[social_buttons] On March 17, Tesla Motors began limited production of their all-electric, zero-emissions sportscar, the Tesla Roadster. It’s a car that can go from 0-60 in 5.7 seconds without using a drop of gas, and promises to be the first of a wave of new plug-in electric vehicles available in the United States.
It’s been almost 2 years since Tesla debuted the prototype in July of 2006, but Tesla had to delay release until now due to problems with the Roadster’s two-speed transmission. The vehicle will go into production anyway with in interim transmission, and Tesla is offering a free powertrain upgrade, when it becomes available, that will boost acceleration to 0-60 in 4 seconds.
While 900 models have already been reserved (at $98,000 each), Tesla will only build about 600 for the 2008 year (due to the trani problems). Tesla is now taking orders for 2009, and plans are in the works to ramp up production to 2,000 per year in the near future. The company also has plans to release an electric, 5-passenger sports sedan in 2010.
Fun facts about the Roadster:
- It’s a 248 horsepower, rear-wheel drive two-seater with aluminum chassis and carbon-fiber skin.
- It has a top speed of 125 mph with a range of 220 miles.
- The charging time for a completely drained battery is 3.5 hours.
- The Roadster achieves the equivalent of 135 mpg at a cost of 2 cents per mile.
- Tesla says the lithium-ion batteries will last for 100,000 miles.
USA Today: Tesla: Little electric roadster that could.
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