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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/05/01/state/n204250D98.DTL



Tesla rolls out its long-awaited electric sports car


It's safe to say Jeremy Snyder gets a charge out of the two-seat Tesla Roadster whenever he pulls one off the lot — and not because it's equipped with an all-electric engine.

As he pulled one of the sleek new automobiles down a side street Thursday and put the pedal to the metal, its lithium-ion battery-powered engine didn't give off sparks. It just emitted a powerful hum, something like a much quieter version of a jet taking off.

"Accelerate pretty good?" asked Snyder, head of client services for Tesla, who knew the answer.

"I call it a turbine sound," he said of the sound. "Because it's an electric motor it's got 100 percent torque all the time. So it just pulls you like when you're taking off in an airplane."

After several years of development, the Roadster — with sleek lines like a Ferrari or Porsche and a sticker price of $109,000 — officially moves from the drawing boards to the market next week when Tesla's first store opens. It's near the University of California, Los Angeles, in the city's toney Westwood neighborhood where Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Hollywood practically intersect.

"Because it's Hollywood and glamorous, this is the flagship store," Snyder said.

The next store is to open in a couple months near Tesla's headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of San Carlos, where the car was developed with venture capital of more than $40 million from such investors as Google Inc. founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. More stores are planned for Chicago, New York and other cities by early next year.

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Two minor obstacles to widespread acceptance.....

SFGate said:
Although a fully loaded model can set a buyer back as much as $124,000, that's still cheap compared with a high-end Ferrari. And its 6,831-cell lithium-ion battery pack gives off no emissions.
SFGate said:
Driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco, however, would require stopping in, say, Fresno and plugging its adapter cord into a motel room wall socket.

A family-mover in 2010? That should be interesting.
It would have been good to have a full-picture of the roadster with the article.
 

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family mover in 2010...volt's a 4 door for 2010...be nice is all average sedans, coupes, etc were electric, even vans and crossovers. Leave the gas for the trucks, old muscle cars
 

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family mover in 2010...volt's a 4 door for 2010...be nice is all average sedans, coupes, etc were electric, even vans and crossovers. Leave the gas for the trucks, old muscle cars

I think that is definitely going to happen, but probably not until about 2020 though. And trucks will be diesel. The only conventional gasoline non-hybrid vehicles will be sports cars.
 

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tesla will get a huge boost when the volt comes out with a li-ion battery. it'll be smaller and more powerful. too bad toyota is dragging its feet.

i'd have no problem with diesel-electric trucks. locomotives do quite well. 100% torque at all rpm (basically) is great for hauling.
 

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Two minor obstacles to widespread acceptance.....
Not really. The Tesla was conceived and built from day one to be a rich boy's toy. Only 900 were slated for production in '08, and they mentioned in the article that the planned run for '09 will be 1500.

They've sold out their entire first years orders in a matter of months.

They have apparently done something right.

We'll let GM bring us the Volt.
 

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tesla will get a huge boost when the volt comes out with a li-ion battery. it'll be smaller and more powerful. too bad toyota is dragging its feet.

i'd have no problem with diesel-electric trucks. locomotives do quite well. 100% torque at all rpm (basically) is great for hauling.
Who cares if Toyota drags it's feet. They can reap the consequences of bad decision making, just like ford, GM and Chrysler all have - and in some cases - still are.
 

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Good for Tesla. I'm sure its been tough getting to this point.
 

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tesla will get a huge boost when the volt comes out with a li-ion battery. it'll be smaller and more powerful. too bad toyota is dragging its feet.
I don't think Toyota's dragging its feet. They've invested heavily in HSD and they'll wait to see how the Volt does before dumping cash into building a full EV. The Volt is unproven and Toyota already has the rep of most efficient company. It will take GM more than just the Volt to wrench it from them.
 

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I wonder if it's able to charge while driving? You could tow a tiny trailer with a generator on it for more range.
 

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I don't think that is the intent (i'm sure it doesn't have a trailer hitch) but it would certainly be possible if one were so inclined.
No, but you could fab up hitch and run a charging cable if the charging system would accept it. A generator trailer would only weigh a couple of hundred pounds and give the car extra range for extended trips from, say LA to SF or Vegas or Tahoe, etc.
 

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Congratulations to Tesla - I didn't think they'd make it. They clearly identified the market, didn't let major technical issues stop them, and may even end up making some money. That's more than I can say for many "auto company" projects. In fact, most startup car companies don't have this much success, even when all they're doing is assembling a collection of parts from different parts bins...

Great work!:clap:
 

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Congratulations to Tesla - I didn't think they'd make it. They clearly identified the market, didn't let major technical issues stop them, and may even end up making some money. That's more than I can say for many "auto company" projects. In fact, most startup car companies don't have this much success, even when all they're doing is assembling a collection of parts from different parts bins...

Great work!:clap:

That's primarily because Tesla does not have to cater to the average family.
Auto companies have to consider many more factors, cost to consumers being the greatest.
I'll consider them a success when they can mass produce a vehicle that won't break the bank for a family or when Tesla can supply their technology to a bigger car manufacterer. Tesla is still in its infancy and I hope they are able to grow into a viable player for the average consumer.
I won't take away from their persistence and I welcome what they can bring to the table.
 

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I'll freely admit to being a naysayer as far as Tesla was concerned, but that's not really a fair criticism in this case - Tesla clearly started out to compete with Ferrari, not produce a miracle car for the average family. Who ever heard of leading edge tech being introduced at a mass-market price?

I think the comment that you made about what "Auto Companies have to" do is the perfect lesson to take from Tesla. If a small startup without any expertise and no name recognition can get Jay Leno to put one in his garage, then GM should notice (and reconsider what they "have to do" for every car).

I hope you don't take this personally, but your comments seem very similar to what the big three said about Japanese cars, then about korean cars. I have no doubt that the average consumer won't consider their first vehicle, and may not even consider their second one, but if they continue to build a client list of millionaires and power players, and keep them satisfied, they'll have plenty of intenders when they come up with something even remotely mainstream. I think this strategy is superior to one that starts in the mainstream and then hopes to sell people exotic cars.

That's primarily because Tesla does not have to cater to the average family.
Auto companies have to consider many more factors, cost to consumers being the greatest.
I'll consider them a success when they can mass produce a vehicle that won't break the bank for a family or when Tesla can supply their technology to a bigger car manufacterer. Tesla is still in its infancy and I hope they are able to grow into a viable player for the average consumer.
I won't take away from their persistence and I welcome what they can bring to the table.
 

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A family-mover in 2010? That should be interesting.
Yes, a rich family with no kids, apparently.

I wonder if it's able to charge while driving? You could tow a tiny trailer with a generator on it for more range.
I don't think that is the intent (i'm sure it doesn't have a trailer hitch) but it would certainly be possible if one were so inclined.
No, but you could fab up hitch and run a charging cable if the charging system would accept it. A generator trailer would only weigh a couple of hundred pounds and give the car extra range for extended trips from, say LA to SF or Vegas or Tahoe, etc.
I know you guys aren't trying to be funny, but these statements conjure up humorous images for me. A sleek 120,000 dollar sports car towing a loud, polluting, vibrating gasoline generator as a range extender just comes across that way. I also have visions of the commercial where the old men drag portapotties around behind the family sedan. Maybe it's just me, though.
 

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I know you guys aren't trying to be funny, but these statements conjure up humorous images for me. A sleek 120,000 dollar sports car towing a loud, polluting, vibrating gasoline generator as a range extender just comes across that way. I also have visions of the commercial where the old men drag portapotties around behind the family sedan. Maybe it's just me, though.
That would be a bit redneck, wouldn't it? :D

I was actually thinking of a sleek, aluminum-framed trailer with a fiberglass body to cover up a quiet, modern Honda generator.
 

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I'll freely admit to being a naysayer as far as Tesla was concerned, but that's not really a fair criticism in this case - Tesla clearly started out to compete with Ferrari, not produce a miracle car for the average family. Who ever heard of leading edge tech being introduced at a mass-market price?

I think the comment that you made about what "Auto Companies have to" do is the perfect lesson to take from Tesla. If a small startup without any expertise and no name recognition can get Jay Leno to put one in his garage, then GM should notice (and reconsider what they "have to do" for every car).

I hope you don't take this personally, but your comments seem very similar to what the big three said about Japanese cars, then about korean cars. I have no doubt that the average consumer won't consider their first vehicle, and may not even consider their second one, but if they continue to build a client list of millionaires and power players, and keep them satisfied, they'll have plenty of intenders when they come up with something even remotely mainstream. I think this strategy is superior to one that starts in the mainstream and then hopes to sell people exotic cars.
I think you missed my last two sentences. I do give Tesla credit for experimenting with new technology.
But they are not constrained by costs or choice of material to use. Hence the rich gaining access to a enviro car that also satisfies their garage status.
Sure Tesla can keep millionaires and Jay happy, but those people can afford to put one in their garage. Doesn't do much for the average buyer who would use the technology but not be able to purchase it. Why should the next wave of technology only be avaialble to the few?
It's similar to the green building material for houses. Great stuff, but way too expensive for the average buyer.
 

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That would be a bit redneck, wouldn't it? :D

I was actually thinking of a sleek, aluminum-framed trailer with a fiberglass body to cover up a quiet, modern Honda generator.
It does sound better when you put it like that. I'm sure Tesla could offer a style and color matched trailer like you envision for no more than 25 grand or so. Arnold shouldn't be expected to tow anything less.
 
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