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Old 01-23-2008, 02:16 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default First Drive: 2008 Tesla Roadster



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So how fast is the Tesla Roadster really? In a few seconds, we're gonna find out because framed by its porthole-size windshield is a deliciously straight stretch of Skyline Boulevard, a knockout snake of a road we've never heard of before in the coastal hills above San Carlos, California. San Carlos, in case you're not Google-Earthing at the moment, is the inviting, northwestern Silicon Valley 'burb where Tesla decided to settle its unpretentious research and development quarters about four years ago. Through the trees, we occasionally glimpse Stanford's 285-foot-tall Hoover Tower some seven and a half miles away.

Okay, then, I've got the brake pedal stapled to the floor. The mirrors are scoped for innocent traffic. Coast is clear. Dip into the accelerator and...remember that Mark Twain quip about the coldest winter he ever knew being a summer in San Francisco? Ditto that for this San Carlos place. Except it's now December, the Roadster's top is AWOL, and an Arctic front is leaning in from the gray Pacific. But back to business.

I lean into the accelerator, brace myself and...er, hold on, we'll get to that. I first want to tell you about the irony of this car's name. Haven't you wondered where "Tesla" comes from? Automotive historians might be acquainted with the story about Thomas Edison famously giving encouragement to a young employee named Henry Ford ("Young man, you have it. Keep at it. Electric cars must keep near to power stations"). However, the reality is that cantankerous Tom would soon embark on thousands of experiments aimed precisely at cracking the automotive battery nut, and in 1904 finally introduced-amid much stage-managed hoopla-his nickel-iron battery for electric cars
http://www.autospies.com/news/First-...oadster-25711/

read article here
http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...tesla_roadster
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:33 PM   #2
roksax
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0-60 in 4 seconds... 100+ "mpg"... I really hope this car makes it big and allows this tech to trickle down into more affordable cars
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:38 PM   #3
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0-60 in 4 seconds.
0-production in 4 new owners, a design team and prayer.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:24 PM   #4
monovich
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thats a nice fluff-piece, but I'm worried that this car won't make it.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:57 PM   #5
sniper1rfa
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Bah!

Big to-do about the name having nothing to do with a battery guy: The thing is powered by an A/C motor!
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:05 PM   #6
dodiox
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nothing about that car looks like a $90k car!
I'll take the original Lotus Elise.
For that price I'll take 2!
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodiox View Post
nothing about that car looks like a $90k car!
Not even the $60,000 battery?
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromer View Post
Not even the $60,000 battery?
is that the real price of the battery?!
When the batteries die the owner will say:
hmmm should I get new batteries or a Skyline?

I love the concept of electric cars for the MASSES not for people who don't give a crap about gas prices.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:15 PM   #9
Chromer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodiox View Post
is that the real price of the battery?!
When the batteries die the owner will say:
hmmm should I get new batteries or a Skyline?

I love the concept of electric cars for the MASSES not for people who don't give a crap about gas prices.

Well, it's probably less than that, but consider that it's basically the equivalent of 1200 laptop batteries... At $30 a pop wholesale (which would be VERY aggressive pricing), that'd still be $36k, and then some poor guy still has to solder the ~6800 cells together and assemble it into a pack. I doubt they have that part very highly automated at their tiny production volumes...
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:03 AM   #10
Calamity Jesus
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And those batteries have to be suspended safely so that they don't flop around, but with enough airspace so that they can be cooled by fans.

Check out the project car's work history at ProEV.com for some insight into how difficult it can be to make all those cells work as expected in a performance car.

Last edited by Calamity Jesus; 01-24-2008 at 09:11 AM.
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