Tesla Motors, the ambitious builders of an all-electric powered sportscar based loosely on the Lotus Elise (pictured) has confirmed its plans to build a four-door sedan and announced it will be built in California.Ze'ev Drori, CEO of Tesla Motors, and Governor Schwarzenegger announced at a press conference at the Tesla Motors headquarters, that the company next product, a four-door, five-passenger sedan, will not be manufactured in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as previously indicated. After a thorough review of the program, Tesla decided it would be highly advantageous to build manufacturing facilities in close proximity to the engineering and R&D facilities in Tesla's San Carlos headquarters. Tesla's battery pack, a critical component of the current Tesla Roadster, is currently manufactured in California, where final assembly of the Roadster also takes place.
Governor Schwarzenegger and the state of California made it clear that they wanted to keep Tesla manufacturing in California. "Today's announcement is incredible news for California's economy and its environment. If California was a baseball team, this would be like winning the first round draft pick and recruiting a player who is a perfect fit on our roster, because Tesla Motors and its all-electric cars belong in California," enthused the Governor.
Last week, the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA), approved a new program that exempts new Zero Emission Vehicle manufacturers from paying sales and use tax on the purchase of manufacturing equipment. This is aimed at encouraging ZEV manufacturing in California. Tesla will also be eligible for at least $1 million in Employment Training Panel Workforce Development Funds to train employees.
"These vehicles can play a big part in helping California implement its groundbreaking laws to fight climate change," said State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, chairman of CAEATFA. "By offering this financial incentive, our goal is to ensure zero-emission vehicles realize their full potential in our state. We believe the policy will bolster our emerging green economy, create good-paying jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I'm very pleased the policy helped convince Tesla to build its high-performance electric cars in California."
Ze'ev Drori, President and CEO of Tesla Motors, remarked, "Tesla has achieved an extraordinary accomplishment. We are the only automobile company today delivering full performance battery-electric vehicles to our customers. Make no mistake - we are not a niche player with a car only for the rich and famous. As our agreement with the state so clearly demonstrates, we are building a high volume zero emission vehicle, manufactured in California for mid-range family use. And we aren't going to stop there. We will continue on and build even more affordable cars.You are witnessing the debut of a new car company, a company unlike all others, a company with a disruptive technology, a company dedicated for the exclusive production of Zero Emission Vehicles."
The Tesla sedan, which is targeted for late 2010 production, will utilize the company's electric powertrain design in a car that is said to be stylish, offer high performance, yet be highly practical. The exact location of the manufacturing facility within California will be decided soon.The Tesla Roadster is priced around $100,000 but few, if any, have reached the marketplace. Development on the car started in 2006 but in the February 2008 issue of eurotuner magazine we were told that continuing problems with the transmission had delayed delivery.