Costing a mere $100,000, built by Lotus in England using components from around the world, and designed in Silicon Valley, the Tesla Roadster is ripping up preconceptions that electric vehicles are as slow and boring as golf carts. This one accelerates from 0-60 mph in four seconds – quicker than a Ferrari Spider – and yet it costs just one cent per mile in electricity to run.
The company says that the battery can be recharged in around three hours, and gives a range of 250 miles and has a life of at least 100,000 miles. Built like a sports car, the stars cannot get enough of them. Tesla has sold its first 100 cars before they have even been made. Clients include Elon Musk, the man behind PayPal, Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, and George Clooney.
Tesla is also starting to attract interest from the big auto makers. “We have the big guys sniffing around, talking about buying technology, even hinting about buying the whole company,” says Mike Harrigan from Tesla. The company is now moving to developing a four-door, all-electric sedan which, according Tesla-founder, Martin Eberhard, will be “big, fast and efficient.”
Are electric vehicles the future of motoring?