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.
Tags: Tesla, Tesla Motors, Electric Car, Low Emissions, Eco Friendly, brianberliner