The Tesla Roadster
Tesla is quite probably the most well known manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world and for good reason, it has produced a brilliant car. The Tesla Roadster has chassis borrowed directly from the Lotus Elise which has a place on every intelligently thought out top 10 list of best sports cars in history. They chose the Lotus chassis for its racing pedigree but also for its ultra light weight, Tesla has added a much more luxurious interior, added a 288 HP (215 kW) electric motor that peaks at 14,000 rpm as well as a computer controlled battery array that can take you 244 miles (393 kilometers) before requiring more juice. Tesla recently built their 1,000th Roadster and were recently issued a government loan of $465 million USD to build their new “S” model four door sports sedan due out in 2012.
At $101,500 USD the Roadster is not yet a car for the masses, although if you calculate how much you spend on gasoline each year you’d probably be able to justify it, as always with these things, as the technology becomes more commonplace the pricing will begin to drop to a level where you will see them being driven by school teachers and middle management types instead of movie stars and web 2.0 billionaires.
Acceleration – 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds
Top Speed – 125 mph (electronically limited)
Range – 244 miles
Expected Battery Life – Seven years or 100,000 miles.
Battery – Custom microprocessor-controlled lithium-ion battery with 6,831 individual cells.
Full Charge – About 3.5 hours using the Tesla Motors Home Connector at 240 Volts and 70 amps.
Official Tesla Introduction
–Instant FreedomThe first time you drive the Tesla Roadster, prepare to be surprised. You’re at freeway speed in seconds without even thinking about it. There is no clutch pedal to contend with and no race-car driving techniques to perform. Just the touch of your foot and you’re off, without any of the sluggishness of an automatic.How powerful is the acceleration? A quick story to illustrate. A favorite trick here at Tesla Motors is to invite a passenger along and ask him to turn on the radio. At the precise moment we ask, we accelerate. Our passenger simply can’t sit forward enough to reach the dials. But who needs music when you’re experiencing such a symphony of motion.Rest assured that this responsiveness works at all speeds, as noticeable when you’re inching your way through parking lots as when flying along freeways.
–100% Torque, 100% of the TimeThe Tesla Roadster delivers full availability of performance every moment you are in the car, even while at a stoplight. Its peak torque begins at 0 rpm and stays powerful at 14,000 rpm.This is the precise opposite of what you experience with a gasoline engine, which has very little torque at a low rpm and only reaches peak torque in a narrow rpm range. This forces you to make frequent gear changes to maintain optimal torque. With the Tesla Roadster, you get great acceleration and the highest energy efficiency at the same time. All while requiring no special driving skills to enjoy it. This makes the Tesla Roadster six times as efficient as the best sports cars while producing one-tenth of the pollution.
Via Tesla Motors