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Tesla Confirms Delivery of First Model S Sedans for Mid-2012

Tesla Motors Inc., the U.S. electric carmaker that plans to build a rechargeable sedan in California, is on schedule to begin delivering the battery-powered Model S starting in mid-2012.

Initial production at Tesla’s Fremont, California, plant will be of 1,000 units of high-end “Signature” Model S sedans, said Ricardo Reyes, a company spokesman. That version will cost as much as $92,400, prior to a $7,500 federal tax credit, and have enough lithium-ion battery capacity to travel 300 miles per charge, Tesla said yesterday.

Deliveries of other Model S grades, including a base version priced at $57,400 before the tax credit and with 160 miles of range per charge, begin in “Fall 2012,” Tesla said on its website. The company, based in Palo Alto, California, is concluding contract assembly of its first electric car, the $109,000 Roadster, with Lotus Cars Ltd. and readying its California plant to build Model S and future models derived from the car’s platform.

Tesla counts Daimler AG, Toyota Motor Corp. and Panasonic Corp. as investors. While it hasn’t yet reported an annual profit, that may happen as early as 2013, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said in an October interview.

Musk, who is also Tesla’s main shareholder, has said the company has sold out next year’s production. It has orders for more than 7,000 units of the vehicle, Reyes said.

Tesla slid 1.2 percent to $27.57 at the close in New York.

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