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Tesla To Release Model S Electric Sedan With 300-Mile Range

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the new Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif. , Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. In background is the Tesla electric car Model S sedan. The new Tesla factory is the former NUMMI plant. (AP)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the new Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif. , Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. In background is the Tesla electric car Model S sedan. The new Tesla factory is the former NUMMI plant. (AP)

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PALO ALTO (CBS / AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. plans to offer a limited-edition version of its Model S sedan next year that will have a battery mighty enough to keep the car going for 300 miles on a single charge.

That’s much farther than the Nissan Leaf, which can go up to 100 miles on a charge. The Leaf went on sale late last year.

Tesla vice president for worldwide sales George Blankenship said in a Web posting Monday that Tesla plans to sell a Model S Signature Series with the 300-mile battery in North America starting in mid-2012.

Tesla will sell versions of the all-electric Model S with 230-mile and 160-mile batteries later in 2012. A right-hand drive Model S also is due in 2012.

The Model S with a 160-mile battery will start at $57,400, or $49,900 after a $7,500 federal tax credit. Blankenship said the 230-mile option is expected to cost $10,000 more, and the 300-mile option about $20,000 more.

The Leaf sells for $32,780, or $25,280 with the tax credit.

Blankenship said Tesla expects to produce 5,000 Model S sedans in 2012 and 20,000 in 2013.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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