Pattaya Daily News

23 December 2006 :: 13:12:58 pm 23054

Green Electric Supercar Outperforms A Ferrari

The new Tesla Roadster sets new standards in performance cars. Developed with more than a helping hand from UK’s aficionados of speed machines, Lotus Cars, this machine oozes sex appeal and stylishness. The significant difference between this and other svelte motors, however, is that this is an electric car!
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            The principals, come from a variety of high-tech backgrounds . The Co-founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning state “ We consciously chose to develop a high-end sports car as our first car in order to develop the “performance DNA” from which we could create other electric vehicles”. 

            Martin had always been interested in fast, fun cars, but wanted something that was very energy efficient. After finding nothing like that for sale, he was convinced there was an opportunity. Martin & Marc started Tesla Motors to develop fast, fun, efficient electric cars that people would love to drive. 

            The Tesla Roadster sports an electric motor weighing just over 30kg that produces 185kW – about 245bhp, with a peak torque of around 180lb ft being generated from 0rpm. In first gear, it can beat both a Ferrari and a Porsche from 0-60mph/ 96.56kph in around 4 seconds with an estimated top speed of more than 130 mph/ 209.21 kph! 

            Now that’s some machine! Slight difference from the prototype electric cars that were little different to a milk float. Remember Sinclair’s offering! 

            Tesla promotes the Roadster by appealing to the green factor, jumping on the alternative energy bandwagon – “Reducing Dependence on Foreign Oil. A Peaceful Solution to Oil Wars” – it says on the Tesla website. True enough though. Tesla, through its technology partners, also plans to offer a “solar option” , which includes installation of solar panels throughout your home to help charge the Roadster. 

            Its well-to-wheel energy efficiency at 1.4 is over twice that of a Honda Civic at .52. The company claims that in comparison with other sports cars, it’s six times as efficient and produces one-tenth the pollution, all while achieving the same performance and acceleration. Another outstanding feature is that there is absolutely no TYPE noise! 

            The Roadster’s micro processor-controlled lithium-ion battery pack weighs just 450kg giving it range of 250 miles/ 402.33 km and 100,000 miles/ 160930 km. lifespan; knocking previous offerings from GM, for example, into a cocked hat. It can even be topped up from your home supply. A full charge takes as little as three and a half hours. Delivering an equivalent of 135 mpg/ 217.26kpg, to boot. 

            The Roadster has a carbon-fibre body that was the result of collaboration with Lotus and uses components from other Lotus’ machines, especially the Elise: ท a chassis made of bonded, extruded aluminium, with double wishbones at all four corners, ท the windscreen and surround ท wheel profile 16-inch on the front and 17-inch at the rear. 

            Unlike most electric vehicles, the Roadster has a clutchless, two-speed automatic transmission. First gear provides a stunning acceleration up to 60mph, with second gear used for cruising. Independent, all-round suspension, with an anti-lock braking, is provided by an AP Racing disc. 

            Tesla officially announced the car on Thursday, lifting its semi-secret veil, although it had been following a policy of selectively leaking details to exclusive media outlets for some time. Among the investors are the high-profile Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. 

            The Roadster comes with a soft top; a body-colour hardtop is an extra-cost option. Tesla plans to install a charging station in each owner’s garage, but the company will offer an optional portable charging unit so the car can basically plug into any 110V or 220V outlet nationwide. 

            The base price is currently $ 92,000/3,220,000 Baht., though you can build in optional extras. The first deliveries, to customers in California, are targeted for summer 2007, with New York and Miami following in Autumn 2007. Slight problem for those of us living in Asia, however, Tesla says it won’t sell the Roadster to people who live outside the continental U.S!

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Business News

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