The path to availability for cars of the future is one wrought with roadblocks, potholes, and indeed IEDs -- increasingly expensive developments. This was most recently seen with Fisker's Karma
getting a price boost
up to $95,900, a hefty jump over initial $80,000 estimates, but Tesla
is taking this chance to give new reassurances that its Model S
sedan's price of $57,000 is comfortable. That's largely thanks to smaller Li-Ion batteries, which are similar to those used in laptops and, according to Musk, will be swappable as a single unit. This type of batteries are much less expensive to produce than the large, monolithic packs used in the Nissan Leaf
or Chevy Volt
, about $200 per kWH vs. $750 for Nissan's. That's cheap enough for Tesla to assure that it can still make a profit on the Model S, despite its cost being set at roughly half that of the Roadster
. Will that still be the case when it hits production in 2012? We can't wait to find out.
: Defendor commented with a link to this CNET article
in which Elon Musk indicates the battery pack will be swappable too. The post was updated to mention this.