Tesla Motors is planning to develop an electric family sedan and a fleet minivan. Tesla Motors is the maker of the Roadster, an all electric lithium battery sports car. There are about 700 Roadsters in use today. Tesla will be using a $350 million Department of Energy loan to finance the development process.
Tesla Motors is a new company. It looks like we will need new blood to pioneer the frontiers of fuel economy ... the old established automakers have shown much less interest in the future. We will see how Tesla goes. Although their technology is interesting, they have until now very little market penetration. 700 vehicles is an engineering proof of concept but I doubt it is convincing for a marketing executive. The new models, including the family sedan or model S, are to be produced at an unspecified future date. It is not even clear that the factories that will make them are under construction.
Right now we are still enjoying pretty cheap gas. According to gasbuddy the national average is around $2.50 per gallon. I think we will see an explosion in interest towards electric vehicles the next time the price gets above $4.00 per gallon. And that $4.00 per gallon gas will return.