Thursday, June 24
Tesla Roadster – Impression
Tesla Motors is a Bay Area company that has been creating buzz over the pass few years with their electric-powered sports car. Luckily a good friend works for corporate and was able to setup a "first-look" at their Roadster.
Here are the facts:
It is powered by 6,000 individual lithium laptop batteries placed in compartments that are designed, tested and built by Tesla. If a battery fails, it is quite easy to replace in this manner. Expected battery life ranges from 7-10 years. Tesla offers a battery replacement program when you first purchase the car for $12k, but those without will have to cough-up over $30k for a new batteries.
The car produces 240 hp @ 1 RPM which translates to 0-60 dashes in a mere 3.7 seconds. Hitting 80 MPH is just around 5 seconds flat.
The car weights a hefty 2800 pounds, so definitely not a lightweight given the length and width of this little go cart. Thankfully, the all electric motor generates a instant "on/off" thrill of seat-pinning fun.
The entire car is made of carbon fiber to help reduce weight. Lotus is a vendor for Tesla where they build a good 60% of the car before Tesla installs the remaining heart-n-soul. The goal is to sway away from Lotus and be able to mass-produce the entire car by Tesla. Currently, there have been talk with Toyota to establish a 4-door sedan economic car possibly to be built at the Numi plant in Fremont, Ca.
Driving the Tesla Roadster is hard to describe. There's no idle. Only the sound of a whine when the pedal is mashed and the occasional tire squeal are the only audio response from this car. The sweet spot is oblivious. Anything after 100 MPH is not as impressive.
Starting at $112k you can be 1 of a thousand souls to own and drive a very unique sports car. Surely, this is not for everyone, but at the end.. it's a controlled experiment testing the human thinking of utilizing alternative power source and transportation measures. In my book, the Tesla Roadster feels like a life size electric RC car. Using USB cables instead of rubber hoses, it will take time to rethink gasoline powered 4-stroke motors that first established man and machine.