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 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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