CNET is reporting that the initial batch of 100 Tesla Roadsters has been sold out. According to Tesla CEO Martin Eberhard, 100 people each dropped down a $100,000 USD deposit. Some of the lucky future owners include Google co-founder Larry Page and eBay co-founder Jeff Skoll.
The Tesla Roadster is 100% electric, has a top speed of just over 130 MPH and can zip to 60 MPH in just 4 seconds. The 2,500 pound roadster can go 250 miles on a charge and costs about 1c per mile to operate based on current energy costs. The Tesla Roadster is powered by a 3-phase, 4-pole AC induction motor that routes power through a 2-speed semi-automatic transmission.The roadster makes use of a proprietary lithium-ion battery back (6,381 cells) that has an estimated serviceable life of 100,000 miles. Once the 100,000 mark is reached, performance will gradually fall over time. And when you've reached your 250 mile operational range, you can pull into your garage and plug it in to the Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE), the Tesla Roadster's home-based charging system. The charger will top the battery pack off in just 3.5 hours.
And don't think that the Tesla Roadster is some barebones machine either. It comes standard with dual airbags, ABS, traction control, cruise control, A/C, heated seats, iPod connectivity, power windows, a partial leather interior and LED taillights. Factory options include GPS navigation, satellite radio, a body-colored hardtop and a full leather interior.
If the Tesla Roadster looks somewhat familiar to you, it's because the design and structure is loosely based on the featherweight Lotus Elise that has been wowing the automotive press and owners alike around the globe for the past ten years. It also is built on the same assembly line as the Elise. For a closer look at the Tesla Roadster, you can take a look at Wired’s test drive. You can catch a CNET video of the car in action here.
quote: Electric motors can spin at high speeds with no noticable loss in efficiency. That is why they are so much better than Gas engines.