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What’s fast and sleek and runs on electricity?

A Tesla automobile! (Of course!)

The parent company, Tesla Motors (1) of San Carlos, California, is also richer today, after getting a $465 million loan from the U.S. government. Tesla Motors plans to use most of the money to build production facilities for the recently announced Model S electric sedan. The car should cost around $49,900 (after a $7500 federal tax credit), which is around half the price of a Tesla Roadster (0 to 60 miles/hour in 3.9 seconds, that’s (0–97 km/h in 3.9 seconds) that I saw parked on the sidewalk just outside the main entrance to Pixar Animation in Emeryville, a year or so ago. The Roadster looked fast just sitting there. I did not sit in the machine, for “fear” (no… excitement! :-) ) that I might want one!

The Model S (photos here) will also go from 0 to 60 miles/hour in under 6 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 135 miles/hour. The car has an estimated 160-mile range, 300 miles with an optional larger battery pack.

Of course the Model S has wireless Internet, for you dolts on the Sunol Grade with your laptops open on the passenger seat while “driving.” :-)

The Model S is expected to be released in Q3 2011. If the $50,000 sticker (before my current sales tax rate of 9.75% [ouch] YMMV [“your mileage may vary”]) seems too much for you, bear in mind that, according to a blog post by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on Monday, Tesla Motors expects to be profitable NEXT MONTH, thanks to lower costs and steady third quarter production of the MUCH more expensive Tesla Roadster, so somebody is buying them!

Marketing to the people with the money always seems like a good strategy. :-)

An assembly plant for the Model S will be built somewhere in the Bay Area.

In additon to Tesla Motors, Ford received $5.9 billion and Nissan received $1.6 billion loans from the U.S. government.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®. Both Shutterfly™ and CafePress® ship to most international locations worldwide! If you don’t see what you want or would like to receive an email when new photos are up on the site, send us an email at info@cheshirecatphoto.com.

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