Tesla Branches into Gas-Electric Hybrid Market

Tesla plans to enter the gas-electric hybrid market, with the first range extended vehicle (REV) to hit the streets by the end of 2009. Their all electric models negate the use for a gas motor entirely, but by adding a gas motor they will be able to produce hybrid vehicles with better performance.

Essentially, the new REVs will have a battery that is continually charged whilst the car is being driven. The range of the battery is usually around 40-50 miles, but this is charged by the gas motor's output during a journey, which extends the longevity, (hence the name.) The modification will be made to the Whitestar sedan, which will be able to achieve 150 - 200 miles on a single charge, using this technique. The Tesla Roadster will be capable of a similar distance, but it does cost the best part of $100, 000. The Whitestar REV will be expected to retail around $50,000 - $70,000, depending on customization options. [CNET]