Tesla bumps up the price of the Model S

As expected, electric car maker Tesla (s TSLA) will raise the price of its electric sedan the Model S by $2,500 for the base U.S. price, Tesla announced on Thursday. The price boost will take place starting January 1, 2013.

That means customers who reserve cars in 2012 will still get the original price, and reservation holders who go ahead and configure their cars (choose the custom features and get ready to buy) within four weeks will also get the lower price. Tesla has systematically been coaxing a portion of its reservation holders into buyers over the past few months.

Tesla says it introduced the car in the Spring of 2009 — over three years ago — and that most other cars on the market three years would have seen an inflation jump of 8.75 percent, or double the recent price increase. It’s a luxury car — so $2,500 probably won’t be such a big deal to its target market.

The price increase could also convince reservation holders, and new customers, to buy cars before the ball drops on 2013.