Tesla Roadster NYCEnlarge Photo
I had the chance to spend a day with the 2008/2009 Tesla Roadster.
The Tesla Roadster is many things. It is a sleek exotic sports car, it is fast and responsive, it has high performance handling. But far more importantly than all that, it runs only on electricity.
The car is a small sleek 2-seater made of entirely hand crafted carbon fiber. It contains a 53 kwh lithium-ion battery pack composed of over 5000 individual cells and a specialized temperature management system. It uses a 185 kw (248 hp) electric motor that propels the car 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds, and has a double wishbone suspension.
The car is a bit challenging to get in and out of because it is so small and low to the ground. Once inside the cockpit though it has a very snug feel, and a rear windshield immediately behind.
Starting is simple, insert key and turn. The driver is greeted by a chime to let you know you are ready to go, as there is no engine to crank.
There is a JVC stereo with satellite and navigation in the center of a rather small dashboard. Climate controls have a retro quality and are actually found along a narrow console on the floor wherein also located are the gearshift and parking brake.
The dash besides displaying RPM and speed also indicated how many amps were being used instantaneously. There was a special battery control screen to the left indicating state of charge that also lit when the car was charging.