Print 78 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Aug 20 at 8:28 PM

0-60 in 4 seconds, 250 mile range

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.

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Sexy is right
By lco45 on 8/16/2006 4:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse long comment.

I just had an idea for all those gas stations that will be out of business if electric cars take over.

Why not have cars with pull-out battery packs that could be swapped with charged packs at stations?
Then the stations, instead of waiting for the fuel truck to arrive (burning its own fuel to get there), can just charge and swap to the next guy?

Hydrogen is dead, too inefficient to make it, compress it, store it, trasport it. Better off cabling the power straight to the car.
See efficiency chart of various fuel types at

Super-capacitors look the best, full charge in 3 seconds, basically unlimited charge cycles, light, never need to throw away.
I wish the folks at MIT would hurry up and get those things into production, but in the meantime, cars with their own little burner up front and a dusty tail pipe out back just don't appeal to me any more.

RE: Sexy is right
By bldckstark on 8/16/2006 4:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
The future of hydrogen is not in "making" it, but in retreiving the bountiful supply from the ocean floor. There is enough solid hydrogen ice on the ocean floor to power the world for an extimated 1000 years. It is located within 200 miles of the coast so each country owns it supply. Japan has been trying to bring hydrogen like this up to the surface for over a decade, but it keeps going boom.

If the hydrogen is only retrievable by drilling (like oil) then only the oil companies will be able to sell it. If the oil companies make all the money (like oil) then the oil people stay rich. If the oil people stay rich then there is no huge turnover of powerful people (like oil) in the world, and no long drawn out negative economic changes. Hey! HEY YOU, WAKE UP! I'm done now. Thank me for the nap later.

RE: Sexy is right
By masher2 on 8/16/2006 4:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
> "There is enough solid hydrogen ice on the ocean floor..."

Since hydrogen freezes at a few degrees above absolute zero, I seriously doubt we're going to find any hydrogen ice anywhere. Are you referring to hydrogen clathrates? That's a different thing altogether.

RE: Sexy is right
By bob661 on 8/16/2006 4:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
Besides when you go past 12 miles you're in international waters so any country can make a claim to these pockets of hydrogen ice.

RE: Sexy is right
By masher2 on 8/16/2006 5:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
The EEZ (Economic Exclusion Zone) stretches out 200 miles in most cases; any natural resources within that still belong to the nation. But there isn't any frozen hydrogen down there in any case.

RE: Sexy is right
By bob661 on 8/17/2006 9:15:16 AM , Rating: 2
The EEZ (Economic Exclusion Zone) stretches out 200 miles in most cases
Didn't know that. Thanks for the info.

RE: Sexy is right
By Chernobyl68 on 8/16/2006 5:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
its not hydrogen, its methane gas hydrates

there are many challenges to recovering that as a resource. In addition, global warming has the potential to warm the ocean water to the point where this ice could melt, and release its gas. the massive release of methane creates a further greenhouse effect which could lead to an extinction event.

RE: Sexy is right
By lemonadesoda on 8/16/2006 6:02:22 PM , Rating: 3
... i think there is enough methane gas in this thread already!

RE: Sexy is right
By bob661 on 8/17/2006 9:17:37 AM , Rating: 2
the massive release of methane creates a further greenhouse effect which could lead to an extinction event.
Yes we're ALL going to die!!!! And you'll never know when either.

RE: Sexy is right
By phaxmohdem on 8/16/2006 4:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
Then they'd have to worry about people swaping out bum battery packs for good ones.... plus how freaking heavy would these things be?? I don't think the average person could raise if out of their vehicle and swap in a new one.

If they could get those capacitors working though, then you could basically have drive through "gas" stations, where you'd drive over some sort of electric grid that charges your caps, swipe your card and off you go in seconds....

RE: Sexy is right
By ChronoReverse on 8/16/2006 4:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
While lead-acid batteries are super heavy, lithium technology tends to be considerably lighter.

Besides, even in the case of super-capacitors, it'd still take time to charge until they design a way to safely transfer huge currents as well as keeping it cool during transfer.

RE: Sexy is right
By jack2031 on 8/16/2006 6:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
If you read their site, they say that when your batteries die out THEY will replace them, not you.

RE: Sexy is right
By Chernobyl68 on 8/16/2006 5:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
Popular Mechanics or Popular Science had an article about this kind of concept a long while ago. it would require all vehicle types to have not just electrically but physically identical battery packs and there are liability issues when charging your battery pack out with someone elses.

RE: Sexy is right
By epsilonparadox on 8/16/2006 5:45:36 PM , Rating: 3
Could you imagine standing at the pump for 3.5 hours to top off if you barely make it to a charging area? But it might also bring back the diners attached to gas stations and the "Eat and Get Gas" signs.

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