Tesla Motors (NYSE:TSLA) has indicated that under the new EPA five-cycle testing regimen, its 85 kWh battery pack for Model S will only be able to manage a range of 265 miles, a drop of 55 miles from 320 it recorded under the old EPA two-cycle fuel economy method. The automobile maker, however, claims that the car has gone up to 320 miles under testing and can go up to 400 miles on a single charge under right conditions and slow speed.
The range of the company’s base and intermediate models will also decline, accordingly. The base model initially had a range of 160 miles while the intermediate model claimed to clock 230 miles. These modifications are, however, unlikely to affect the car sales as 265 miles is still a pretty impressive range and much above competitor offerings.
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The company will start the delivery of its Model S car in June. This is earlier than its initial deadline of July, which is good news for Tesla, as it means more deliveries through the year. Tesla will start production by offering two variants of Model S — Model S Signature with 85 kWh battery, priced from $77,400 before federal and state incentives, and the superior Model S Performance Edition, equipped with the 85 kWh battery and priced from $87,400 before incentives. The mid-level Model S with 60 kWh battery ($67,400) will be launched in fall, while the base model with 40 kWh battery ($57,400) will be launched at the end of the year.
Tesla desperately needs Model S to come good as it reported a loss of $89.9 million last quarter and needs to start repaying $465 million in government loans this December.
We have a Trefis price estimate of $40 for TSLA, which is about 20% above the current market price.