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  (Source: Tesla Motors)

  (Source: Tesla Motors)
Tesla Motors laughs at naysayers and begins production of its first all-electric vehicle.

Naysayers have lampooned the all-electric Tesla Roadster ever since DailyTech first covered the sleek two-seater in late 2006. Some balked at the $100,000 price tag, others complained about the vehicle being vaporware, and many laughed at the idea of "temporary transmissions" while production units were still being developed.

Despite the whispers from an increasingly rowdy audience, Tesla persisted. In late January, the company announced that it passed all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The company also noted at the time that regular production for the vehicle would commence on March 17.

Today, Tesla announced that production began for its Roadster. The company is slowly churning out Roadsters and hopes to build as many as 100 units per month by early 2009.

According to Tesla Motors President and CEO Ze'ev Drori, the company's main focus now is to expand the "sales and service arena marked by the opening of our Los Angeles store and Menlo Park store in the near future."

To the naysayers, Drori adds, "With this milestone, the Tesla Roadster is the only zero emission electric vehicle in production today -- this is in stark contrast to the others who only talk about their future plans. Tesla’s remarkable achievement validates the vision, ingenuity, hard work and commitment of Tesla’s employees."

It is truly a great achievement for Tesla Motors and the automotive industry in general. Hopefully for Tesla, the public's eagerness to learn more about the all-electric Roadster will translate into sales for more mainstream future models including a rumored sedan and crossover utility vehicle.

For those that haven't been following the Tesla Roadster's development, the vehicle features a 3-phase, 4-pole electric motor which develops 248 HP. It can accelerate to 60 MPH in under 4 seconds with its two-speed transmission -- early production models are equipped with a temporary one-speed transmission which limits 0-60 times to 5.7 seconds. Top speed for the Tesla Roadster is 125 MPH and its can travel 220 miles on a single charge. It takes roughly 3.5 hours to charge the lithium-ion battery pack.

The 2008 Roadster production is already sold out as Tesla Motors took reservations for over 900 units. The company is now accepting orders for 2009 models which will hopefully come with the production two-speed transmission already installed.



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By UppityMatt on 3/17/2008 8:18:39 PM , Rating: 1
"Top speed for the Tesla Roadster is 125 HP"

I think you wanted MPH.




RE: ...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/17/2008 8:23:07 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I wanted at least 150 MPH to keep up with the rest of the small roadster crowd ;)


RE: ...
By Samus on 3/17/2008 8:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
Still faster than an MX-5 1.8 ;)

But honestly, when do you go 125MPH, even on a track? And considering this car can get to its top speed faster than any gas roadster out there because of its torque, the top speed is really just a number.


RE: ...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: ...
By therealnickdanger on 3/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: ...
By Parhel on 3/17/2008 10:29:17 PM , Rating: 2
I just looked at the G8 Sport Truck from your link. I'm at a loss for words. If you become sick easily, I wouldn't recommend clicking that link.


RE: ...
By ebakke on 3/18/2008 12:57:31 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. What the hell is GM doing?? It's no wonder why they can't sell vehicles.


RE: ...
By whirabomber on 3/18/2008 6:27:57 AM , Rating: 1
The G8 sports truck is a move in a good direction. Why buy a large 4x4 pickup to commute in when all the consumer wants is a vehicle that can haul a lawn mower once every 6 months? The G8 sports truck and it's chevy counterpart prevents a vehicle that not only looks halfway decent, but uses much less gas than the estimated on average 16mpg a consumer would get from a pickup.

The G8 sports truck looks like a refreshing change from the standard fair of mini-trucks, glorified station wagons (read SUV), and 5-doors. As every vehicle in any give class look almost just like every other vehicle in the class the G8 is break from the monotony of the stock car mentality of today's designers.

I will agree that the G8 sports truck is in a niche market currently owned by the subaru baja. However, I'd sign up for a vehicle with a low center of gravity that can haul a couple of sheets plywood and 2x4's plus get 20+ mpg any day.


RE: ...
By theapparition on 3/18/2008 10:01:39 AM , Rating: 2
The G8 sports truck in no way competes with the Subaru Baja. If anything, it is a revival of the old "El Camino", which was a high powered bastardized car/truck hybrid. The G8 sports truck will be faster than most mustangs and just as fast as SRT-8 branded Dodges. If anything, it is closer related to the Dodge Magnum (truck vs. wagon).

As for why GM is doing this, the real question is why not? The car is already designed and selling in Austrailia as the Holden Ute. If you already have something made, and from the ground up made to pass US safety standards, what extra does it take to bring it here and market it? GM has already done their homework. There is a small niche market for this. Just as there is for the Challenger or the Ford Thunderbird, Scion xB, or Chrysler Prowler.

They call this polarizing marketing. 90% of the people who see it will hate it, but out of the 10% that like it, a very high percentage will "Have to have it". It's a way to differentiate yourself in the field of "me-to" sedans. Gone are the days when you see a new nameplate live on for 30+ years.


RE: ...
By whirabomber on 3/18/2008 10:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, the Baja has 4 doors and a 4 banger, but the same concept.


RE: ...
By 67STANG on 3/18/2008 11:30:29 AM , Rating: 2
361 HP and no weight over the rear tires does not mean this will be faster than most Mustangs, it just means it will put on a better smoke show....

Also, this thing looks like vomit on wheels. Looks like Pontiac designers hit another home run, following up on vehicles like the Aztec and Vibe. (Barf!).

Back to the Tesla though, while I love this car (and could never afford one), I think it at least gets "the ball rolling" for others to create electric cars we can afford. Besides, I'm tired of paying $500/mo. for gas.


RE: ...
By theapparition on 3/18/2008 11:57:24 AM , Rating: 4
I suggest you re-read my original post. This is not a concept......it is a re-badged Holden Ute. Just like the G8 is a re-badged Holden Commodore, and how the GTO was a modified re-badged Holden Monaro.

quote:
361 HP and no weight over the rear tires does not mean this will be faster than most Mustangs, it just means it will put on a better smoke show....

Performance results already exist (Holden Ute), so no need on my part (or anyone else's) to speculate.

quote:
Also, this thing looks like vomit on wheels. Looks like Pontiac designers hit another home run, following up on vehicles like the Aztec and Vibe. (Barf!).

Pontiac didn't design this. Again, it is made by Holden (GM's Austrailian subsidiary) and imported. Now, if you wanted to say that Pontiac management was crazy for bringing it over, then that would be a valid point, but don't denigrate Pontiac designers for something they didn't do.

Personally, I don't like the car, but as I said in my original comment, they are looking for the 10% that like it. Obviously, you and I are part of that 90% catagory.


RE: ...
By 67STANG on 3/18/2008 4:12:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Performance results already exist (Holden Ute), so no need on my part (or anyone else's) to speculate.


There happens to be a reason why you don't see too many (almost none) drag racing trucks. Getting a truck to hook is very difficult-- you just can't get the tires planted like you can on a car.

Also, the 361hp option is just that, it's the top option for the vehicle... If you want to go apples to apples, you should compare the mustang's top option (Shelby GT500KR). But then again, it couldn't even compete against a standard GT500.

I stand corrected on the Holden design, but shouldn't I be allowed to put them down for the Vibe and the Aztek? Or were those also imported?


RE: ...
By theapparition on 3/18/2008 9:55:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhh, I see now that the only reason you are debating anything was because I said it could beat most mustangs. And that is true, considering that most mustangs sold are also the V6 models. So not sure why you even brought up the engine choices, since the mustang has them too.

quote:
If you want to go apples to apples, you should compare the mustang's top option (Shelby GT500KR). But then again, it couldn't even compete against a standard GT500.

Apples to apples is always subjective. Fords top offering compared to the Ute's, or would price be better where it is more comparable to the GT. In any event, I don't think they're comparable, since I doubt the market for the G8 truck will steal any marketshare from the Mustang. I mean, why not compare this to a Ferrari, or a McLauren. Those comparisons would be about at equally useless. However, when dealing with strait facts, the Ute puts in low 5sec 0-60 times and low 13sec 1/4 mile times. Take that as you will, but it will beat most stock unmodified mustangs.

Funny, since every time this is brought up on the mustang boards, you ford guys all scream how the GT500KR shouldn't be compared to the Z06 or Viper because they cost more. But then again, the GT500KR can't even compete against a standard C6 and gets thourouly slammed in every single test catagory (even with the 100hp advantage). So what would be an Apples to Apples comparison then?

quote:
There happens to be a reason why you don't see too many (almost none) drag racing trucks. Getting a truck to hook is very difficult-- you just can't get the tires planted like you can on a car.

There have been many high powered trucks that are able to break into a 13 sec 1/4 mile from the factory, something a standard Mustang GT can barely do (high 13sec car). Let see. Fords own Lightning, GM Scyclone, Dodge has one too. Now, if your talking true drag racing in the 9s or even 8s, I'd agree, but we're not. We're talking stock cars off the showroom floor, so not too difficult to do in a truck. I own and run one of the fastest IRS cars in the world, pulling consistant low 9's so I know how difficult it is to launch.


RE: ...
By Canizorro on 3/18/2008 10:46:00 AM , Rating: 2
I prefer the look of the Saturn Sky. Do you know if they are also going to come out with a coupe version of the Sky?


RE: ...
By Spuke on 3/18/2008 1:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you know if they are also going to come out with a coupe version of the Sky?
No coupe version of the Sky.


RE: ...
By manoj252 on 3/18/2008 1:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that it is a beautiful car to look at and drool over. However, I rented a Pontiac Solstice recently and I was not that impressed with how it handled. The current convertible version has no trunk space whatsoever though the Targa should show an improvement on both counts.


RE: ...
By Spuke on 3/18/2008 1:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I rented a Pontiac Solstice recently and I was not that impressed with how it handled.
A LOT of owners feel the same and corrected it with different tires. Now people are having the dealer install different tires before delivery. Hopefully, GM will address that in the future.


RE: ...
By tomosius on 3/17/2008 8:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
125 seems low at first sight, but it would be enough in most of the situations.
Plus, most of the pleasure of driving a powerful car comes from acceleration, not going really fast. I start getting scared when I go over 140 in my friends car, but the accelerating is fun ;]


RE: ...
By ThisSpaceForRent on 3/17/2008 11:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know passing people going 60 when you're doing 130 can be interesting too. However, I have to agree with you. Reading about the top speed you do feel like you'd be slighted buying the car, but you don't need to go that fast. What's more important in daily driving is acceleration, that can get you out of trouble.


RE: ...
By Spuke on 3/18/2008 12:54:19 AM , Rating: 2
I don't live in the city so my "acceleration from a stop" opportunities are very limited. I'm more interested in high speed acceleration, and to some extent, top speed. 125 is too low for me. 155 would be better although my present car does 140 and that's fine by me.


RE: ...
By ebakke on 3/18/2008 12:59:25 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
125 is too low for me. 155 would be better although my present car does 140 and that's fine by me

Such different lives we lead.


RE: ...
By Spuke on 3/18/2008 10:28:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Such different lives we lead.
Fascinating, isn't it?


RE: ...
By TSS on 3/18/2008 9:44:52 AM , Rating: 2
i'm from europe so using km/h, and 125mph is 200 km/h. the top speed here, on highways, is 120 km/h. the highest i know of in europe is austria which is working on a 160 km/h test plan or something. excluded, of course, the german autobahn, but there has been talk about limiting that too.

now, i'm not sure but i believe the american speed limit was 60mph right? so, if 125mph doesn't do it for you, i'd kindly request to turn yourself in at your local police office at any given time.


RE: ...
By theapparition on 3/18/2008 10:10:36 AM , Rating: 2
The american speed limit is not 60mph. Speed limits are governed by the states (within federal guidelines) based on the road in question.

For most highways, 55mph was the defacto-standard. For many interstates, speed limits have increased to 65mph, with some stretches going to 70mph.

Some highways in sparsely populated areas have limits set on "Reasonable and Prudent" (basically no speed limit based on weather conditions).

Then there's some car events I go to where the police shut down highways for public access and allow us to blast down at over 200mph. :)

So, to answer your question, there is no set "American speed limit".


RE: ...
By SilthDraeth on 3/18/2008 10:33:33 AM , Rating: 2
Arizona has 75 and I believe a few places with 80.


RE: ...
By Spuke on 3/18/2008 10:41:15 AM , Rating: 2
Out here in the west, most speed limits are 75 mph. Some parts of Texas are 80 mph. California is 70 mph. Oregon is 65 mph. But the traffic (the legal drivers anyways), goes between 75-90 mph depending on the freeway. In the 75 mph states, people drive a bit quicker and on my Arizona drives I've seen over 100 by a good portion of the traffic. People drive a little slower on the Vegas runs because of the heavier traffic but there's still a ton of cars doing 90 mph.


RE: ...
By 67STANG on 3/18/2008 11:32:15 AM , Rating: 2
Has anyone been to Montana? Drive as fast as you want while the sun is up. (Watch out for deer though).


RE: ...
By JoshuaBuss on 3/18/2008 4:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
I was just gonna say.. I've heard montana doesn't have any set limits during the day.


RE: ...
By Spuke on 3/18/2008 7:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
Montana has had a 75 mph speed limit since June 1999.


RE: ...
By TITAN1080 on 3/18/08, Rating: -1
RE: ...
By cgadragon on 3/18/2008 2:14:20 AM , Rating: 2
I've got a 1.8L MX-5...had it up to 135MPH on level ground (drag limited...maybe I had a tail wind? I didn't look at the wx forecast.)


RE: ...
By Calin on 3/18/2008 7:29:14 AM , Rating: 2
This time to top speed is based on the average power the engine/motor can supply during the acceleration. As long as you keep your motor in a maximum power envelope, you should get the best acceleration.
In this regard, the one speed transmission uses the high torque at low rpm to give quite a bit of power to the wheels. Meanwhile, a gasoline engine will use its many gears to give power to the ground - a low gear at low speed (high engine rpm, high engine power) and a high gear at high speed (high engine rpm, high engine power).


RE: ...
By FITCamaro on 3/18/2008 9:14:28 AM , Rating: 1
Uh electric motors have less and less torque the higher the "rpms" go. It's not going to pull like it does from 0-60 all the way to 120.

And I've done 140 on public highways. I don't stay at that speed, but its fun to take a jaunt up to it for a few seconds for the adrenaline rush and slow back down. I'm just careful and do it with no one around me on a road I know is flat.


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