Tesla Model S Electric-Car Deliveries For Q1: 4,750-Plus, Says Company

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2013 Tesla Model S

2013 Tesla Model S

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When the news is good, you want to get it out there.

Last night, Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] released a statement saying that it had delivered more than 4,750 Model S cars from January 1 through March 31 of this year.

The statement came before the first quarter of 2013 had even technically ended (California time).

But as Tesla noted, those total deliveries exceeded its prior estimate of 4,500 Model S cars delivered for the quarter.

That means, the company noted, that it will amend its Q1 financial guidance from achieving an operating profit to full profitability (including capital expenses and other costs).

In a statement posted on its blog, CEO Elon Musk said he was "incredibly proud of the Tesla team for their outstanding work."

Musk also thanked the company's customers for their "passionate support" of both the Model S cars they had purchased and of Tesla itself.

"Without them," Musk noted, accurately, "we would not be here."

40-kWh Model S canceled

The announcement also included some revisions to the plans for the 2013 Tesla Model S lineup.

The last and smallest battery-pack option to go into production, the 40-kilowatt-hour version, will not be offered after all, "due to lack of demand."

Tesla noted that just 4 percent of its Model S deposits were for the lowest-range version, which didn't justify producing it.

Customers who put down a deposit on the 40-kWh model will instead receive a 60-kWh Model S--but, Tesla said, "range will be software-limited to 40 kWh."

That means, we presume, that range will be roughly two-thirds of the 208-mile EPA rating for the Model S 60-kWh version.

Those cars will not only have a higher top speed and better acceleration than the 40-kWh model would have, Tesla said, but can also be upgraded back into a regular 60-kWh car at some future point by any owner.

The company did not specify the cost of such an upgrade.

Supercharger hardware standard

Finally, the company said that all 60-kWh Model S cars have been built with the Supercharger quick-charge hardware as standard.

'Revenge of the Electric Car' premiere: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on red carpet

'Revenge of the Electric Car' premiere: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on red carpet

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That was to have been an extra-cost option, but Tesla--calling it an "Easter egg" to celebrate yesterday's Christian holiday--said the quick-charging equipment will continue to be standard on all Model S versions.

That will, the company suggests, improve those cars' resale value even if their drivers never use the Supercharger network of Tesla-only quick-charging locations.

That network now includes eight locations in California and the Northeast Corridor, but is expected to add more stations in the Northeast and expand into Florida, Texas, and the Pacific Northwest in the near future.

Tesla communications manager Shanna Hendriks took pains to point out that last night's sales announcement was not the "really exciting" news about which CEO Elon Musk tweeted last Monday.

That news, in which Musk will "put [his] money where [his] mouth is in [a very] major way," was intended for last Thursday but later postponed until tomorrow.


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