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Frontal crash test.  (Source: Tesla Motors)

Side crash test.  (Source: Tesla Motors)

Aftermatch of rear crash test.  (Source: Tesla Motors)

  (Source: Tesla Motors)
Tesla Motors' highly anticipated Roadster comes closer to fruition

Tesla Motors' Roadster has been in development for quite some time now, but it appears that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for the project team.

Malcolm Powell, Tesla Motors' Vice President of Vehicle Integration, announced yesterday that The Tesla Roadster has passed all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and is legal for sale in all 50 states.

"Thanks to great design, structural analysis, build quality and well run test management, we have successfully completed the entire suite of dynamic impact testing to meet both FMVSS and, as importantly, our own very strenuous internal performance targets," said Powell. "This is a great achievement for Tesla; it takes us another (major) step closer to our final goal and is another demonstration that EVs are as real as any other vehicle on the road."

The Tesla Roadster performed admirably in front, rear and side crash tests. "I always find it interesting when people say, 'Isn't it dangerous carrying all those batteries around?' Well I don’t know about you, but I’d rather carry a load of relatively inert battery cells than 10 gallons of highly volatile, flammable liquid," added Powell. "I will not comment on how other companies design their vehicles but at Tesla, we have paid great attention to the integrity of the design for crash management."

In addition, the vehicle passed basic rear view mirror, lighting and windshield defogging/defrosting tests.

Production of the $100,000 roadster will begin on March 17 although the first models to roll off the assembly line will come equipped with "temporary" transmissions.

Tesla claims that the temporary transmissions are of a design that has been road tested more than 100,000 miles, so owners shouldn't be too concerned about reliability or safety. Performance, however, does take a nose dive -- the first production models will only accelerate 0-60 in 5.7 seconds instead of 4 seconds as previously promised.

The temporary transmissions will be replaced with production-level hardware at Tesla Motors’ expense when it is available.

The Tesla Roadster is loosely based on the aluminum-intensive Lotus Elise and features an electric motor powered by 6,381 lithium-ion cells. The projected range for the two-seater is just over 200 miles.



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Rather sad
By Sunrise089 on 1/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: Rather sad
By omnicronx on 1/25/2008 3:18:04 AM , Rating: 1
If you consider researching something you say before you post, maybe we will all be the wiser. The Tesla's 0-60 in 5.7 seconds is on par with a Porsche Boxter S (exactly the same actually 5.7 seconds). I loaded Boxter costs around 55k, so 100k for an electric vehicle that probably has around the same range is not bad at all. The electric system alone in one of these probably costs more than a protege or solstice...


RE: Rather sad
By EricMartello on 1/25/08, Rating: -1
RE: Rather sad
By eye smite on 1/25/2008 5:08:09 AM , Rating: 3
Thank you for providing a classic example of someone too close minded and opinionated to change. I'm inspired.


RE: Rather sad
By EricMartello on 1/27/2008 9:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
Change is only warranted if it is an improvement in some aspect. The Tesla is pure fail, starting at $100K.


RE: Rather sad
By hubajube on 1/28/2008 4:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. The Tesla IS indeed a failure. 200 mile range (unless you live in a one horse town this is just a "look at me" I'm green mobile poster), a dog slow 0-60 of 5.7 seconds (a Camry could give you a run for your money), and a ridiculously high price tag of $100,000. I wonder how much it would cost if they had to develop their own car.

Considering the price, you would think there would have been more effort to make this car the premium electric car it's supposed to be. Not a "master of none" car. No thanks, I'll stick to the regular Elise, at least I don't need to invest in a flatbed truck company to own that car.


RE: Rather sad
By Spivonious on 1/25/2008 9:30:12 AM , Rating: 1
5.7s is slow? Maybe on a racetrack. My car is rated around 8s and it's plenty zippy for me.


RE: Rather sad
By Spuke on 1/25/2008 10:21:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
5.7s is slow? Maybe on a racetrack. My car is rated around 8s and it's plenty zippy for me.
For a $100k car, electric or not, it's slow. I don't see this as a hindrance because it's exclusivity might be enough to entice the rich buyer. But it will be, like other cars in that price range, just a toy.


RE: Rather sad
By Runiteshark on 1/25/2008 5:20:12 AM , Rating: 2
Haha, you actually compare it to a Boxter? Boxters are slow. They are junk.

In comparison,
A Nissan 350z, about the same 0-60 times.
A Subaru WRX STi 4.2 seconds (34k)
A Mitsubishi Evo around 5.3~5.1 seconds ($30+k)
A Stock Toyota Supra MK4 5s, add in a bigger turbo and you can drop that down even more
A Mitsubishi 3000GT About 5 seconds (A 1994 car) (A whopping $3000 on craigslist)
How about a Toyota Celica GT-4? 5.2-3 seconds ($4k on craigslist)
Ford Mustang GT 4.9s

How about some cars in that price range now:
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (Not even the new one) 3.7 seconds (In first gear) (75k)
Dodge Viper SRT10 3.5 seconds ($80k)
Audi R8 4.4s (A little pricier)

My point is, The Tesla sucks. 5.7s is great and all, but for 100k, and electric motors that produce torque from 0rpm, I'd expect it to be much much better. In addition, comparing it to a big fancypants "Boxter" is a joke. The Boxter is slow. Porsche isn't all that great. They make some good cars, but all their very fast ones are over 100k. And still in addition, even older cars can dominate it, and were talking $3000 cars here.

So yeah.


RE: Rather sad
By eye smite on 1/25/2008 6:23:34 AM , Rating: 3
Yes but we're not talking about a car like any you listed. It's an electric car, and I'm sure it will do fine. Now, save your dripping, sarcastic, opinionated, close minded idiocy for politics. Would you like some milk and cookies to go with that?


RE: Rather sad
By Runiteshark on 1/25/2008 6:27:09 AM , Rating: 2
Er what? I was showing that the Porsche Boxter wasn't that fast. I think I stated that in the first line there. Next up, I think everyone knows its an electric car. This whole discussion thus far has been that its not that impressive in comparison to other vehicles, not that it "won't do fine".

Lastly, I think I was pretty open minded in listing a multitude of cars that either beat, come close to or humiliate the Boxster. I don't quite see how anything in my post really was close minded, but you're welcome to come back and post again and point that out to me.


RE: Rather sad
By jtemplin on 1/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: Rather sad
By eye smite on 1/25/2008 2:12:14 PM , Rating: 3
jtemplin = simple catamite


RE: Rather sad
By jtemplin on 1/29/2008 8:20:10 AM , Rating: 1
Yea I'm sure this is how you speak to people in real life brother...
quote:
Now, save your dripping, sarcastic, opinionated, close minded idiocy for politics. Would you like some milk and cookies to go with that?


If so, please go slap your mom for me. Thanks


RE: Rather sad
By FITCamaro on 1/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: Rather sad
By DarkElfa on 1/25/2008 7:24:31 AM , Rating: 5
I thought the new Mustang was the new Mustang for middle aged women?


RE: Rather sad
By thornburg on 1/25/2008 7:28:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Boxster is a piece of crap for people who want to say "I own a Porsche". It's the new Mustang for wealthy, middle aged women.


No it's not, it's the OLD new Mustang for wealthy, middle aged women.

The NEW new Mustang for wealthy, middle aged women is the Cayenne. Why do you think they made it in the first place?


RE: Rather sad
By FITCamaro on 1/25/2008 9:17:30 AM , Rating: 2
Good point. I didn't think about the Cayenne. I think the idea of Porsche making a "SUV" is ridiculous. It'll never even see dirt. Much less tow anything. It's a "Hey. I had $60,000+ to blow on something to make me look important so I bought this." vehicle.


RE: Rather sad
By Spivonious on 1/25/2008 9:30:53 AM , Rating: 5
Didn't you just describe every SUV owner? ;)


RE: Rather sad
By someguy743 on 1/26/2008 8:48:05 AM , Rating: 2
This new Tesla Roadster is only the FIRST electric sports car. Who knows how ridiculously fast they are going to get in the future. These things accelerate with 100% torque immediately and just keep going all the way to 100+ mph.

This is a preview of things to come in electric cars ... the Killacycle electric motorcycle. It's ridiculously fast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDHJNG2PngQ&feature...

Check this out. Electric car vs. Ferrari. We're only in the "model T" stage of electric cars. Imagine how fast they'll be in 10 years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqqtJpfZElQ&feature...

In the next 3-5 years the electric cars are going to have "silicon-lithium ion nanowire batteries" that could have TEN times the range of current lithium ion batteries.

http://www.itwire.com/content/view/16129/885/

That's when you'll see the old fashioned internal combustion engine start to go the way of the dinosaur. Electric cars could have a range of 500+ miles. Maybe more.

Add a "range extender" in the form of a small, super efficient cellulosic ethanol internal combustion engine or fuel cell, and cars could have a range of 1,000+ ... maybe 1,500 miles. They're called "serial hybrids" or "plug in hybrids" ... like the Chevy Volt coming out in 2010. It's basically a 100% electric car with one of those Honda generator engines that keeps the electricity on at your house when power lines go down.

Imagine refueling your car only once every month or two! It's going to happen. Eventually, we probably won't want "range extenders" when the batteries get good enough. Truckers might still use them though.

The future is electric cars. They'll have everything current cars have and be much more efficient and environmentally friendly. Plus, we won't be addicted to Middle East oil and have to pay whatever prices those fatcat oil sheiks feel we "deserve". It's awesome to have choices in the marketplace ain't it! These electric cars are that choice. We can tell the fatcat oil sheiks to "go to hell ... we don't need your steaanking oil!"


RE: Rather sad
By Runiteshark on 1/26/2008 12:01:36 PM , Rating: 1
I'm wondering, where exactly will the major improvements be had? Electric motors are electric motors. We've had them around for ages and ages, just like the ICE. The only way I currently see for anything like this to be decent, is if there is new battery tech.

As for that electric motorcycle, big deal. A shitty Honda CCR600RR can destroy a ferrari. Most stock bikes have a 0-60 of about 3 seconds, did you not know this? Plus I really doubt that bike makes 500hp, unless it weighs about 800lbs or so. My friends got a Hayabusa running @ 36psi, it puts out about 500hp, and its trap speed is 186mph in the quarter mile, with a 6 sec time.

As for "generator engines", duh. Have you ever seen how big big dump trucks work? They have huge engines for the powerplant, not for the drivetrain.

I don't doubt we will have electric cars in our future, but the current offerings are greatly inhibited until we get battery tech that dosen't suck.


RE: Rather sad
By someguy743 on 1/26/2008 1:02:25 PM , Rating: 2
If you don't want to watch electric motorcycles, watch this electric car .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsGeQby7Jnw&feature...

0-60 in 3.07 seconds . Is that fast enough for you? This car is a cheaper than some of the Lamborghinis and Ferraris too ... and they'll get cheaper still once they become mass produced .

Like I said, electric cars are just getting started. This is a "model T" electric car. Imagine how good they'll be in 5-10 years. The internal combustion engine car really is going the way of the dinosaur . Electric cars are just better in lots of ways. It's a Darwin kind of thing ... cars are evolving. You can't stop progress. Not in America anyway.

Welcome to the 21st century. This is the way it's going to be. No more loud, inefficient, gas guzzling cars burning fuel and making the oil sheiks in the Middle East as rich as God. We're going to have super efficient, quiet, ultra smooth, high torque/high horsepower electric cars. If you want to hear the sounds of internal combustion engines for nostalgia sake, you can get an .mp3 soundtrack of the old Ferraris and Porsches from "the old days of gasoline cars" and play it in your electric car. :)


RE: Rather sad
By Runiteshark on 1/27/2008 1:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
I think you have some pretty serious problems reading, like eye smite. I never said that speed of that car was terribly bad or anything, or that it was a huge inhibiting factor. I said our battery technology sucks . Looking at how much energy loss occurs and how difficult it is to maintain and keep a charge, let alone at any meaningful voltage and amperage will go to show you that our battery tech is still pretty primitive.

If electric cars really want to make a move into the market, battery tech is the first and foremost, because everyone knows that electric is quite a bit more efficient then a regular ICE. But I don't think too many people will want to wait several hours for their cars to "charge" or only be limited to a minimum of 200 miles. 200 miles is under half of the range that most family or "normal" cars get. Check out the Civic, Accord, Camry, Malibu, etc, all range within 500mi or more.

In addition, that link you provided is about as much of a car as the Ariel Atom or any other of the small kitcars. Big deal, show me that in something that looks like a normal, regular car that an everyday family would get in.

Again though, just because you have trouble reading I'll say it again: I do agree that electric cars are the way of the future.


RE: Rather sad
By someguy743 on 1/27/2008 4:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
From what I've been reading there's probably going to be plenty of new battery breakthroughs on the way. Read these articles about silicon based lithium ion nanowire batteries:

http://www.itwire.com/content/view/16129/885/

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/01/17/...

http://www.gm-volt.com/2007/12/21/gm-voltcom-inter...

The serial (plug-in) hybrids will have plenty of range. They are basically pure electric cars with a "range extender" which could be a super efficient ICE engine running cellulosic ethanol, regular gasoline, or E85 ... or a hydrogen fuel cell later on.

Read these while you are at it:

http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/

http://www.chevrolet.com/pop/electriccar/2007/long...

http://www.fiskerautomotive.com/

http://www.teslamotors.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_WhiteStar


RE: Rather sad
By hubajube on 1/28/2008 6:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
From what I've been reading there's probably going to be plenty of new battery breakthroughs on the way.
And none of those are being used in ACTUAL cars you can buy TODAY. Not even in the $100,000 "saving the planet, 200 miles at a time" Tesla "pose-ster".

Wake me up when this stuff is being mass produced in cars we can ALL buy. Not just some rich guys garage queen.


RE: Rather sad
By EricMartello on 1/27/2008 10:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Welcome to the 21st century. This is the way it's going to be. No more loud, inefficient, gas guzzling cars burning fuel and making the oil sheiks in the Middle East as rich as God. We're going to have super efficient, quiet, ultra smooth, high torque/high horsepower electric cars. If you want to hear the sounds of internal combustion engines for nostalgia sake, you can get an .mp3 soundtrack of the old Ferraris and Porsches from "the old days of gasoline cars" and play it in your electric car. :)


If only there was a way to convert the stupidity of people such as yourself into a fuel...we'd have an infinite supply. Do you realize that the technology for creating electric vehicles has existed as long as, if not longer than, internal combustion? Yes, it has been around THAT long. This car does not innovate or revolutionize anything...and if electric cars were feasible they would be more prevalent now than they are.

Internal combustion > electric for the simple facts of power-to-weight and the ability to store more energy per unit in the form of a combustible liquid vs a battery. Emissions? Here's a quick fact: the smog you see lingering over L.A or NYC is not CO2 or even CO...it is OZONE GAS. Where does that gas come from? Incidentally, it is released by electric motors among other things. Unlike the pseudo-scientific doomsday claims about hydrocarbon emissions from cars causing a climactic meltdown in 400 years...ozone poses and immediate and definite health risk to anyone who happens to breath. Also, green plants which filter CO2 do not filter ozone, so it just lingers there.

So far none of the alternative electrical "solutions" for our "fuel and environmental crisis" are viable, practical or desirable. In fact, MORE LIKELY THAN NOT, diesel powered vehicles will be the "new thing" for American consumers, since they are in fact everything that electric and hybrids are not - i.e. BETTER. In Europe, diesel powered cars are very common, very efficient and more simplistic. A staple of quality engineering is finding the simplest solution possible to a given problem.


RE: Rather sad
By Runiteshark on 1/28/2008 2:43:12 AM , Rating: 1
EXACTLY. This idiot has been going on saying that we have fancy new battery tech.

What a crock of shit, he has no realization how much that tech costs, and how little it really boosts inefficiency. As far as I know, electric cars have been around a little less then ICEs, primarily because back then there was an even larger disposition in the power to weight ratio that exists to say, as well as the pathetic and paltry range of the old Lead batteries.

With diesels, you hit the nail on the head. There is no way in the world everyone will just uproot and make the decision to switch to these electric cars. Sure some of them loosely defined as cars can do 0-60 in 3 or so seconds, however so can a few select cars, big deal. Its not like there is insane money to be saved anyway.


We need the rich now more than ever...
By daftrok on 1/25/2008 2:17:32 AM , Rating: 3
The rich and famous can really make a statement if they purchase these vehicles. It will help bring the price down and will be great PR.




RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By eye smite on 1/25/2008 5:11:46 AM , Rating: 4
The rich and famous did that back in the 90's and up til 2003 with the GM EV1, where were you at? Up until now people haven't wanted to change, but prices at the pump are slowly waking people up.


RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By wordsworm on 1/25/2008 7:21:29 AM , Rating: 3
I think he's got a point. If you took a GM EV1 side by side with a Ferrari, it would be left behind in the smoke. Tesla holds the promise of putting the Ferrari in the dust. So, that is likely to catch more 'rich and famous' glamour. One of the few truly great American actresses (why can't Hollywood find people of her caliber anymore?), has been driving a Toyota Prius for awhile now.

Also, the EV1 had to be returned to the dealership, and they've since been destroyed. These Teslas are supposed to belong to you when you drive off the lot and may one day grow in value.

I'll tell you my prediction: Tesla will sell out in the first month their production for the next two years. Six months to five years from now, they'll be bought out by GM or Ford and then turned into an SUV.


RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By Spuke on 1/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By IGoodwin on 1/25/2008 11:53:11 AM , Rating: 2
It is clearly stated in the article, the difference in acceleration is because of a 'temporary' transmission that Tesla will replace at their cost. Therefore, all Tesla roadsters will have 0-60 in 4s.

Besides, a Tesla is way cheaper than a Ferrari!


RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By Spuke on 1/25/2008 12:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Besides, a Tesla is way cheaper than a Ferrari!
In that price range, price is no object so the cheaper price won't be a factor at all. Performance and prestige will be. And like I said in another post, the exclusivity of the Tesla may be enough to stir up some buyers. Now if the service is bad or the car doesn't live up to it's claims, the Tesla will have a short life.


RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/25/2008 12:37:33 PM , Rating: 2
> "In that price range, price is no object..."

Err, I can't agree with that. The market for a $100K roadster is many times larger than a $500K one. The demand curve drop off is pretty much exponential.

Production runs on say an $80K Cadillac XLR run about 5000/yr. The Porsche 911 (which can cost well over $100K) runs over 10,000/yr I believe.

A Ferrari Enzo, though, is what, 300 units total? Lamborghini's best-selling model hits some 1,500/year.


RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By Spuke on 1/25/2008 4:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't consider the Enzo or cars like that "production" cars. It's a limited run and then the model is discontinued. Whereas, cars like the 911 and F430 stay in production until a new car comes to replace them. Buyers in that object are not concerned with cost. There are other factors involved than just money when buying a car like the Enzo.

For example, many exotic manufacturers only sell cars such as the Enzo to long time customers, friends of the manufacturer, or other qualifiers. Most of the time it's just a matter of not getting on the list in time, not owning previous versions of the car make, or simply not wanting one.


RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/25/2008 5:51:07 PM , Rating: 2
> "Buyers in that object are not concerned with cost. "

As a past owner of a car priced within spitting distance of this Tesla, I can tell you price was certainly a factor...and I certainly wasn't debating between it and a Ferrari. In fact, if the dealer hadn't knocked nearly $10K off the price, I wouldn't have bit at all.

In any case, if we're arguing over how well the Tesla will do-- they sold out their initial production run almost before they announced it. That pretty much answers the question right there.


By Spuke on 1/25/2008 6:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In any case, if we're arguing over how well the Tesla will do-- they sold out their initial production run almost before they announced it.
Not arguing over that. They'll sell just because they're exclusive and being green is the "in" thing.


By knowyourenemy on 1/25/2008 10:39:08 AM , Rating: 2
Waking up? It'll take1 $10.00 USD to do that.


RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By Polynikes on 1/25/2008 6:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
If I was rich (doubt I'll ever achieve any fame) I'd buy one of these in a heart beat. I love driving electric cars. Ever driven electric go-karts? They blow lawnmower-engined ones away.


RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By StevoLincolnite on 1/25/2008 10:19:56 AM , Rating: 5
But but but...

EEEEEEEE vs VROOOOM! - You decide.


By rcc on 1/25/2008 12:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
EEEEEEEE vs VROOOOM! - You decide.

Yeah, but that just takes an external speaker and a throttle based audo system to fix. : )


RE: We need the rich now more than ever...
By martinrichards23 on 1/26/2008 6:04:32 AM , Rating: 2
I love the noise of electric motors!!

Combustion engines sound so rough and inefficient, electric is elegant and modern.


By Spuke on 1/28/2008 11:56:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Combustion engines sound so rough and inefficient, electric is elegant and modern.
Electric motors are as old as combustion motors. Nothing modern about them. BTW, how can you tell from the sound whether a motor is inefficient or not? Or are you just being funny?


By someguy743 on 1/26/2008 8:15:00 AM , Rating: 2
Here's what the Tesla will sound like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1C44JQU7Pc

It comes on at the beginning of the video. I think it sounds kind of cool, like you are going into "warp drive" in a Star Wars movie or something. It will be the sound of cars in the 21st century. :)


This is nice but...
By nvalhalla on 1/25/2008 8:02:41 AM , Rating: 5
I like the idea here, but it's useless to me. I want an electric car that gets 0-60 in 10 secs, tops out at 90MPH, travels 300 mi per charge, and costs $20,000-25,000. That would pay for itself in fuel savings. I don't want performance, I want affordability. Hopefully the "early adopters" will provide the revenue necessary for Tesla to ramp up production on cheaper cars.




RE: This is nice but...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/25/2008 8:29:40 AM , Rating: 5
The maxim in battery design is, "High Speed, Long Range, Low Cost: Choose any two." I think they chose High Speed and (relatively) long range for the speeds, and forgot about cost. Now, if you drive this more slowly, then you would get better range. Just because this will go fast, doesn't mean you have to violate traffic laws everywhere you go.

The prices will come down, but rich, early adopters are needed to get them down to where the rest of us can afford them. I remember when a little flip cell phone cost more than US$800.00, now they are given away with the plan. The first guy I saw with one was a rich, early adopter. Let them have their fun.


RE: This is nice but...
By Screwballl on 1/25/08, Rating: -1
RE: This is nice but...
By TimberJon on 1/25/2008 11:27:57 AM , Rating: 1
I wonder if the system couldnt disengage gear while its moving forward and you let off the accelerator. If some kind of unpowered unidirectional magnetic system could take over at each wheel or axle, it could put more potential energy towards keeping the car moving forward while in neutral. It would be nice to get a few more % worth of range out of the thing. But then.. the extra weight of a magnetic system would probably offset the gain.. darn.


RE: This is nice but...
By Screwballl on 1/25/2008 11:49:24 AM , Rating: 2
Thats when they integrate some magnetic system in the nations interstates (US) so that with each yellow and white stripe has magnetic properties to double the range of the electric vehicles.. and since it can be embedded into the road, it should only add a few dollars per mile. In colder states, if the plows pull up one or two it shouldn't affect performance at all (or very minimally). In warmer states like the deep south, they use these 1/4" tall reflector things sticking up in almost all roads and interstates which could serve the same purpose.


RE: This is nice but...
By derwin on 1/25/2008 12:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
that would accomplish the same thing as forced magnetic braking over each line. I don't think any drivers would appreciate that.

Like my HS physics teacher used to say "energy don't grow on trees... er, well, sorta, infact, I guess you almost could say that it does... but you get the point..."


RE: This is nice but...
By mattclary on 1/25/2008 1:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
Unidirectional magnet system??? You mean like a perpetual motion machine?


RE: This is nice but...
By Eckstein on 1/25/2008 11:46:37 AM , Rating: 2
You are wrong.
The aerodynamic drag increases quadratic with velocity.
And the earth rotates around the sun.

Da kommt mir ein Spruch Einsteins in den Sinn...


RE: This is nice but...
By rcc on 1/25/2008 12:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Power draw from the batteries is the same at 40mph than it is at 100mph...


I understand what you are trying to say, but it's not quite right. There is greater wind resistance (and other lesser factors) at 100 mph than at 40, so drain would be higher.

But the real killer in battery life is how quickly (and often) you go from 0-60.


RE: This is nice but...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/25/2008 12:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
> "200 miles is 200 miles, regardless of if you are doing 100mph or 40mph, the range is pretty much the same "

As a previous poster points out, this is incorrect. The curve should be a little flatter than that of an IC engine, but still heavily influenced by speed and, even more so, acceleration patterns.

I'm sure a jackrabbit driver could drop the published 200 mile range down to 50 miles or so, simply by driving the vehicle hard.


RE: This is nice but...
By Screwballl on 1/25/2008 12:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe in a SUV with a flat front but this is a highly aerodynamic vehicle that should see very little drag at any speed under 100mph (not accounting for cross winds or headwinds). We are talking 190 miles at 100mph or 210 miles at 40mph.
The IC engine is reliant on aerodynamics, constant RPMs, smaller vehicle/engine size and/or mediocre speeds to achieve better gas efficiency. If you are not moving/idling, it uses gas and power that affects gas mileage. With battery power, aerodynamics is the only real factor. If you are not moving then only the electrical components are using power (radio, A/C, heater). Even if you do that 0-60 in 6 seconds repeatedly, you should still see close to 200 miles since the drain is the same whether you're doing it in 6 seconds or 20 seconds.

Now the long term storage capacity of the battery may be reduced with long term "hot rodding" but if the transmission is only rated for around 100K miles then that should give out long before the battery capacity becomes an issue. Plus as Tesla may be replacing the transmission, they may also come up with a battery upgrade a few years down the line that will be replaced for free (or small fee) at that time as well.


RE: This is nice but...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/25/2008 12:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
> "but this is a highly aerodynamic vehicle "

First of all, it doesn't look "highly aerodynamic" to me. The sports car look isn't as efficient as it appears. A Lamborghini Countach, for instance, isn't much more aerodynamic than a Hummer H2...and both are far worse than a simple Toyota Camry.

Second of all, you forget one simple fact. At cruising speed, *all* the energy expended is due to drag (aerodynamic, road, and drivetrain). All these are either linear or quadratic functions of velocity....but at high velocities, quadratic terms dominate, no matter what the drag coefficient is.


RE: This is nice but...
By peldor on 1/25/2008 9:27:41 AM , Rating: 3
It's not $25k but Tesla's next project will be a more more affordable ($50k-65k) sedan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_WhiteStar


RE: This is nice but...
By MrBlastman on 1/25/2008 9:45:53 AM , Rating: 5
Honestly we NEED a performance electric car like this for several reasons:

a. Performance Cars drive the cutting edge of technology creating innovation and new ideas that might not have been thought of trying to create something average for everyday use. Disagree? Look at how many good technologies were the result of aircraft development in WW2/Vietnam etc., or for that matter other vehicles/equipment.

b. They create INTEREST. Like it or not, this car has people talking about Electric cars in a positive note.

c. Not only do they create general interest, but they create desire - for people beyond the eco-lovers. How many of you want to see less SUV's on the road? I sure as heck do, I'm tired of them. A performance electric like this will get your Bubba Ray talking about Watts and Amperes like a measure of horsepower far faster than your average Prius.

d. With interest comes a lower aversion to purchasing an electric. This could ultimately lead to further acceptance of them as an alternative.

Weather you want to spend 90k or not, the Tesla is a good thing for electric cars. I can only dream of the day I take one out on the Autocross course vs. high-powered, gas burning Porsche's, Corvettes, Camaro's, BMW's, Miatas, WRX/STI's, EVO's etc. and spank them with an electric :)

I think this is part of why electrics have failed so far to create wide acceptance - the percieved image of wussification by going to an electric. America is full of lead-pants filled people who think size matters, bling is good and a Hemi rules all. It is a sad world but we need things like this to get their minds looking elsewhere.


RE: This is nice but...
By Spuke on 1/25/08, Rating: -1
RE: This is nice but...
By MrBlastman on 1/25/2008 10:32:39 AM , Rating: 2
I would think that instead of weight being the cause of the 0-60 in 5.7 vs. 4.0 increase is not weight but more has to do with battery capacity and other electrical issues.

They more than likely had to cut back a bit to get the thing to market now rather than later to generate an income stream. Hopefully it sells initially so they are able to get us to the 4.0 number in production - there was a Motortrend or C&D article stating the model they rode in made it 0-60 in 4 seconds.

You're right about skill though - Auto-X and Track times are 80% skill, 20% car. I've seen plenty a driver in a nice Z06 go skidding off the course because they did not know how to drive it :) However, you get two equal drivers, one in a Saturn the other in a Elise, I'd be willing to bet the driver in the Elise will come out on top.


By msp35 on 1/25/2008 9:18:45 AM , Rating: 3
Electricity in the U.S. does indeed come mostly from coal fired power plants. 55% of our electricity comes from coal actually. While I realize it's not all coal, there seems to be a sense among people I know that electric cars are completely clean because they don't use gasoline. This is not the case.

-Matt

Source: http://www.environmentaldefense.org/article.cfm?co...


By someguy743 on 1/26/2008 8:59:25 AM , Rating: 2
I think the last coal fired plant in America may have already been built. I hear that electric utilities have been cancelling coal fired plants. The future is going to be more solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind and possibly more of the latest generation nuclear plants that are supposed to be safer, cheaper and have fewer waste issues.

Who knows, we might even be close to big FUSION energy breakthroughs. Fusion energy is much safer than fission nuclear energy. A lot of the raw materials come from seawater and they have almost no dangerous waste. It's like building your own "mini sun".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power

http://www.ofes.fusion.doe.gov/whatisfusion.shtml


By Spuke on 1/25/2008 10:06:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
(sorry but $100K for a sports car that barely keeps up with a $50K Corvette
Not even a Vette. More like a 350Z.


By TimberJon on 1/25/2008 11:38:23 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe even my '93 3.4L Maxima..


By MAIA on 1/25/2008 11:56:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
sorry but $100K for a sports car that barely keeps up with a $50K Corvette?


For god's sake, you're paying for advanced technology here. The same happens with CPU's, GFX's, or whatever when they arrive to the market, there's always the "interest aspect" which differentiate products and affects price. Read on economics sometime in the future please !


By masher2 (blog) on 1/25/2008 12:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
> "sorry but $100K for a sports car that barely keeps up with a $50K Corvette? "

And a $120K Mercedes G55 is slower than both. Different vehicles, different markets.

People buying $100K two-seaters are looking for exclusivity and bragging rights, not a chance to drag race a Corvette. The Tesla's initial production run has already sold out, a strong indication the vehicle will sell fine.


By Spuke on 1/25/2008 1:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People buying $100K two-seaters are looking for exclusivity and bragging rights, not a chance to drag race a Corvette
And a BIG part of that bragging rights is being able to beat any and all cars on the road. Ask any F430 or 911 Turbo owner. These guys don't buy these cars simply to look pretty. They view their cars as a shark among the fishes.

Take a early 90's Sentra, spend about $15k in engine and suspension mods, line up against a F360 on the freeway, and watch as the owner pounds on his steering wheel in anger.


By Acanthus on 1/25/2008 12:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
Err, you completely failed to back up your claims there.

Unless you specifically pay for green energy (which is expensive, and likely drives up the cost/mile to that of gasoline cars) the cars are being powered by fossil fuel plants which are more pollutive than the vehicles these cars replace.

It has nothing to do with big oil, the big oil companies are in on the coal power plants too. Do some research.

And i love getting rated down for saying something unpopular... Nice guys.


By masher2 (blog) on 1/25/2008 1:02:24 PM , Rating: 3
> "the cars are being powered by fossil fuel plants which are more pollutive than the vehicles these cars replace"

I'm sorry, but this just isn't the case. First of all, only half the electricity generated in this nation comes from coal. Secondly, a coal plant can be up to 50% efficient. A gas-powered IC engine averages about 20% over its operating range...and doesn't have anywhere near the pollution control system of a large coal-fired plant.

Coal plants produce vast amounts of pollution because they generate vast amounts of energy. But on a per-unit basis, they're cleaner than cars.


Transmission ??
By ZimZum on 1/25/2008 2:05:42 AM , Rating: 2
I thought one of the benefits of EV's is the lack of need for a traditional power train. I remember seeing a technical break down of an early model EV (not a Tesla) in pop science mag. It had 4 small individual electric motors driving each wheel.




RE: Transmission ??
By Samus on 1/25/2008 5:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
It has a two-speed gearbox, like a High and Low gear. The temporary transmission is one speed, and its the L gear, so the 0-60 is bad, but top speed and range remain the same as H is the primary highway drive gear)

It was a good idea at first, but they should have left a 5 speed transmission in since torque is virtually infinate with a 3-phase electric motor (provided you have the amps) but they argued that efficiency on a 3-phase motor is simular anywhere in the 5000-15000RPM range.

Physically speaking, I find that comment hard to swallow.


RE: Transmission ??
By masher2 (blog) on 1/25/2008 12:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
The efficiency curve of an electric motor is actually extremely flat...as long as the motor's loaded at least 10-15% or so.


LOL - $100,000 to go 200 miles
By bond007taz on 1/25/2008 10:33:51 AM , Rating: 2
wow, that is a lot of money for a car that can only go 200 miles per charge - guess it will be for looks rather than actual use




RE: LOL - $100,000 to go 200 miles
By Spuke on 1/25/2008 12:23:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
wow, that is a lot of money for a car that can only go 200 miles per charge - guess it will be for looks rather than actual use
Most cars in that price range aren't driven much AND they're considered toys not daily drivers. 200 miles is fine for the duty this car will see. Besides, the potential buyers already have a stable of other cars to use.


RE: LOL - $100,000 to go 200 miles
By FredEx on 1/26/2008 2:26:04 AM , Rating: 2
How far do you think you can go in a gas fired car with a comparable 0-60? Especially when the new tranny will get the Tesla down to 4 seconds. With your foot in those hot cars you'll not get 10 mpg. They rate them higher, and if you drive like grandma you might get close to the EPA rating. Most have small tanks, except for a Vet. They have an 18 gallon tank. Keeping your foot in it, lets say you manage to stay at 10 mpg, that is a range of 180 miles running it dry. An Elise depending upon the exact one may have a tank as big as 10.8 gallons. The range on that with your foot in it? You charge the Tesla for about $3.00 OR $4.00, you'd put $60.00 of gas in that Vet at the price I just paid for premium.


I've ridden in one...OMG
By webdev511 on 1/25/2008 5:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
One of my neighbors works at Tesla and got to bring one home. He was kind enough to give me a ride and OMG the only thing I've been on that accelerates harder is a full on race only superbike.

The people who are getting these are going to have a LOT of fun.




RE: I've ridden in one...OMG
By masher2 (blog) on 1/25/2008 5:52:03 PM , Rating: 2
RE: I've ridden in one...OMG
By Runiteshark on 1/26/2008 12:23:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, A lot of people say that when they have never been a truly fast car.

Try racing that piece against my friends Hayabusa. 36PSI and roughly 500hp. And yeah, has to have an airshifter. Quarter mile in a little over 6 seconds with a trap speed of 187mph.


Phew.
By Alias1431 on 1/25/2008 2:04:25 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
In addition, the vehicle passed basic rear view mirror, lighting and windshield defogging/defrosting tests.


Thank God.




Next Bond Car?
By cheetah2k on 1/25/2008 2:47:54 AM , Rating: 5
I reckon the Tesla should be James Bond, 007's car in the next of the Bond series. After all, we really only see him driving about 10miles, so they could film the entire movie all on one charge ;-p





The rich and famous will buy?
By straycat74 on 1/25/2008 10:27:11 AM , Rating: 2
Not if they live in California. Don't they already have energy issues?




RE: The rich and famous will buy?
By Spuke on 1/25/2008 12:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not if they live in California. Don't they already have energy issues?
The celebs will probably make up the bulk of buyers and since production numbers will be extremely low, there won't be much of a power hit anyways.


Rear Impact
By Fnoob on 1/25/2008 10:01:00 AM , Rating: 2
Is this the 'aftermatch' of a 5mph rear bumper test?

I did read awhile back that the Elise doesn't do too well in wrecks, at all:

http://www.wreckedexotics.com/elise/elise_20060623...




6,381 lithiums?
By trexpesto on 1/26/2008 3:38:19 AM , Rating: 2
Does the price cover recycling all those batteries?




Thumbnail picture
By martinrichards23 on 1/26/2008 6:06:07 AM , Rating: 2
I was hoping so much you used a picture of the tesla coil from red alert for the thumbnail, that would have made me laugh!




By zetsubou on 1/27/2008 11:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls














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