Tesla One Step Closer to ‘Affordable’ Sedan

Tesla Model S Sedan

Tesla Model S Sedan

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It wasn't the invention of some amazing piece of technology today that brings Tesla Motors one step closer to building its $49,900 Model S sedan. Rather, it was something as mundane (to motorheads, anyway) as its initial public stock offering, which raised $226 million, according to The Washington Post. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based automaker hopes to put that money toward producing the all-electric Model S, the article says.

Deliveries for the sleek four-door, which "can carry five adults and two children in quiet comfort," will start in 2012, according to Tesla's website. And with a target starting price of $49,900, it will be considerably more affordable than the $109,000 two-seat Roadster already on sale.

The Tesla Model S will offer several battery pack options that allow ranges of 160, 230 and 300 miles, the company's website says. With its 45-minute "quick charge" capability or one-minute battery swap, Tesla says the Model S can easily drive even farther.

The car will go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and have a top speed of 120 mph. The electric motor and single-speed transmission ensure 100 percent torque delivery 100 percent of the time, Tesla says.

Tesla's IPO is expected to prompt an influx of even more cash, in the form of a $50 million investment from Toyota. Tesla's stock listed on the Nasdaq at $17 per share, beating expectations of opening bids. The company sold 13.3 million shares.

Not since Ford's IPO in 1956 has an American automaker gone public.

Source: The Washington Post and Tesla Motors

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