Tesla Whitestar Electric Sedan: 4 Doors, Half the Price of the Roadster

Illustration for article titled Tesla Whitestar Electric Sedan: 4 Doors, Half the Price of the Roadster

Tesla's plans for Whitestar, the sedan version of their electric roadster, are coming along nicely. Head honcho Elon Musk, just announced of a New Mexico factory that'll start construction no later than April 2007. The best part? The 4-door will not only haul more people, but will cost half of the $89,000 roadster. What performance remains after the car is fitted to a heavier chassis, and components are slashed out to lower the price, is yet to be disclosed.

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When are the first hack-shops coming together for the mechanically simple electric cars? And when will Tesla tackle the minivan segment? All that torque has to be useful for hauling around today's McNugget-fed preteens.

Tesla EV [Treehugger and Dvorak]

DISCUSSION

I don't think that trucks equipped with electric motors are in the near future. At least, I don't think they're on their way any time before we see more electric cars on the road.

I think that an electric motor, though producing a decent amount of torque doesn't have the same capacity to tow things while maintaining that torque. Even more, the torque of the Tesla roadster is not so much a huge number but rather its curve represents that it is more instantaneous. In fact, the Tesla's torque (just over 200ft/lbs), is actually quite normal. So first they need to produce an electric engine that doesn't necessarily produce torque immediately but rather produces heavy duty level torque numbers.

Also, the electric motors today are built into extremely extremely lightweight bodies such as the Lotus Elise body used by Tesla. To add such significant weight as with a truck requires added technological advances that still are a long way off. Adding more and more batteries may get the truck started but it only increases the required charge time.

Of course it would be great if trucks were electric but lets pull ourselves away from hugging the trees for a moment and understand that electric motors in trucks (and more heavy duty vehicles like tow trucks) are not going to be out on the road for some time. Oh and don't forget, the increase in electricity consumption by electric trucks on the roads would certainly increase pollution on the factory end of the equation.

For the record, also, the Tesla itself, I believe, is able to be "plugged" into the "home charger" and be fully charged in under FIVE HOURS if the battery starts of completely decharged. ( Not 36 as mentioned in someone's comment) And remember, after for example, a 100mi trip (it has a 250mi range) you only need to charge for 2 hours. Additionally, the car comes with a mobile charger that lets you use any outlet. The more power its pushing (ie 70 amps, etc) the faster it'll charge.