Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tesla...The Future Has Arrived!

Everyone that reads my blog is aware that I am an incredible fan of the Tesla Motor Co. Three things have truly impressed me about this company. The incredible vision by the pioneers of this electric vehicle (EV) company.....GM had the lead, money and engineering staff.... but lacked the vision. The second thing that impressed me is the incredible engineering..... GM, Toyota, Ford, Nissan etc have substantially larger engineering staffs than Tesla but have not been able to match Tesla yet.

All this has been done on a shoestring budget for a few million dollars. Yet, they have developed the new electric vehicle technology with the Tesla Roadster that is incredibly fast 3.9 seconds 0-60 mph, the incredible
Ferrari F430 is 3.6 seconds. Actually, the Tesla Roadster is the first electric vehicle on the roads of the U.S. and Europe.

Tesla unveiled the Model S on March 26, the all-electric family sedan that carries up to seven people and travels up to 300 miles per charge. Reservations immediately began streaming in online and at showrooms in California. This historic vehicle is likely to be the world's first mass-produced, highway-capable electric vehicle when production begins in late 2011. The surge of reservations already proves that there's pent-up demand for a car that doesn't compromise on performance, utility or efficiency.

The Model S does 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and will have an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph. A 17-inch touchscreen with in-car 3G connectivity means you can listen to Pandora Radio or consult Google Maps, or check the car's state of charge remotely on your iPhone. The Model S can be recharged from any 120V, 208V or 240V outlet or quick-charged from an external direct current supply in only 45 minutes.

The anticipated base price of the Model S is $57,400, a US federal tax credit will reduce the cost $7,500. The reservation fee of $5,000 is refundable. Three battery pack choices will offer a range of 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge. The company has not released for pricing for options and higher mileage battery packs. If you account for the cost advantage over the life of the car vs. an equivalent internal combustion engine car at a cost of $4.25 per gallon (a likely future cost in the United States, and a bargain right now in many parts of Europe), the Model S is equivalent to a gas guzzler with a sticker price of about $35,000. Importantly, those savings are realized immediately if you lease a Model S, so there is no need to wait years to earn back the price difference.

Tesla also is taking reservations
for the Model S Signature Edition with a $40,000 reservation fee, which is also refundable. Tesla will produce only 2,000 Signature Edition cars, which will be the first built and have unique interior and exterior features. Signature Edition cars will be evenly split between US and European customers.

The Tesla Roadster is more than twice as enercy efficient
as a Toyota Prius and delivers approximately 244 miles per charge. Tesla delivered over 100 Roadsters to customers in March, marking the first triple-digit delivery month in the company's history. Tesla delivered over 170 cars in the first quarter – more than the total delivered in 2008. Tesla has delivered about 330 Roadsters so far. The base price of the Roadster is $101,500 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Le Rallye Monte Carlo Late last month, the Roadster set another impressive a feat of 241 miles on a single charge of the Le Rallye Monte Carlo d'Energies Alternatives. And the Roadster still had an estimated 38 miles left on the charge! This appears
to be an absolute record for a production EV.The challenging course, sponsored by l'Automobile Club de Monaco, went from Valence, France, to the Principality of Monaco. Terrain was mixed and included high-speed driving on highways, urban streets and up and single-carriageway roads that wind through the Alps.The Roadster was the only car to finish the rally after a modified Porsche 911 dropped out.

Tesla's is opening a regional sales and service center in London's popular Knightsbridge district. This will be the first of three European stores that they plan to launch this year. The London facility will open this spring at 49-51 Cheval Place, formerly the Segrave Supercar Club. The location is approximate to Harrod's department store and close to Heathrow Airport.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, a sports car buff and a fan of the Tesla Roadster, announced this week a plan to introduce 100,000 EVs and to build 25,000 charging stations in the capital. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said EVs would be one cornerstone of his economic recovery plan.

Information via Tesla Motors!


  1. Hi Pete .. it certainly seems to be very impressive. I will keep an eye open for news of them coming to England.

    Here - yes the Govt has announced money incentives for electric cars soon .. but ours are very small .. and the roll out has to be some time away .. ie as you say stations need to be built etc.

    We apparently have the best electric van models in the world .. however the incentives do not apply to commercial vehicles.

    The other thing that's concerning us here in the UK is - is electric clean? is the supply reliable? etc .. I think I'd be happier with hydrogen run cars .. perhaps you can (simply!) elaborate at some stage - thanks.

    I thought you might be interested in this development .. the post office are trialling ..

    It will be interesting to see what comes out ..

    Thanks - Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

  2. Hi Hilary,

    Short term the electric vehicles are going to be the answer to the energy crisis! I call it an energy crisis since prices rose so high last summer.

    China and India are on the world stage now, they are going to consume a lot of oil since their economies are expanding so rapidly...yes even in the recession.

    Many of the manufacturers are working hydrogen powered cars. Currently, they have some technical problems to will probably take a few years to do that. Also, the infrastructure for hydrogen fueling station has to be built. So...that is probably the next step after electric cars.

    Thanks for your update from Europe on the electric vans!

    Best Regards

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online