Tesla Changes Mind, Will Actually Sell Cars This Year

Tesla Roadster

It puzzled more than a few people in early February when Tesla decided to stop selling the Roadster, the only car they’ve currently got on the market, and filed an IPO at the same time. Looks like they’ve either seen the error in that decision or there’s been a sudden uptick in demand for the hardest of hardcore (and crazy-expensive) eco-friendly cars, because VentureBeat reports that they’ve decided to continue to sell the Roadster until at least the end of 2011.

Previously, the discontinuation of the Roadster meant that Tesla would be a company without a product until 2011, when the Model S sedan is to debut. The Model S is the real meat of Tesla’s strategy; they’ve explained that the eco-supercar Roadster is really just a very shiny device to get both attention and revenue so they can create the Model S, which is, well, reasonably practical, and not aimed specifically at Will.I.Am.

Lotus, who creates the body of the Roadster (Tesla pops in their own powertrain afterwards) has gotten the order to up their production from 1,700 to 2,400 bodies, which should be enough to keep Tesla selling Roadsters until the release of the Model S. Now, as always, we just have to hope that damn Model S actually comes out on time, and that it’s priced low enough to compete with Nissan’s affordable Leaf.DN