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Tesla Rises After Setting Delivery Date for Model S Sedan

May 22, 2012

Tesla Motors Model S Alpha in black, and the Roadster in red. Photographer: Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors Model S Alpha in black, and the Roadster in red. Photographer: Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA:US), the electric-car maker led by Elon Musk, rose after the company said it will begin delivering the Model S sedan to customers on June 22.

The shares (TSLA:US) gained 7 percent to $30.79 at the close in New York, for the biggest daily increase since May 10. They have advanced 7.8 percent this year.

Tesla announced the start date today after saying earlier this month that deliveries would begin in June rather than July and that it has more than 10,000 orders for the battery-powered vehicle. The first customers will get their cars at a ceremony at Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory, the company said today.

The delivery start “represents Tesla’s transition to a mass-production automaker and the most compelling car company of the 21st century,” Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer and co-founder, said in a statement today. The company, based in Palo Alto, California, said its goal is to deliver 5,000 cars this year.

The automaker, named for inventor Nikola Tesla, wants to be the leading producer of premium all-electric vehicles with the addition of the Model S, followed by the Model X sport-utility vehicle in 2013. Tesla has said the introduction of those products and supply agreements to Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Daimler AG (DAI) may bring the company’s first profit by next year.

The Model S, with a range of as much as 300 miles (483 kilometers) a charge, depending on the battery pack purchased, should expand Tesla’s annual sales volume to at least 20,000 cars, Musk said this month. The car’s $57,400 base price, before a $7,500 U.S. tax credit, is half that of the Roadster, a sports car Tesla has sold since 2008.

The Model S is being built at a plant that was previously a joint venture owned by Toyota and the former General Motors Corp. The factory, partly funded with a $465 million U.S. government loan, is also producing battery packs and motors.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at

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