Tesla Roadster 2008 : The First Electric Sports Car

It’s safe to say Jeremy Snyder gets a charge out of the two-seat Tesla Roadster whenever he pulls one off the lot, and not because it’s equipped with an all-electric engine. As he pulled one of the sleek new automobiles down a side street Thursday and put the pedal to the metal, its lithium-ion battery-powered engine didn’t give off sparks.

It just emitted a powerful hum, like a much quieter version of a jet taking off. “Accelerate pretty good?” asked Snyder, head of client services for Tesla, who knew the answer. “I call it a turbine sound,” he said of the sound. “Because it’s an electric motor, it’s got 100 percent torque all the time. So it just pulls you like when you’re taking off in an airplane.” After several years of development, the Roadster — with sleek lines like a Ferrari or Porsche and a sticker price of $109,000 — moves from the drawing boards to the market next week when Tesla’s first store opens. It’s near the University of California, Los Angeles, in the city’s tiny Westwood neighborhood, where Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Hollywood practically intersect. “Because it’s Hollywood and glamorous, this is the flagship store,” Snyder said.

The next store is to open in a couple months near Tesla’s headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of San Carlos, where the car was developed with venture capital of more than $40 million from such investors as Google Inc. founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Although a fully loaded model can set a buyer back as much as $124,000, that’s still cheap compared with a high-end Ferrari.

And its 6,831-cell lithium-ion battery pack gives off no emissions. The car goes from 0 to 60 mph in just under four seconds and tops out at 125 mph. It goes 225 miles on one charge and can be fully recharged in 3½ hours, which Tesla officials say should allow most people to drive it to work and back and recharge it at night like a cell phone.

Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco, however, would require stopping in, say, Fresno and plugging its adapter cord into a motel room wall socket. Some critics have expressed concerns about the durability and safety of the lithium-ion battery, which weighs about 1,000 pounds, more than a third of the entire weight of the 2,700-pound Roadster, whose body is made up of carbon fiber materials. Tesla officials respond that the car has passed all required safety tests. They say the battery should last for about 100,000 miles of driving. The company, formed in 2003, is named for inventor Nikola Tesla, a pioneer in the field of electricity. The people buying its cars so far, said national sales manager Doreen Allen, are celebrities, early adopters, wealthy people and environmentalists. Tesla officials say Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, actors George Clooney and Kelsey Grammer and musicians William and Flea have ordered Roadsters. It will be a while before anyone can walk in and drive a Tesla home off a lot, however. “Delivery is running about 15 months,” Allen said, adding that the company was surprised by the demand. Tesla began taking orders last year for the 600 Roadsters it planned to produce in 2008 and had sold all of them by October, Allen said. The first ones beTesgan rolling off the production line six weeks ago, and Allen said all of the 2008 models should be delivered to their owners by March.

The first ones should begin going out the door this month. Meanwhile, orders are being taken for 2009 models, with plans calling for production of about 1,500 cars. Eventually Tesla also plans to produce cheaper family vehicles.

“There’s a model in the works right now, a five-passenger sedan that will be styled comparable to the roadster but a lot roomier to accommodate families, and that is slated for 2010,” Snyder said.



2-Seater, Open Top, Rear Drive roadster


Electric Motor with 2-speed

Electrically-actuated-manual-shift transmission with integral differential


3-phase, 4-pole electric motor, 248 hp peak (185 kW), redline 13000 rpm, regenerative “Engine Braking”


Bonded extruded aluminum with 4-wheel wishbone suspension


4-wheel disc brakes with ABS


0-60 in 3.9 seconds

Top Speed

125 mph


220 miles (Based on EPA combined city/highway cycle)

Battery Life

100,000 miles

Energy Storage System

Custom microprocessor-controlled Li-ion battery pack

Full Charge

3.5 hours (approx.)


About theultimaterenaissance

I am an Engineer and a Management Graduate. I love writing poetry and research reports on cars. Surfing, listening to music, and Reading and writing Technical & Research papers are among my most savored hobbies.
This entry was posted in Automobiles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tesla Roadster 2008 : The First Electric Sports Car

  1. Amber says:

    Hiya – I stumbled on your oage by mistake. I was looking in Bing for Registry software that I had already bought when I found your site, I have to say your website is pretty cool I just love the theme, its amazing!. I don’t have the time at the moment to fully read your site but I have bookmarked it and also will sign up for your RSS feeds. I’ll back around in a day or two. thanks for a nice site.

  2. coll…thang’s information it’s hellpful forme to inspiration…hemmm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s