Tesla launches $50,000 Model S electric car

But 7-seater family car will need Obama stimulus money to be made

Tesla Model S is half the price of a Tesla and has a longer range

Tesla CEO Elon Musk today unveiled the company's second all-electric car, the Model S sedan.

Priced at a shade under $50,000 (£34,500), which includes a US federal rebate of $7,500 (£5200), the plug-in Model S is expected to be on the market as soon as 2011.

However, Musk says that production of the Model S sedan depends on whether Tesla secures a $350 million (£245 million) loan from the US Department of Energy as part of President Obama's stimulus package.

Factory financing

The money would be spent on building a factory within the US to produce the Model S. The company's first electric car - the $109,000 (£75,000) Roadster sports car - is based on a Lotus chassis and assembled at the British company's Hethel plant.

Technical details of the Model S are still sketchy but the Mercury News is reporting Elon Musk as saying that it can seat five adults and two children, and carry them up to 300 miles on a single charge of its batteries.

He claimed it was the "first mass-produced, highway-capable electric vehicle with the versatility and practicality of a conventional car."

Leaked photos show a Jaguar-inspired four-door shell, containing a large touchscreen display instead of physical controls.

Via Mercury News.