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Performance Electric Car

Joe Conley on Sunday, 23 July 2006.

Tesla Roadster

Zero to 60 in 4 Seconds, Totally From Revving Batteries

"In a new approach to making the electric car a mass-market product, a California company will unveil on Wednesday a model that is very specialized, very expensive and very, very fast.

Tesla Motors, a four-year-old Silicon Valley start-up, has raised $60 million and spent about $25 million developing a two-seat Roadster that will sell for $85,000 to $100,000.

It goes from zero to 60 miles an hour in four seconds, “wicked fast,” said the company’s chairman, Martin Eberhard. Because it is an electric, the driver does not have to shift into second gear until the car hits 65, he said.

The Roadster is supposed to go about 250 miles on a single charge. It uses lithium-ion batteries, the kind most commonly found in laptops...the battery pack weighs only about 900 pounds...the Roadster has 6,831 [batteries], arranged in what Mr. Eberhard called a complex network.

The Roadster’s advantage is that it avoids gasoline at $3 a gallon. At the national average retail price for electricity and fuel economy of 200 watt-hours per mile, it will go 150 miles on the price of a gallon of unleaded regular.

Still, saving money presumably won’t be the prime motivation of most potential buyers, since to earn back the $65,000 premium over a two-seater like, say, the Mazda Miata, would require more than 700,000 miles of driving."

Well it's a start. If it gets cheaper, I'd consider it. Looks better than a Prius at least.

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