New Electric Car Orders Total 520 in First Week

Manufacturer reports reservations for new electric-car model taking off

Tesla Motors has taken 520 reservations for its all-electric Model S family sedan since offering the car for sale last week, the company said April 1.

The anticipated base price of the Model S is $49,900 after a federal tax credit of $7,500.

The company estimates that if gas reaches $4 per gallon, the Model S is equivalent to buying a gasoline car with a sticker price of about $35,000.

The vehicle carries a maximum of seven people and travels up to 300 miles per charge. The company says the Model S will likely be the world's first mass-produced, highway-capable electric vehicle when production begins in late 2011.

Three battery pack choices will offer a range of 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge. The company has not released options pricing.

Tesla has applied for a $350 million loan from the Energy Department's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which would be used to build the Model S assembly plant in California.

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