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Tesla says its Roadster is ready for the heat -- or the snow. The 750th Roadster is pictured here.

Tesla's planned road trip takes it across much of the country.  (Source: Tesla.com)
Tesla Motors takes its Roadster out for an extended drive

Are you eying the Tesla Roadster, but concerned that it won't be able to handle hazards of heavy real world use?  Despite the electric vehicle's success, Tesla has struggled with such concerns.  While the young company is finally turning a profit, its image was marred slightly by a broad recall due to loose bolts, a quality issue it blames on production partner Lotus.

A 313-mile independently conducted Tesla Roadster road trip on a single charge across the hot Australian Outback helped improve the company's quality image a bit.  Now Tesla itself is looking to follow up with its own road trip showcase.  It will be taking the 750th Roadster, a Tesla Roadster Sport featured at the 2009 LA Auto Show, on a cross country trip that will end in Detroit at the site of the 2010 North American International Auto Show.

The trip will cover 2700+ miles and starts December 17.  According to Tesla's website, 16 employees will come along for the ride -- though only two lucky employees will actually get to ride in the Roadster at any given time.

Tesla thinks the trip will showcase its vehicle's beauty and its brawn.  The company describes, "Our electric sports car goes from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds and can travel 244 miles on a single charge. The Roadster is ready to take on any and all weather conditions – it looks just as good with mud on the tires as it does on the showroom floor."

Stops along the way include Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Chicago, and Detroit.  People in the American Southwest may be especially interested in the EV as it may be their only feasible EV fix in the short term.  GM's 2011 Chevy Volt will launch next year, but according to GM's engineering staff, it will likely suffer from severe performance issues during the summer daytime sun of the Southwest. 
While keeping it in the shady or only using it in the winter could alleviate these problems, for many these aren't acceptable options.  Of course the Roadster is priced much more than the Volt -- approximately $109,000 base MSRP, versus the Volt's prospective $40,000 price tags.  Both vehicle qualify for $7,500 tax credits.



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Time Waster
By gregpet on 12/15/2009 12:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
How many days is this trip going to take? 2700 miles /300 miles between charges. Average 65 miles/hour so 5 hours driving time. At least 5 hours to charge...About 9 days by my calculation. I guess you could also be driving at night (after recharging) but this car is still worthless in the real world. Still a cool car for millionaires to impress their millionaire friends...
Pure electric will fail due to range anxiety until you can recharge in 15 minutes or less...




RE: Time Waster
By quiksilvr on 12/16/2009 1:11:05 AM , Rating: 2
The new Tesla Model S can charge to 80% (assuming you use a 480V battery) plus you can swap the battery in 5 minutes. It also costs $57,000 instead of over $100,000 and is a four door car.

Furthermore, there are many advances in battery technology. It won't be long until pure electric becomes a reality.


RE: Time Waster
By quiksilvr on 12/16/2009 1:11:28 AM , Rating: 2
Can charge to 80% in 45 minutes.


RE: Time Waster
By Spuke on 12/16/2009 4:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
The Model S with the $57k base price is not the longest range version not to mention the $57k price is with the tax credit included. Add $7500 to that price.


RE: Time Waster
By aqwan135 on 12/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Time Waster
By aqwan135 on 12/20/2009 8:27:13 PM , Rating: 1
http://ta.gg/3yu

fr ee sh i pp ing

(jordan shoes) $32

(air max) $34

+++

wow


not sure but
By shin0bi272 on 12/16/2009 6:57:29 AM , Rating: 3
They tested a tesla roadster on top gear last season. It got around the track 2.5 times and was out of go juice. They have a 3phase plug in their shop so they were able to recharge it in 45 min enough to run around the track once more for time testing. If this is the same model it's definitely not going to be racing nascar any time soon that's for sure.

As for the cross country drive they should do a "race" across the country with a dodge charger or chevy corvette or something. Just to see who gets across the country first... or to add insult to injury get a geo metro (assuming you can find a working one)and see if the tesla can beat it.




Sad
By dagamer34 on 12/14/2009 11:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
It needs to swing by Houston!




LOL @ Stops along the way
By IcePickFreak on 12/15/2009 1:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
I know the article says includes so it's open to more.. a whole lot more.




By larryw4csc on 12/15/2009 11:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
The millionaires are saving for a Veyron. The billionaires already have one on order. The $200killionaires have a Benz or BMW.

For the rest of us, when will Mr Tata be bringing the NANO to America for the rest of us during the DEPRESSION?

No rich person is going to buy a battery powered toy except Algore for $110,000. Rich people are much smarter than that.




What Severe Performance Issues?
By randomly on 12/15/2009 6:23:42 PM , Rating: 1
This is just irresponsible journalism.

You don't even have a clear idea of what the hot weather performance issue is, let alone if it's 'Severe' or not.

You do this over and over again in your stories. You have little regard for honest reporting. Responsible journalism sacrificed at the altar for your desperate need for readership and attention.

You are pathetic.

Your reporting damages everyone who reads your stories and tries to make informed decisions about the topic.




too funny
By bhieb on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: too funny
By therealnickdanger on 12/15/2009 12:24:04 PM , Rating: 3
There's this assumption that people with a lot of money are by nature frivolous with their spending. Where does this idea come from? Most wealthy people are so because they make SMART buying decisions and don't misuse their money. A couple enthusiast that I know own and race Porsche 911 Turbos (200x models). Easily 100K cars, but they aren't rich and they do much of the maintenance themselves. They have simply been smart, paid off their mortgages early in life, then saved up for things that they really wanted. 100K for a car isn't really that far out of reach if you're wise with your money.

Sure, Shaq might pay $200,000 to gold-plate a Ferrari, but that doesn't mean that he wants his Ferrari to break down every hundred miles.


RE: too funny
By bhieb on 12/15/2009 1:36:20 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
There's this assumption that people with a lot of money are by nature frivolous with their spending. Where does this idea come from? Most wealthy people are so because they make SMART buying decisions and don't misuse their money.


I am considered one with decent wealth, but a $110K car of just about any kind is by definition frivolous. Sure there are a few exceptions classics and such that might appreciate, but that is not the case here. No valid argument can be made that buying a Tesla is an "investment". If it is not an investment then it is by definition frivolous (a luxury for a better term).

I am sure your friend that race and own Porsche 911, fix them because that is what they enjoy not because it saves them $x (sure that plays into it some but is not the driving factor). I change my oil too, but it is because I enjoy working on cars.

I am simply saying that a person like myself that has the means is not waiting on some road test to buy what they desire. If I want it and can afford it then I'd buy it. A negative report may sway me, but I am not holding back because it is not fully tested.

quote:
Sure, Shaq might pay $200,000 to gold-plate a Ferrari, but that doesn't mean that he wants his Ferrari to break down every hundred miles.

More to my point. I am sure Shaq did not get quotes from the repairs shops to see how much it costs to change the oil (~$1,500 per 5K miles btw). The point is it did not matter to him one bit, and he would not have bought a Lambo because the oil change was cheaper.


RE: too funny
By kufeifie on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: too funny
By Reclaimer77 on 12/15/2009 3:12:20 PM , Rating: 1
I think you are missing the point. Exotic cars are NOT good daily drivers. They are high maintenance, generally unrealiable, and cost a SHITLOAD to repair and maintain. Not to mention they generally aren't practical by nature. How many people who own a Ferrari or Lambo etc etc drive it everwhere - everyday ?

People DON'T buy exotic cars because they are an "investment", unless we are talking about restoring and preserving classic ones. They buy them because, well, you know the reasons.

I agree with him. The idea that there are all these rich people waiting on a longevity test before they blow 100+K on a Tesla is absurd.


RE: too funny
By therealnickdanger on 12/15/2009 4:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
Be realistic - what fool buys a car AS an investment*? Only classic collectible cars are ever actually worth more than their initial purchase price. Cars are always a losing purchase - money pits. The only thing you can do, as a consumer, is buy a car that is known to lose money in the slowest way possible.

*After giving it some thought, race cars are purchased as part of an investment to win race prizes and secure sponsorship.


RE: too funny
By Reclaimer77 on 12/15/2009 4:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Be realistic - what fool buys a car AS an investment*?


That is exactly our point.


RE: too funny
By therealnickdanger on 12/15/2009 10:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
Your point to what? The article said nothing about the car being an investment, the OP did in an attempt to add validity to his argument against spending X-dollars for a vehicle, as though only rich people would be so wasteful. In fact, I can't seem to find any quotes by Tesla buyers stating anything about the car being an "investment". The point is that you have no point.

For those that can afford it, Tesla apparently feels motivated enough to prove to its potential buyers how reliable the vehicle is by driving it through all sorts of terrain and weather. They wouldn't even bother doing this if "rich people" were as inherently frivolous as the OP claims.


RE: too funny
By bhieb on 12/16/2009 9:12:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you eying the Tesla Roadster, but concerned that it won't be able to handle hazards of heavy real world use?

I took issue with this sensationalized opening paragraph, as it is is bogus. No one "eyeing" a Tesla is worried about their ability to wistand "heavy real world use".


RE: too funny
By therealnickdanger on 12/17/2009 11:21:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No one "eyeing" a Tesla is worried about their ability to wistand "heavy real world use".

And I take issue with that sweeping general statement. Agree to disagree. When in Rome.

So I guess we're done here, eh?


RE: too funny
By MightyAA on 12/17/2009 11:03:08 AM , Rating: 2
Oddly enough, Ferrari's (at least a couple years ago) are an investment. Because there is a waiting list that is years long, it is worth a lot more the day you pick it up because there are a lot of people who don't want to go on the wait list and will pay through the nose to get a new one.
I think Bentley's are the same way.


ROI
By siuol11 on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: ROI
By Brovane on 12/15/2009 12:11:55 AM , Rating: 5
The Tesla Roadster was done with private funding. The 1/2 billion dollar is a low interest loan from the department of energy from a Bush era program to speed development of fuel efficient cars to the American public. Tesla is using the money to help bring the model S sedan to production. Tesla Motors was already profitable with the Tesla Roadster.


RE: ROI
By siuol11 on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: ROI
By Brovane on 12/15/2009 10:48:19 AM , Rating: 3

What is interesting is that Tesla had over 5 rounds of private capital funding, the 5th round in february 2008. In May of 2009 Daimler AG bought a equity stake for around $50 Million. In June 2009 Tesla was approved for $465 Million in low interest loans from the Department of Energy. In August of 2009 Tesla reported a profit for July based on the sale of Roadster 2.

In September of 2009 Tesla had another round of private funding for $82.5 million. If the company was so bad that private investors wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pool how did it get private funding in both May and September of this year from private sources despite the current economic issues?


RE: ROI
By siuol11 on 12/16/2009 8:03:53 AM , Rating: 2
Not surprisingly, private investors come back if they find out the government is willing to front you. Just ask Citi...
My point still stands.


RE: ROI
By danrien on 12/15/2009 10:52:38 AM , Rating: 3
you obviously have no idea what sarcasm is, do you?


RE: ROI
By siuol11 on 12/16/2009 8:07:26 AM , Rating: 2
1st part fact, 2nd sarcasm... The chicken thing was a reference to the Daily Show.


Retarded
By mindless1 on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: Retarded
By Jedi2155 on 12/15/2009 3:19:31 AM , Rating: 4
Good job on the reading comprehension..really good job.

There has never been a production electric vehicle that could reach that range in a single charge .


RE: Retarded
By mindless1 on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: Retarded
By Calin on 12/15/2009 4:04:12 AM , Rating: 3
It's also heavier, and can carry fewer things. Not the best of compromises, if you get what I mean.
Also, recharging can not be done with the original systems, as more batteries would overpower the charging system


RE: Retarded
By safcman84 on 12/15/2009 4:05:25 AM , Rating: 2
its not just a case of more batteries. this is a sports car - more batteries = more weight = less performance. The battery technology has improved, so the same amount of batteries can hold more charge and probably weigh less as well.

Besides, this road trip is about proving the car can cope with heavy duty use, not about how much charge it can hold.

................................

My issue with electric cars is
1)charge time, while plugged into a normal household electric plug.

2) Where does the electricity come from? gas/coal/oil power plants? which is why i dont think electric cars are the solution to vehicle emissions....


RE: Retarded
By davepermen on 12/15/2009 5:28:23 AM , Rating: 2
hm, here in switzerland, around 80% of our energy comes from water, sun, wind.. i was shocked at these numbers, but i'm happy.

so yes, here it would be benefitial obviously

can't wait for the next generation, the model s. i seriously hope to be able to get that car, once it's out..

oh, and it charges quite fast afaik. faster than the roadster..


RE: Retarded
By Kurz on 12/15/2009 7:41:41 AM , Rating: 2
At least they are a lot more efficient than fossil engines.
Since if you don't push on the go-pedal it effectively uses no energy (Don't know how the Engine brake system works on the Tesla).

You wont have to worry about people Idling, Plus I love those who have the car On while pumping gas.


RE: Retarded
By MastermindX on 12/15/2009 1:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Where does the electricity come from? gas/coal/oil power plants? which is why i dont think electric cars are the solution to vehicle emissions....


You have half a point here. Yes, electricity of the car will be generated (in many situations) by gas/coal/oil power plant. But that also reduce the number of sources for that pollution. Also, it's easier to install the latest high-tech pollution filter at your 5 nearest power plant than it is to install it on the 100k nearest cars. (Disclaimer: Those are random numbers given only to illustrate my point. Real world figure may vary :P)

Also, Joe Average can't be bothered with installing a better filter on his car if it's to cost him more than a penny and 2 minutes of his time, even if laws require it. Also, it's much easier to monitor pollution emission from a small number of power plants than from a huge number of cars.

Do I think EV are the future? I think so. Will it be battery powered or fuel cell powered? I think it will be largely dependent on the technology developpement in those areas.

Right now, most battery technology use toxic elements which make widespread use kind of a bad idea. Fuel cell, the main problem I can think of right now is the fuel tank capacity.

I don't think our current technology level allows us to have a decent replacement for traditional combustion engine cars, but within the next 20 years, I believe we will.


RE: Retarded
By mindless1 on 12/16/2009 1:51:18 AM , Rating: 1
It is SO telling that the energytards rated down a plain factual post.

Retards, this is science. All you have to do to make any of them achieve higher performance is strap in a bit larger battery pack, and if it kills performance too much, a little bigger motors, then little larger battery again.

Of course, the price spirals out of control as we see everywhere.

Greentards, just go back into your cave, all this emotion about false truths regarding cars is sad.


RE: Retarded
By Calin on 12/15/2009 4:06:29 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair, Australia is not the best place to "real-world" test a car, as you can easily pick roads where you can drive 313 miles without encountering a single car...
Normal traffic patterns would bring this range at half, probably


RE: Retarded
By shin0bi272 on 12/16/2009 7:06:52 AM , Rating: 2
Also isnt the austrailian outback more than 313 miles long er wide? What did they do when they ran out of juice in the middle of the desert? Call septupple-A?


RE: Retarded
By mindless1 on 12/16/2009 1:55:55 AM , Rating: 2
Idiot, all you have to do to achieve this in ANY electric car is take up the remaining weight capacity by putting more battery capacity in.

DID YOU GET THAT YOU MORON?

Anyone suitably inclined/knowledgeable about electric car tech can add their own supplementary battery, at higher total cost of course, you really don't have even the slightest hint about electronics/batteries, do you?

This is the problem, idiots who waste our time trying to argue half-assed crap they know nothing at all about even when it is the most basic and simple fundamental facts about electric cars.


RE: Retarded
By aqaq55 on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: Retarded
By aqaq55 on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: Retarded
By aqaq55 on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher














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