Tesla ships first Model S; predicts one-hour recharging time image

Tesla Motors Inc delivered the first Model S sedan yesterday, and Chief Executive Elon Musk said the automaker plans to unveil supercharging technology that will allow owners to recharge the long-range electric vehicle in just one hour.

The owner of the first Model S to roll off the assembly is Steve Jurvetson, managing director of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, an early investor in Tesla. Musk gets the second Model S.
Tim Draper, founder and managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, received his keys on Friday after having waited nearly three years for the car.

It’s the smoothest car I have ever driven,” Draper said, who also likes its large touch navigation screen.

Tesla’s pricey sedans, which sell for between $57,400 and $77,400 before government rebates, are aimed at those with relatively deep pockets. But Musk said plans already are under way for Tesla to build a car that will cost less than $30,000 to make electric cars “affordable to the mass market.”

However the Silicon Valley automaker has sold out of all 5,000 Model S units planned for next year, with a waiting list 10,000 people deep (it costs $5,000 to reserve one). Most of the initial buyers are Californians, with an even split between men and women. Only 10 percent already own Tesla’s $109,000 Roadster.

The Model S is offered with three battery-pack options: 40-kilowatt hours with estimated range of 160 miles at an average speed of 55 mph.; 60 kWh with a range of 230 miles, and 85 kWh with a range of 300 miles.

Prices will start at $57,400 before a $7,500 federal tax credit and reach more than $100,000 for longer-range versions.