Luxury Autos: I had said that when they come out with an electric car with pickup like a sports car, I would be the first one in my neighborhood to buy one. Guess what, this scenario is now a reality. The amazing new Tesla is a sexy machine with the dream ability to run totally on electric batteries. I guess I'll have to hold onto my Toyota Camry Hybrid a little while longer, though. The new technology is still quite pricey with only the rich and famous able to support the six-figure -price tag.
But the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, travel 220 miles on one charge and operate at on 2 cents per mile with a 256 mpg gas equivalent makes this car seem almost within reach.
First unveiled as a prototype in 2006, the revolutionary Tesla Roadster generated an extraordinary response from people everywhere who were inspired by the vision that beautiful, high performance cars could generate zero-emissions and burn no oil.
Less than two years later, this vision has become a reality as Tesla Motors begins production of this breakthrough electric vehicle. The 2008 model year is sold out and Tesla is currently taking reservations for the 2009 model year Tesla Roadster. To date, over 900 Tesla Roadsters have been reserved in total. It is the only zero emission electric vehicle in production today.
Through the course of development of the Roadster, Tesla Motors has established a leadership position in EV technology which it plans to extend over the next years, leading to the introduction of its next model, a five passenger sports sedan, in 2010.
With a 0 to 60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds, a 13,000 rpm redline, and the fastest top gear acceleration of any production car tested by Car & Driver magazine in 2007, the Tesla Roadster is unique in providing super car performance at twice the energy efficiency of the best hybrids.
"Our key focus with the Roadster will be on gradually ramping up our production in a deliberate and controlled manner reaching a rate of over 100 Roadsters per month early next year," says Tesla President and CEO Ze'ev Drori.
"At this point our attention is expanding into the sales and service arena marked by the opening of our Los Angeles and Menlo Park stores. We are determined to provide a customer sales and service experience that will not only raise the bar to the automobile business but will far exceed the best available anywhere.
Tesla will further expand its existing technological lead as we build and deliver thousands of Roadsters per year. With innovative EV technology, a strong brand, and being ahead of the pack, Tesla has established an extraordinary platform for future success."
At this point, the only downside to owning a car is living in close proximity to Southern California, for it you need to undergo repairs or maintenance, you'll have to ship it out there to be worked on. Aach the agony of being first!
For more information, visit www.teslamotors.com.
By Ruth Mitchell