For all of its hype, perennial electric vehicle startup Tesla Motors just has two models to speak of: the ultra-expensive Roadster sportscar, and the less pricey (but still sleek) Model S sedan. Now that production of the Roadster has ended, Tesla is doing everything it can to whet our appetites for the Model S, which won't be released until 2012.
But now it looks like Tesla is really working towards a production vehicle. In the video below, we see three Model S alpha roadsters whizzing down a track (this is the first time Tesla has shown more than one Model S on the road at the same time). Last week, Tesla reportedly began assembling the beta version of the vehicle, some of which will tour North American Tesla showrooms later this year.
We already have plenty of specs for the car--after a tour of Tesla headquarters, Fast Company learned that the vehicle will feature an ultra-light lithium ion battery pack, a 300 mile range, the capability to recharge in just 45 minutes, a liquid-cooled motor that increases power and provides higher speeds for a longer period when compared to an air cooled motor (like the one used by the Roadster), and a shell covered in high-strength boron steel and energy-absorbing foam.
When the $57,000 vehicle is released, it won't revolutionize the EV industry--it's just too expensive for most people--but the 300-mile range is ahead of the competition. The cheaper Nissan Leaf has a 100-mile range, and even the Roadster only has a 200-mile range. For drivers with nasty cases of so-called "range anxiety," this could be a tempting purchase.