Canadian Manufacturing

Tesla says sales up, 40-kWh Model S won’t see production

Only four per cent of customers opted for smallest battery pack option, according to automaker

PALO ALTO, Calif.—Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors saw sales of its luxury sedan take an unexpected-albeit-slight leap as interest in all-electric cars grows in North America.

According to the California automaker, sales of its Model S exceeded 4,750 units delivered compared to an outlook of 4,500 provided in mid-February.

“There have been many car startups over the past several decades, but profitability is what makes a company real,” Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said in a statement.

“Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution.”

The news of the positive sales numbers came the same day Tesla announced the small battery option in the Model S will not enter production due to lack of demand.

According to Tesla, only four per cent of customers opted for the 40-kilowatt hour battery pack option.

Customers who ordered the 40-kWh option will receive the the slightly larger 60-kWh battery pack, but the automaker says onboard software will limit the range of the vehicle to what was achievable with the 40-kWh car—approximately 257 kilometres on a single charge.

Tesla says this configuration will give the Model S the improved acceleration and top speed of the bigger pack, and the sedan can be upgraded to the full 370-kilometre range of the 60-kWh pack upon request.

The automaker also announced all 60-kWh cars are being built with Supercharger charging station hardware included.

Tesla’s Superchargers are charging stations being built along all well-traveled routes in North America that give the sedan a half-charge in about 30 minutes.

Tesla says it’s taking a slight cost risk that ultimately all customers will want to buy the Supercharger upgrade and receive unlimited long-distance travel.

According to the automaker’s website, the kit is available for approximately $2,000.

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