Baudette, Minnesota, is a sleepy little town at the far northern end of the Midwestern state. Its population is just over 1,100 residents, and its claim to fame is that it’s home to Automotive Enviro Testing, which specializes in extreme cold weather testing of vehicles.

Cold weather can be sub-optimal for any vehicle, but problems are compounded when the test subject is an electric car. That's why manufacturers like Volvo go to great lengths to test electric vehicles under extreme winter conditions before bringing them to market.

Electric automaker Tesla wants prospective 2012 Model S customers to know that it conducts winter testing, too, using the facilities of Automotive Enviro Testing. Last winter, the Model S spent time in Baudette, at temperatures that ranged from -10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

On its winter vacation, the Models S endured range testing, durability testing, winter handling testing and a battery of other exercises meant to refine the Model S under the harshest of conditions. The net result is that the Tesla Model S, when released, should be a functional sport sedan that’s not limited to summer-only use.

Although we're eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Tesla Model S sedan, we’ll reserve judgement until we have the chance to drive one ourselves, preferably under more temperate conditions.