Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tesla Roadster gets Wired

Great article in Wired magazine this month about the Tesla Roadster all-electric car. Drool. Where do I send my check?

These guys have done a fantastic job. It's a "green muscle car". There are a ton of (rich) people that would like to go low-emissions, but don't want to give up performance and turning heads. The price is too high for the masses, but the car has great styling (by Lotus) and an excellent range (250 miles). I especially like the use of "commodity" lithium-ion batteries (unfortunately, it appears to have 11 sectors of 621 lithium-ion cells, which seems like a lot). Expected retail price: $80,000.

I hope the company took some videos of "The Making of the Tesla Roadster". That would make for good documentary viewing. Turns out the VC community was not exactly interested in funding this in 2004 (either that, or Elon Musk was unwilling to share), but VantagePoint Venture Partners co-led the $40M Series C, announced on June 1, 2006 (VentureWire Professional sub required).

What I like about it:

  • "Zero" emissions

  • Using "commodity" lithium-ion cells

  • 0-60 in 4 seconds. Yikes!

  • Killer styling

  • Team did a nice job outsourcing/partnering with other companies to build key components


What I don't like about it:

  • I don't yet understand how often the 6,831 lithium-ion cells need to be replaced. Can you factor that cost into the 1-cent-per-mile fuel cost for me...

  • Does the purchase of the car include the installation of the 220-volt 70-amp circuit in my garage? I guess if you have to ask, you can't afford it...

  • I'd prefer a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to the 2-speed manual, but that's a minor nit

  • Um, when does it qualify for the HOV Carpool Lane stickers in California?


Nice innovation. Best of luck to the Tesla Motors crew. I look forward to seeing them address a broader commuter market one day.

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5 comments:

  1. [...] I’ll likely get a Prius with the HOV-lane access sticker someday (or maybe the Tesla Roadster)… [...]

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  2. [...] So, is it still possible to get the California HOV stickers for the hybrid cars that I wrote about here and here? Not likely. This report says that as of September 12, 2006, there were only about 6,000 stickers left to hand out. When I called today, there were only 1,500 stickers left. The very nice lady on the phone at the DMV indicated that there had been discussion about adding 25,000 more stickers to the program, but those talks have seemed to stopped. By the time I get my license plate, they will likely all be gone. That’s OK. [...]

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  3. Tesla Roadster the Next Generation Sports Car...

    This is the greatest car ever. Can you imagine to ride all day with the pleasure of Porsche GT3, and to pay about $10 for this. It is just amazing!!!...

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  4. [...] I’ll likely get a Prius with the HOV-lane access sticker someday (or maybe the Tesla Roadster)… [...]

    ReplyDelete
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