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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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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.


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