Tesla Motors debuts electric concept car at NAIAS - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Tesla Motors debuts electric concept car at NAIAS

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(01/17/13) - The North American International Auto Show attracts well-known car companies like GM, Ford and Chrysler. But some of the smaller automakers like to make an appearance too.
Tesla Motors is there to show of its battery-powered cars.

Tesla hasn't been around for long, but the California company's already getting noticed.

"To win Motor Trend Car of the Year was really great," said George Blankenship, Tesla Motors vice president.

The company has 33 stores worldwide and 4,000 employees.

"We already know where our first 13,000 cars are going. We already know because people have them reserved. We can actually put service centers in where we know the cars are going to be," Blankenship said.

"I challenge everybody to get behind the wheel of a Model S and experience what the electric revolution is really all about," said Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla chief designer.

The Model S has a range of about 260 miles and can go from zero to 60 in under four seconds. It's in production in California. It has five seats and costs about $105,000, but it never uses a drop of gasoline.

"Our main mission and our main goal is to rid the world of its addiction to fossil fuel," von Holzhausen said.

Tesla is showing off its newest concept car, the Model X. Trunks are in the front and the back. The batteries are flat and positioned along the floor, giving the car a very low center of gravity. Production of the seven passenger car will start in 2014.

"We created the falcon wing door, which creates an opening into the second and third row. Putting your kids in the second row is an incredibly easy feat because you're standing up," said von Holzhausen.

Part of the criticism of electric vehicles is the limited distance they can travel. Tesla wants to build a series of supercharging stations around the country to reduce range anxiety.

"In a couple of years you're going to be able to drive from San Diego to Main for free," Blankenship said.

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