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Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has made it his business to defend the modern electric vehicle as a viable mode of transit. Tesla's sporty Roadster, the company's first car, debunked the myth that electric cars couldn't be fun. Now Musk is seeking to overcome the notion of "range anxiety" with his Model S sedan and solar-powered Supercharger network. As he announced on Twitter earlier today, Musk plans to personally show how convenient a cross-country trip in a Model S electric car can be.


While some vehicle manufacturers have responded to battery range limitations by adding onboard gas generators to their vehicles, like the the one found on the Chevy Volt or available on the forthcoming BMW i3, Musk has made it clear that Tesla's strategy is gas-free. He points to improvements in charging and battery technologies as the longterm answer, with near-term solutions like rapid battery-swap.

There's little doubt that electric vehicle technology will continue to improve over time, but Musk's planned trip from Los Angeles to New York indicates that the future is now--at least as it pertains to long distance travel in a Model S.


The automaker's strategically located Supercharger stations will apparently enable Musk to charge for only 1.5 hours a day during his 6 day, 3,200 mile trek. As he explains on Twitter, that 1.5 hours will be spent eating or sightseeing. (While we accept the premise that charging could be achieved while taking a rest stop on a long road trip, we question the sort of sightseeing opportunities that can be had within walking distance from Tesla's Supercharger stations.)

Another presumed motivation behind the CEO's all-electric road trip is to negate a contested New York Times report that a Model S broke down during a journalist's test run of Tesla's Supercharger Network.

Whether it's to disprove his critics, dispel perceived myths or simply partake in the great American tradition of the summertime road trips, we imagine we'll hear much more from Musk once he's underway.

TRANSLOGIC 113: 2013 Tesla Model S
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Tesla's claim that its Model S received a record-breaking safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is raising a few eyebrows, with some critics (including NHTSA) claiming the automaker is bending numbers to make its all-electric sedan look like the safest car on the road.
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Tesla Model S battery swap

Tesla Motors has already revolutionized EV ownership with their award-winning Model S sedan and ever-expanding Supercharger network. Now, the Silicon Valley-based electric vehicle manufacturer is adding another quick charge option for Model S owners and it doesn't involve plugging in their cars.

Tesla announced a new battery swap option for Model S Owners yesterday at their Hawthorn, Calif. design studio.
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Tesla Supercharger station

Tesla announced today a large expansion to their Supercharger network. The accelerated rollout is a response to the success of the few Supercharger stations on the east and west coast that allowed an estimated 1 million miles of electric-powered driving since going live in October 2012.
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Tesla Model S

Fresh off of two major Car of the Year awards and posting its first ever quarterly profit, things are going quite well for Tesla and its all-electric Model S sedan. But, in what may be some of the highest praise the car has received to date, Consumer Reports calls the Model S the best car it has ever tested.
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TRANSLOGIC

It's not all the time that an automaker decides to make major changes to a vehicle within the first year of production. Sure, Honda just refreshed their new Civic one year after the launch, but events like these are rare.
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Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors announced Tuesday that it's unveiling a lease-to-own program that could bring the cost of ownership, for some buyers, to less than $500 a month.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the loan program is designed to make the Model S "affordable to a much broader audience" than most people expect. The CEO is riding a wave of publicity this week after announcing the EV company will be profitable for the quarter after selling more than expected Model S EVs.

Most critically, though, the program gives people who lease a Tesla the $7,500 tax break that the government gives out for electric and hybrid cars. Until now, Tesla lease customers lost out on that rebate, which went instead to the bank that provided the lease.

Leasers (who have excellent credit) will get that rebate from US Bank and Wells Fargo, which have agreed to provide the 10 percent down payment required to lease a Model S. Monthly lease payments are based on how much the buyer leaves as a down payment, and then calculated by how much the car should be worth when the car is turned back in. So Tesla is promising the Model S will be worth the same as a Mercedes S Class.
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Tesla Model S

It apparently is not an April's Fool gag: Tesla Motors, the publicity-hungry electric-car company, is finally profitable.

Telsa announced today that sales of its new Model S, which won MotorTrend magazine's Car of the Year award, is exceeding sales targets, prompting the company to project a profitable first quarter. It is the first profitable quarter since the company went public in June 2010. Tesla's projected operating profit stands in sharp contrast to the $89.9 million it lost during the final three months of 2012.

"I am incredibly proud of the Tesla team for their outstanding work. There have been many car startups over the past several decades, but profitability is what makes a company real. Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution," said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO. "I would also like to thank our customers for their passionate support of the company and the car. Without them, we would not be here."

Profitability is somewhat surprising because the U.S. buying public is still very lukewarm toward electric cars. The lack of charging stations and high prices of vehicles have dampened interest, along with gas prices that remain below $4 per gallon in most parts of the country. Tesla's Supercharger network allows Model S owners to recharge for free at locations in California and along the East Coast.

Tesla continues escalating production of the Model S, which costs between $94,900 and $105,400 for versions that will go 208 miles per charge 265 miles per charge respectively. The company said it is suspending production of a lower priced model with a shorter range that cost $57,000 and only went about 100 miles on a charge. Only 4 percent of buyers have reportedly been purchasing that version.

That product mix would indicate that early purchasers are very wealthy, and probably buying the Model S as a third, fourth or even fifth car.

Investors have been betting against Tesla with investors holding nearly 30 million Tesla shares short. Shares of the company responded to the news by climbing 13.5 percent in early trading after the announcement. Tesla was trading at $43 a share, well above its 52-week low of $25.52.

David Kiley is Editor-In-Chief of AOL Autos

TRANSLOGIC 113: 2013 Tesla Model S
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TRANSLOGIC

Last summer, Elon Musk announced the Tesla Supercharger network--strategically placed, solar powered fast chargers for Model S owners across California. Musk also noted Tesla would continually add stations until customers could complete a coast to coast trip using only plug-in power. Since then, every few months they have been updating us with new station locations. And now we have a few more to add.
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Tesla Model S at Supercharger

Following a major dust-up between The New York Times and electric carmaker Tesla Motors, many are left wondering who to believe.

Times reporter John M. Broder claims his Model S test vehicle ran out of battery range while he attempted a trip along Tesla's East Coast Supercharger network. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk called the article a "fake," and published data logs that appear to refute Broder's account. Broder, however, says the data doesn't tell the full story.

While the two parties duke it out, CNNMoney's Peter Valdes-Dapena took to the streets in a Model S tester of his own on Thursday. Valdes-Dapena followed a similar route to Broder, driving the all-electric luxury sports car from D.C. to Boston, while making stops at Tesla's strategically placed Supercharger stations along the way.

Tesla Supercharger Network

"The most scary part of the trip: the 200 miles between charging stations in Newark, Del., and Milford, Conn.," admitted Valdes-Dapena in his article. He reports setting his cruise control between 60 and 65 miles per hour and his climate to 72 degrees, in an effort to conserve energy. But even after extending his route some 30 miles and running into traffic, Valdes-Dapena said he realized he had more than enough juice to finish the journey. "Not only did I have enough battery range left, I had plenty. I had at least 40 miles...left to play with," said Valdes-Dapena.

For those looking to point to the CNNMoney report as definitive evidence that Broder lied, Valdes-Dapena cautions that it was 10 degrees warmer on the day of his trip and that he completed the trek in a single day, as opposed to Broder's overnight excursion in colder conditions. Further, Broder admits to not fully recharging the car, on advice from Tesla personnel.

Still, it's hard to argue with this: "In the end, I made it--and it wasn't that hard."

[Source: CNNMoney]
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TESLA charging scenarios

Tesla's Supercharger network dispels "range anxiety" for Model S owners

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TESLA

As promised, Tesla has expanded its Supercharger network beyond California. As you might recall, Tesla's Supercharger stations can supply 150 miles of range to a Model S in only 30 minutes. After 30 minutes are up, the Supercharger continues as a high-speed charger, finishing up to full in about an hour.
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TOYOTA

It's no secret that our site closely follows every move of Tesla Motors. They have successfully launched an all-electric sports sedan to critical acclaim. They have a stimulating and opinionated CEO that also sends rockets into space. They're bold enough to challenge the pundits and often come out on top. So, while this story has Toyota in its title, it's important to note that the RAV 4 EV wouldn't have been possible without Tesla.
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Tesla Model S

The all-electric Tesla Model S was dubbed 'Automobile of the Year' by Automobile Magazine earlier today. Green enthusiast may recall that the plug-in Chevy Volt received the same honor just two years ago.

So what propelled Tesla's Model S above the rest in 2013? It couldn't hurt that Model S is the only zero-emissions luxury sports sedan on the market.

"But having an electric powertrain isn't enough to be Automobile of the year," according to Automobile Magazine Road Test Editor Chris Nelson, who can be seen driving the sleek EV through the streets of downtown Chicago in the video below. Nelson sites interior design (including a massive 17" touchscreen), performance and an EPA-estimated 265 miles of range as determining factors in favor of the Model S.

"We recognize Tesla for creating an alt-powertrain luxury sedan and revel in the fact that it's good. Really good," said Nelson.

Not bad for a company that's only on its second car.
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TESLA

This Friday, Tesla will disrupt the EV landscape with the grand opening of the Tesla Supercharger network. Six locations will undergo a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially begin what Tesla hopes is a national network of chargers, allowing Tesla owners to drive anywhere in the country with the convenience of fast, strategically located charge stations.
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