Tesla Roadster Is New Electric Toy

To the allegation that electric cars are just as polluting as gasoline ones, Martin Eberhard replies, 'bullshit'!

Published: 29-Sep-2006

After remaining dormant for several years, electric cars are surging back into the news. First, there was the summer debut of the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? followed soon after by the announcement in Los Angeles of the Tesla roadster, a $100,000 electric sports car built by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

The battery-powered Tesla is based on a modified Lotus Elise chassis. Its maker, Tesla Motors, of San Carlos, California, claims it’ll zap 60 mph in four seconds, juice it to 130 mph, and spin the meter for up to 250 miles between charges (the GM EV1 did up to 150 miles). And, unlike the Lotus, the Tesla Signature One Hundred Collector’s Edition (the first 100 cars, in other words) will have a cup holder.

The company is named after inventor Nikola Tesla, who patented the first induction electric motor in 1888. Deliveries of the fully federalized two-seater are due to begin in mid-2007. Tesla claims it has deposits for 50 so far, no doubt because co-founder and CEO Martin Eberhard delivers a convincing sales pitch with the rapid cadence of an Uzi.


Cleaner cars were the focus of the 2005 Tokyo Auto show, but for this reporter, the Eliica -- pictured below -- was the highlight.

Eight-wheeled, all electric Eliica may be build in small numbers, say designers.

The wheel robots, complete with their own suspension, remove the need for a drive shaft and even the engine block, freeing up designers to make new use of the space in the car.


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