Shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. gained more than 5 percent in extended trade on Wednesday after the company announced that it would deliver its first lower-priced model in June.
The company, which already markets a sports car at more than $100,000, will be launching the Model S, starting at $49,900, which is described as “the first premium sedan designed from the ground up to take full advantage of electric vehicle architecture.”
The launch of its new vehicle will be the key test of whether Tesla can become an established auto maker. Since mid-2009, Tesla has reported losses of more than $500 million. It has plans for third vehicle, a sport-utility vehicle called the Model X, to start production in late 2013.
The $49,900 Model S can travel 160 miles per charge on the lowest-cost battery Tesla offers. Customers can choose a 230-mile battery for $10,000 more or a $69,900 option 85 kwh battery.
During the quarter, Tesla delivered 99 Roadsters, the company’s electric sports car. Unit deliveries were up 10 percent from a year ago in Europe and Asia, combined. Total deliveries of the Roadster worldwide now exceed 2,250.
Tesla Motors last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, May 9th. The company reported ($0.76) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the analysts’ consensus estimate of ($0.69) by $0.07. Tesla Motors’s revenue was down 38.4% compared to the same quarter last year.