The car that changed the way most of us think
about electric vehicles was the Tesla Roadster. The car has a nice driving
range that made it usable in the real world for many drivers and had serious
performance making the car appealing to enthusiasts. It also just so happens to
be a quite attractive car.
of the Roadster is finally coming to an end. The Roadster may be going
away, but Tesla isn’t leaving the performance EV world. The Roadster is
retiring so that the new and cheaper Model S can be the central focus of the
company. The Model
S is certainly not in the same league as the Roadster and
it will be sad to see the Roadster go.
Tesla's Khobi Brooklyn said in an emailed
statement to FastCompany, "The Roadster accomplished
everything we asked of it--it served as a catalyst for the EV industry, and it
has allowed us to refine electric technology for future, and more affordable
EVs. The Roadster proved that EVs can outperform traditional combustion
vehicles while producing zero emissions."
The Model S is a larger four-door car that is
nowhere near as performance-oriented as the Roadster was. The Model S seats
four comfortably and will come in three trim levels at roughly $50,000, $60,000,
and $70,000 after rebates.
Tesla is expecting the more practical Model S to
sell in much higher volumes than the narrowly-focused Roadster. There were only
1,650 of the Tesla Roadsters ever sold globally as of the end of April 2011.
But don’t shed any tears for the Roadster just
yet, Tesla has a follow up car up in the works. Brooklyn said, "The
Roadster will always be the cornerstone of Tesla, and we look forward to
bringing back a version of the supercar that takes full advantage of our
advanced electric powertrain in the next several years."
quote: We have a supply agreement with Lotus to purchase 2,400 Tesla Roadster vehicles or gliders, and through March 31, 2011, we have delivered approximately 1,650 vehicles to customers. We currently intend to manufacture the majority of our gliders with Lotus for our current generation Tesla Roadster until December 2011, and we intend to use these gliders in the manufacturing of the Tesla Roadster to both fulfill orders placed in 2011 as well as new orders placed in 2012 until our supply of gliders is exhausted. Accordingly, we intend to offer a limited number of Tesla Roadsters for sale in 2012. We currently anticipate that sales of the Tesla Roadster in North America may end by the end of 2011.