Tesla Roadster Electric: 0-60 in Four Seconds

Illustration for article titled Tesla Roadster Electric: 0-60 in Four Seconds

Fellow bloggers from our greasemonkey brother site Jalopnik got a first peek tonight at the much-anticipated Tesla Roadster, an electric-powered road rocket that can travel from 0-60 in four seconds with a top speed of 130mph. Singing the body electric is a 182-kilowatt AC-induction motor, a rear-mounted power plant drawing its energy from 6800 lithium ion batteries. Even though that engine's barely audible, it's capable of rotating at an astonishing 13,500rpm before it even gets close to the redline.

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It's packed with lots of humble off-the-shelf components, yet we're hearing the vehicle might cost in the neighborhood of $100K. It takes 3.5 hours to charge up those thousands of batteries, and on a full charge it can keep on going and going, quick like a bunny, for 250 miles. Looks like lots of fun to drive, where its two forward gears let you enjoy that flat torque curve you can only get with an electric motor. Now if you'll just lend us $99,995, we'll be on our way.

Mechanical Resonance: The Tesla Motors Press Intro, Complete With Governator [Jalopnik]

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DISCUSSION

deziner,

NiMH batteries have a long lifespan IF you carefully manage the discharge-recharge cycle (Toyota warrants 8 years). I believe Li-on is even better.

The electricity to recharge an electric car is cheap, way less than gasoline. The Wired mag article says "Fuel efficiency: 1 to 2 cents per mile".

Electric cars are perfect apart from the low energy density per pound of batteries. That leads to weight which leads to low range, which isn't a problem for two-car garages though GM and oil companies want you to think so.

chigga,

A solar panel doesn't generate much power. I have 9 panels each the size of a big window on my roof producing if I'm lucky a total of 1600 Watts. So there's no way solar cells on a car can power it, at best they could recharge it taking many hours or days. Look at the "cars" in solar challenge races: huge bodies covered with panels struggling to move one rider and a flimsy frame.

You can't power a car from its momentum, that's perpetual motion. You can recover energy when braking and nearly all hybrids and battery-only cars do so.

Power and energy are different, "density" can mean a lot of things, and cost depends on what you're measuring. Don't fight physics.