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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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Hey Jay Leno, take one for a drive.
By mvrx on 3/17/2008 10:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
Jay Leno is a car nut. I'd like to see him driving electric cars and giving his thumbs up or thumbs down.

RE: Hey Jay Leno, take one for a drive.
By Spuke on 3/17/2008 11:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think Leno's already got some electric cars. Part of his vast collection. Have you ever seen his steam powered car?

RE: Hey Jay Leno, take one for a drive.
By Schrag4 on 3/18/2008 9:42:08 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't Jay have a jet engine powered motorcycle? (I'm sure I butchered some terms there)

By MAIA on 3/18/2008 10:52:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yes he has. It's a Y2K or something...

RE: Hey Jay Leno, take one for a drive.
By MAIA on 3/18/2008 10:42:24 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't that called a "train" or something ? ...

By Spuke on 3/18/2008 1:56:39 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that called a "train" or something ? ...
Not sure what he calls it.

By Brandon Hill on 3/18/2008 11:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
Jay Leno is a car nut. I'd like to see him driving electric cars and giving his thumbs up or thumbs down.

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