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Tesla introduces two cheaper versions of Model S

Tesla car Image copyright Getty Images

Tesla Motors on Thursday introduced two new lower priced versions of its Model S that could be on US roads by July.

The electric car company said it wanted to put its vehicles within reach of more people.

The Model S 60 will cost just $66,000 (£45,602) and the Model S 60 D will cost $71,000. Both will have slightly less range than the original Model S.

Tesla introduced the Model S in 2012. It costs $76,000, but most customers pay more for additional features.

In a statement Tesla stressed that, given owners of electric cars save on fuel costs, the effective price of ownership for the new Model S 60 was closer to $50,000.

Tesla said the cars will be available with the company's standard lead time of around six weeks. Individuals who placed orders today could have cars as early as July.

The company said the new cars will have a range of 200 miles and a maximum speed of 130 miles an hour.

Both new cars will be sold with battery packs that have a capacity of 75 kilowatt-hours, but will be limited initially to 60 kilowatt-hours unless owners buy a software upgrade.

The company said it plans to produce between 80,000 and 90,000 cars in 2016 and by 2018 plans to be making 500,000. Most of those cars will be Model S cars.

Last year, Tesla announced plans for another affordable car, the Model 3. It retails for just $35,000 and is expected to hit the market in 2017.

Tesla shares were down 1.2% in afternoon trading.

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