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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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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.

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