Tesla charges up its electric car output

Another Tesla Model S rolls off the production line. Photo / Paul Sakuma Photo / Paul Sakuma
Another Tesla Model S rolls off the production line. Photo / Paul Sakuma Photo / Paul Sakuma

Production of the Tesla S has shifted up a gear at its US plant.

Tesla, the electric-car company led by Elon Musk, said it had produced its first 50 Model S luxury sedans and would accelerate output on a weekly basis to meet a target of delivering 5000 cars this year.

Since starting production in California in June, Tesla had made 29 customer cars and 21 vehicles for its caryards for use as loan cars and for test drives, Christina Ra, a Tesla spokeswoman, said in an interview.

Some 50 more were to be built in the next two to three weeks, and the daily production pace would expand every two to three weeks after that, she said.

"The ramp up is continuing and we are getting a lot of invaluable information from having all these cars on the road," George Blankenship, Tesla's vice-president of sales, said in a company blog post this week. "We have already logged more than 39,000 miles [62,700km] on the first 50 cars."

Production and orders of Tesla's first battery-powered model designed and built wholly in-house are being monitored by investors after an analyst's report last month suggested the company may struggle to meet its annual target.

Tesla said last week that it would produce 500 of the Model S this quarter, but output would accelerate late in the year to meet the 5000-car goal. The company said last week it had 12,200 orders for the Model S, which start from NZ$70,100 in the US. Buyers can configure their car three months before production.

-Bloomberg

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