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Tesla: More than 500 takers for Model S

As the all-electric sedan premieres on the East Coast, the California-based automaker maker brags of dramatic interest since the Model S' Los Angeles debut.

If produced, the Tesla Model S will be the first mass-produced highway-legal all electric car. Tesla Motors
Correction: This post misstated the timing of the Washington, D.C., Tesla event. It took place Wednesday evening.

More than 520 reservations for the Tesla Model S have been made since the all-electric car's debut on March 26, Tesla Motors announced Wednesday.

Since the car isn't slated for production until 2011, and Tesla is still waiting to hear if it'll be getting a $350 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to build the car's California production plant, the company is not technically taking orders.

Instead, the carmaker says it is taking refundable $5,000 reservations to get in line for the anticipated $50,000 car (the price after receiving a $7,500 federal tax credit).

If it does go into production, the Model S will be the first mass-produced highway-capable car to run entirely on electricity.

The working prototype of the Model S was unveiled last week in Los Angeles. An East Coast premiere took place on Wednesday evening at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Model S, which can go 0 mph to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, has an electronically limited speed of 130 mph and can be recharged from any 120V, 208V, or 240V outlet. The car will be offered with a range of 160, 230, or 300 miles per charge, depending on which battery the buyer chooses, though Tesla has not yet said what the price difference will be for each package.

While the company has faced a mountain of start-up hardship, including a battle over trade secrets, a class action lawsuit, and a major leadership change, it has so far been able to deliver 320 of its Roadster models, its all-electric luxury sports car.