Monday, February 1, 2010

The Tesla Roadster Sport - The Eco-Supercar

The Tesla Roadster Sport, a child of Silicon Valley, financed by 38 year old PayPal billionaire Elon Musk, it is the first fully electric supercar with commercial viability. An unconventional motoring start-up founded by Californian software engineer Martin Eberhard.

A supercar concept was created to prove that green cars can be sexy, sporty and practical. Tesla set about designing the battery and engine system but left the design and manufacture of the car to British racing legends Lotus.

The engineless cars were shipped to California where the engines were installed and charged bringing the final cost of the car to $100,000. It's a modest price for a supercar but a steal of an investment into a company that could hold the future for the motoring industry.

The company was backed by South African billionaire Elon Musk, who sold PayPal to eBay; he was currently investing in commercial rocket science with an aim to put men on mars. Musk had strong ties with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin who also invested in the company, ties to a film company gave Tesla a chance to market the car to George Clooney, who in turn convinced Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a list of celebrities to rival the Oscars. With celebrity endorsement came publicity and the company was the darling of the 'cleantech' industry.

Eberhard's aim was to develop a car that ran on sustainable energy while, unlike all its competitors, being practical enough to use every day. The difficulty was developing the technology and putting it in a car everybody could afford. The answer was simple; they decided that their first venture would have to start out like the high tech gadgets, hyped-up, over priced and rare, becoming cheaper with time and volume. This would mean that the first line of consumers would fund the development of the company.

There is currently a waiting list of over 1000for the car which went into production last year. Customers include all of the investors along with a' who's-who' of the rich and famous as jumping on the eco-wagon becomes increasingly fashionable.

Testing of the Roadster has stated its performance at 0-60 in 3.7 seconds with a limited top speed of 125mph, it will out-drag a Ferrari and with the advantages of electronic torque, will keep you pinned in your seat from the moment your foot touches the pedal, all in silence.

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