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USA: Tesla may cast favorable light on electric cars


Side door panels are ready for assembly. The Tesla Model S starts at $57,400 and ranges up to $105,400, before federal tax incentives are factored in. Photo: Erik Verduzco / ONLINE_YES

FREMONT, Calif. – On a gleaming white factory floor in Fremont, workers buzz over freshly assembled cars that represent the future of Tesla Motors.

The workers search for flaws. They check the paint, the wiring, the fit of door against body. They run the cars over a bumpy indoor track to simulate rough roads. They douse the cars with pressurized water to make sure nothing leaks.

The cars – sleek, sumptuous and powered only by electricity – are the Model S. The S is only the second model introduced by Tesla and the first that the upstart automaker will build on its own. Tesla plans to start delivering the luxury sedans to customers on Friday.

“That’s the kind of focus these guys have – making sure everything is right,” says Gilbert Passin, Tesla’s vice president of manufacturing, as a team of “quality auditors” examined a car under banks of bright lights last week. “We have, obviously, a lot to achieve.”
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