Image: Tesla Motors
Reservations are $5,000 (Refundable)
The Model S launch was on March 26th, so that's about 22 reservations a day (at $5,000 a pop). Not too bad for a $50k car that won't be made until 2011 (I wonder if the David Letterman cameo of the Model S helped?). This compares well to the more expensive and less practical Roadster (though that one has the advantage of actually existing right now): "Tesla has delivered more than 400 Roadsters to customers so far. The base price of the Roadster is $101,500 after a $7,500 federal tax credit." Read on for more details.
"It's Not As Expensive as You Think!" Says Tesla
Tesla tries hard to play on the value of the Model S by comparing it favorably to less expensive models:
But sticker price is only one part of a car’s total cost of ownership. If you account for the much lower cost of electricity vs. gasoline at a likely future cost of more than $5 per gallon, the Model S is equivalent to a gasoline car with a sticker price of about $30,000, such as a Ford Taurus, Honda Accord, or even a Toyota Avalon or BMW 3-Series. Those savings are realized immediately if you lease a Model S, so there is no need wait years to earn back the price difference.
That's probably a smart strategy in this economy. Downplay the luxury, and focus on how much you'll save on gas... Real-world results will probably vary quite a bit from one Model S driver to the other, but it's still a valid point.
More on the Tesla Model S Electric Car
David Letterman and Elon Musk Play Electric Car Good Cop/Bad Cop
Tesla Model S to Appear on David Letterman, On Display in NYC
Kevin Rose Leaks Photos of Tesla Model S Electric Car
Video: Test Drive of Tesla Model S Electric Car