf, according to a letter from Musk to shareholders.

“The electric RAV4 is a high performance version of the RAV4 with outstanding acceleration and excellent handling due to the low center of gravity afforded by the floor mounted battery pack,” he said in the letter.

And the deal with Mercedes, said Musk, is so big that it will exceed the value of all Tesla’s powertrain deals combined. The new Mercedes EV will be Daimler’s first EV priced to compete with its gas equivalents, he said.

Meanwhile, the Tesla Factory in Fremont is steadily ramping up production of the Model S, having already produced 50 Beta and 30 Release Candidate vehicles, according to Musk.

With reservations for the Model S already topping 10,000, the factory will be at maximum production capacity once fully operational this summer. The company expects to deliver 5,000 model S cars by the end of the year.

Telsa also expects the car, which has already been certified by the EPA and State of California, to be awarded the highest safety rating of five stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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