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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 EricMartello on 1/27/2008 10:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
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 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.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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