San Jose, California – Electric vehicle company Tesla Motors has announced its intention to build a US$250 million facility to manufacture a zero-emission luxury sedan in San Jose, California. The company will also relocate its corporate headquarters, and its research and development efforts, to a consolidated campus there.

Tesla president and CEO Ze’ev Drori announced that construction would begin in the summer of 2009 and, when fully operational, employ approximately 1,000 workers. The factory will be 32 km from the current headquarters in San Carlos.

The new car, the Model S, is a five-passenger luxury sedan powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. It is expected to have a base price of about US$60,000 and get about 240 miles (386 km) per charge. The first sedans will likely roll off the assembly line in 2010.

The company’s first production vehicle is the Roadster, an all-electric two-seat sports car that is assembled at a Group Lotus PLC factory in Hethel, U.K. The company has delivered about 30 so far in the U.S. and Europe and said about 1,200 people have put down deposits to reserve one. Tesla has no plans to move Roadster production.

The company recently announced that it hired Executive Vice President Mike Donoughe, who spent 24 years at Chrysler; Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja, who are formerly a controller at Ford; and Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen, former director of design for Mazda North America, who is designing the Model S.

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