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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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By Acanthus on 1/25/2008 7:25:11 AM , Rating: 0
Because the electricity generated to power them is usually coal power.

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.



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".

By Spuke on 1/25/2008 10:06:12 AM , Rating: 2
(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
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 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
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 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.

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