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GM Working on Its Own Answer to Tesla

Technology is there, but expensive batteries are an issue
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2013 10:54 AM CDT

(Newser) – General Motors is working on an electric car with a range of 200 miles, a feat so far matched only by the Tesla Model S, officials tell the Wall Street Journal. And unlike its critically acclaimed competition, the GM model would come with a more affordable $30,000 price tag, less than half what the Model S costs—at least in theory. While GM already has the technology to make the car, batteries are currently too expensive to begin production, a VP explains.

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Battery costs have bedeviled all electric car makers. Nissan's Leaf is currently the best-selling electric car, but it can only manage 75 miles on an electrical charge. One chemist estimates that the batteries cost $500 per kilowatt hour, meaning $12,000 or so of the Leaf's $28,000 price is the battery. Tesla says its batteries are far cheaper, but the Model S costs $70,000. Elon Musk has claimed, however, that they'll have a $35,000 version out within four years, and that it "didn't require a miracle." (Read more General Motors stories.)

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