* The body structure could be aluminum or steel or a combination, but the Model S will have lightweight aluminum body panels. Tesla expects to make its own "hard tooling," which are expensive stamping molds for the body panels. Although Straubel and Kelty declined to speculate, one possibility is that Tesla could align with Alcoa, the aluminum company, which works with Ferrari and other exotic-car makers to produce aluminum-bodied cars.
* Tesla is aiming for a 0.25 coefficient of drag, which would make the car very efficient aerodynamically. Ideally, the bottom of the car would slope up gradually toward the rear at a 7-degree angle, but the battery packs might interfere with that.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, May 21, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 2 inches; 92 words Type of Material: Correction
Tesla Model S: A column by Dan Neil in Business on April 29 about Tesla's Model S said the car would not have the capacity to accept 440-volt current, which would allow it to be charged in 45 minutes and make it theoretically possible to drive the car cross-country with only brief stops to plug in. The column should have specified that the car would not accept a 440-volt alternating-current (AC) charge. It will take a 440-volt charge in direct-current (DC) voltage, which would require a special charging device not readily available.