Governor Richardson announced today that Tesla Motors will build a new automobile assembly facility in Albuquerque, bringing 400 high wage jobs and a total capital investment of 35 million dollars. Construction on the 150,000 square foot plant will begin in April 2007, at the latest.

Tesla Motors, based out of San Carlos, CA, will use the plant to produce its “WhiteStar” car, a four door, five-passenger sports sedan which is 100% electric. The New Mexico plant will be the company’s first assembly facility in the United States.

The head of Tesla, Elon Musk, has a biz plan that starts out with the hot roadster we’ve covered before. The four door sports sedan which is code-named WhiteStar will be about half the price of the $89K roadster. There will be a third model even closer to affordable following that.

  1. James Hill says:

    If the price is competitive and the styling is cool then the car will take off, but at $89K the first model is going to have a hard time finding an audience.

  2. mxpwr03 says:

    Capital inflows into America? I thought that this country was going bankrupt.

  3. Matthew says:

    This is exciting.

    Now if it could only plug itself in… and drive me home after drinking; and run my errands.

  4. Angel H. Wong says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised that if it floats; GM or Ford will buy it and then bury it.

  5. TJGeezer says:

    Maybe they would “buy and bury,” except that GM and Ford both appear to be going down the tubes (not the Internet tubes, the other kind).

    I wonder what the net energy and pollution costs will be on this thing, compared to net for a high-efficiency gas or diesel engine vehicle. That means including cost of producing the energy as well as cost of using it.

  6. moss says:

    Lower costs and lower cumulative pollution results from increased use of plug-in technologies. A couple more reasons for lambasting GM for killing their own electric car project.

    James — take a look at prices for cars comparable to the Tesla roadster. Folks who buy XJR Jags are right in the ballpark — except the Tesla will leave the Jag in the dust!

  7. Charbax says:

    Bring it on! thank you Elon Musk!!

    I think it should be law that all car manufacturers produce Electric Cars. Get the R&D going, get the prototypes tested, make the electric car video podcasts shown.

    Electric cars should become law. We want it, it works, give it to us.

    Simply letting capitalism and demand drive the R&D, tests and release of clean car energy isn’t going to work. Cause OIL companies aren’t going to let go of their mega-profits, they have been blocking clean renewable energies cause with lots of money and power, you simply can block such things as development of new infrastructure for clean car mass production.

    400 workers in a factory in USA is nice, but we need hundreds of thousands of workers producing these all over the world, and fast. Thanks.

  8. doug says:

    someone should figure out how much money the US has spent securing our oil supply over the last 60 years and provide the same subsidy to alternative energy cars.

    #4. It is tough to see the Big Corporate money killing the EV in this case, since, as others noted, American car companies are either on their backs, gasping for air or were on the brink of destruction until very recently.

  9. Greg Allen says:

    One misunderstanding about electric cars is that they are all slow.

    This need not be — they’re only slow because most people want to extend range. So there certainly can be an electric sports car.

    Check out this electric dragster… 1,400 amps (!) able to pull 3.6 G’s (!).

    It uses standard lead-acid batters but I love this quote: “Our power drain is so severe that we have exploded numerous batteries on discharge,” says Bieschke.

  10. James Hill says:

    #6 – The problem is that the cross section of people who are in this spending bracket and don’t care about high end performace is slim. Likewise, the idea that this car is going to perform as well as gasoline powered cars of the same price right out of the gate is funny.

  11. Matlock Jeffries says:

    #10 – People of this cross section and spending bracket certainly do care about performance…hence why the Tesla Roadster is faster than any comparable gasoline vehicle in its class (save maybe a 911 Turbo), and was so right “out of the gate”. I don’t see why the WhiteStar would be any different. I, for one, would certainly pay $50,000 for a high-performance electric sedan that got the equivalent of 150 or 160 mpg and did 0-60 in around 5 secs.

  12. 45000 for an electric car is a good price. it will pay itself off in 3 or 4 years


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