Tesla Motors’ (NASDAQ:TSLA) long-awaited Model S electric sedans were introduced to the public last Friday.
Several thousand Tesla employees, their families and local politicians gathered to watch the first vehicles emerge from the company’s Fremont, Calif., manufacturing plant, the Associated Press reported. The Model S can travel up to 160 miles on a charge.
Tesla, headed by billionaire Elon Musk, founder of eBay‘s (NASDAQ:EBAY) PayPal, hopes to sell 5,000 vehicles this year at a cost of $49,900 each, after a federal rebate is applied.
Auto industry analysts say the price tag will restrict the number of cars Tesla can sell. At half the Model S’s price, Nissan‘s (PINK:NSANY) electric Leaf car has sold less than 30,000 vehicles since 2010.
Company officials hope the Model S can generate enough sales to boost Tesla to profitability. In four years, it has managed to sell just 2,150 of its flashy sports car, the Roadster, losing close to $1 billion in the process.
On hand to witness the debut of the Model S was California Governor Jerry Brown, who called it “another example of California on the move.”