Tesla lays out Model S production line

Tesla VP of manufacturing lays out the company's production plan for the Model S in a blog post at the Tesla Motors site.

Tesla Model S
Tesla showed off the Model S at the 2010 Detroit auto show. Sarah Tew/CNET

Affirming its position as a new-generation car company, Tesla Motors' Vice President of Manufacturing Gilbert Passin lays out in detail how the upcoming Model S will be produced on the company's blog. Although other manufacturers use similar production techniques, it is an interesting post for information on the process.

Unlike the current Tesla Roadster, which gets delivered to Tesla as a preassembled body and frame, the company will build the Model S from the ground up, including stamping sheets of aluminum into body panels. Assembly will take place at Tesla's new plant in Fremont, California, a joint facility with Toyota announced last May.

Passin's post provides some interesting details of the Model S production. Instead of using water for body-leak testing, Tesla will use ultrasonic waves. Once the body is built and wired, the electric power train, including battery pack, motor, transaxle, and rear suspension, is bolted into the car in one step.

The $50,000 Tesla Model S seats seven in a sleek, four-door design. Its all-electric power train gives it a range of 300 miles, with 0-to-60 mph performance of 5.6 seconds. The Model S goes on sale in 2012.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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