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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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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
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.

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