You might not think it at first, given the not-so-insignificant price difference between the vehicles, but Tesla Motors' Model S luxury sedan is allegedly set to best its rivals, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, in first-quarter vehicle sales for the first time in the company's history.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, Tesla is allegedly preparing to announce at least 4,750 sales of its Model S — with a base price of an eye-opening $69,000 — for the first quarter of the fiscal year. If so, that puts the company ahead of the 4,421 Chevy Volts and 3,695 Nissan Leafs sold within a similar time frame.
To put the vehicles into perspective financially, the Volt starts at a base price of $39,900 and the Leaf starts at $28,000 – recently dropped as of January of this year, and now quite less than half the base price of the aforementioned Tesla Model S.
Tesla's projections come on the wake of its previous announcement that the company is expecting its first-ever quarterly profit for this first quarter, thanks to strong sales of the Model S. Unfortunately, those looking to score a cheaper version of Tesla's electric vehicle were also hit with a bit of news during Tesla's financial tease. At that time, Tesla also indicated that was dropping its lower-cost version of the Model S — the variant of the car that came with a 40 kWh battery capable of a mere 160 miles of driving range.
To Tesla's credit, roughly four percent of all Model S purchases were for this lowest-end iteration of its electric cars. Those who had previously purchased a since-cancelled 40-kWh Model S were all given upgrades to the 60-kWh version of the vehicle with one key caveat: The range and battery output have been limited, via software, to give the vehicle the same capabilities as the 40-kWh Model S. Those who want to "unlock" their cars to their fullest potential have to pony up an additional $10,000 – the difference between the 40-kWh and 60-kWh versions of the cars.
However, there's a silver lining to the "upgrade." By using the 60-kWh battery, previous 40-kWh buyers – though limited – are at least able to tap into the Tesla Supercharger network that the 40-kWh versions of the car couldn't actually access. Said Supercharger stations, sprinkled around the country, allow Tesla drivers to charge up their batteries to half after around 30 minutes of sitting around and connecting up to the 90-kW charging station.
Tesla recently announced that it has expanded its battery warranty program to cover virtually anything that happens to the all-so-important heart of its vehicles, save for any kind of malicious abuse of the battery like "blowing it up" or "using it for target practice," to slightly paraphrase Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Additionally, Tesla will also begin to offer top-of-the-line Model S "loaner" cars for those whose Tesla vehicles need servicing. Tesla itself will pick up the to-be-looked-at vehicle and drop off an 85-KwH Model S or Tesla Roadster for the customer to use as long as he or she needs to – and the loaner cars will be offered for sale, should a person end up wanting to hold onto their rental for a wee bit longer."