Currently reading: Healthy order book for Tesla S
New electric saloon gets 520 orders in one week

Tesla has taken 520 orders for its new Model S saloon in its first week of availability.

Production of the Tesla Model S is expected to begin in late 2011 after Tesla builds a new assembly plant in California to meet demand.

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, said: “Frankly the number of cars reserved in the first week has exceeded our optimistic internal projections.

“Enthusiasm surrounding the Model S is proof that there’s pent-up demand for more affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles – including those made in America.”

US prices for the Tesla, which will be sold from a new London showroom planned for this year, are expected to start at $49,000 (£33,200) and customers are required to pay a $5000 (£3400) refundable deposit.

A Signature Edition Model S, limited to 2000 cars, will also be available, requiring a deposit of $40,000 (£27,100).

Several battery packs will be available for the Model S, which will offer ranges of 160, 230 or 300 miles. A full charge could take just 45 minutes.

The Tesla S's 0-60mph speed is estimated at 5.6 seconds, while top speed is around 130mph.

Tesla has also said it had the best month for deliveries of its Roadster in March, with 104 customers receiving their cars. This takes the total number of Tesla Roadsters delivered to 320.

Mark Tisshaw

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