RHD Tesla on sale in 2010

RHD Tesla 2010Tesla has confirmed it will launch a right-hand drive version of its Roadster in the UK in 2010.

Currently, the electric sportscar is only available in left-hand drive but Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that a re-engineered right-hand drive version would arrive early next year.

Musk says the cost of re-engineering the Lotus Elise-based roadster to right-hand drive was “not prohibitive”. A more powerful Sport version of the Tesla Roadster is also planned.

Musk also confirmed that the right-hand drive Roadster would be exported to other right-hand drive markets including Japan, India and Australia.

Last month, Tesla received a $465 million (£290 million) US state loan to help it develop and engineer its upcoming seven-seat Model S saloon model. The loan will also be used to build a powertrain manufacturing plant to supply electric powertrains to other car makers.

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2010 Tesla Model S

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The Model S opens a new chapter in automotive history. Tesla Motors is the Silicon Valley start-up that jump-started the electric car industry with its 2 seat superfast electric Roadster that began selling in 2008.

The Model S is a 4-door sedan that has beautiful austere styling with European influence. It is highly refined and highly sleek delivering an incredible CD of 0.26, on an aluminum chassis with a total curb weight of 4000 pounds.

Tesla points out that both the drivetrain and battery are floor-mounted. This creates two special opportunities. It allows the hood to function as a second trunk and the battery pack the capability of being quickly swapped out, should charging infrastructure go in that direction.

There are also three on-board charging options, 120V, 240V, and 440V with the latter allowing a charge within 45 minutes. Tesla states that this rapid charge feature could conceivably allow a driver to go across country if they could find rapid charging stations along the way, and charge up in as little time it takes to have a meal.

Three battery options will be available. The standard carries 160 miles of charge, and there are 230, and 300 mile versions.

The interior of the car is spacious too. It has seating for 7, and when the rear seats fold down, the car could carry both a 50 inch flat screen TV and a surfboard simultaneously. There is also a radical 17 inch pure LCD touchscreen instead of a console. This eliminates the use of buttons and since it is 3G enabled, allows the use of Google Maps, Internet radio and what is certain to be a myriad of other web-vehicle technologies. Drivers will be able to communicate with the car remotely via iPod too to check their state of charge.

The car is rear wheel drive and can do 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph. A sports edition will deliver performance well under 5 seconds, and the single gear transmission offers responsive handling. An all-wheel drive version is under development.

Pricing of the car is set at $57,400, which after government tax credit of $7500 brings the functional price down to $49,900.

Tesla is now taking orders online, and hopes to build 20,000 per year beginning in third quarter 2011. Production depends on $350 million in Department of Energy loans that the company expects to receive, which it requires to build the factory.

One can also order the car at Tesla’s dealerships now in California and Chicago. Additional locations are expected in New York, Miami, Seattle, Washington DC, London, and Munich in 2009 and 2010.

Tesla planning to launch 2011 Roadster in more right-hand export markets

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According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the long-anticipated right-hand-drive Roadster is coming in the first quarter of 2010 and will be available in both standard and Sport guise. The first market that’s slated for electrification is, as you would expect, the United Kingdom, and Tesla’s first European showroom has already opened up in Knightsbridge.
In addition to Great Britain, Musk has also indicated that Japan, Australia and India are seen as important right-hand-drive markets for the automaker to pursue in short order. The switch from LHD to RHD is surely made easier by the fact that the Lotus Elise, which shares a large portion of its chassis with the Roadster, was initially designed as a right-hand vehicle.
Interestingly, there’s already a lone Tesla Roadster in Australia, but that left-hand-drive car was imported by a man named Simon Hackett for his own personal use at a cost of about $200,000 Australian dollars – nearly twice what a Roadster costs in the States.

According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the long-anticipated right-hand-drive Roadster is coming in the first quarter of 2010 and will be available in both standard and Sport guise. The first market that’s slated for electrification is, as you would expect, the United Kingdom, and Tesla’s first European showroom has already opened up in Knightsbridge.

In addition to Great Britain, Musk has also indicated that Japan, Australia and India are seen as important right-hand-drive markets for the automaker to pursue in short order. The switch from LHD to RHD is surely made easier by the fact that the Lotus Elise, which shares a large portion of its chassis with the Roadster, was initially designed as a right-hand vehicle.

Interestingly, there’s already a lone Tesla Roadster in Australia, but that left-hand-drive car was imported by a man named Simon Hackett for his own personal use at a cost of about $200,000 Australian dollars – nearly twice what a Roadster costs in the States.

Tesla Motors Delivers 500th Roadster

Roadster-Sport-ExteriorA New Jersey philanthropist was the 500th person to take ownership of a Tesla Roadster, an important milestone for the world’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer.

Martin Tuchman, former chairman and CEO of Interpool, is chairman of The Tuchman Foundation and a board member of The Parkinson’s Alliance and Parkinson’s Disease Foundation of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He plans to charge his Roadster partly with solar energy thanks to photovoltaic panels he helped install throughout his hometown of Kingston, NJ.

“My Roadster drives like a dream — it’s amazing,” said Tuchman, a former automotive engineer and owner of a 1967 Mercedes 250 and a 1993 Jaguar convertible. Tuchman converted his 1937 Chris-Craft into an electric boat so he could take it on nearby Lake Carnegie, which prohibits gas-powered boats. He plans to use his Roadster as his primary commuter car.

Tuchman took delivery of a Twilight Blue Roadster last weekend, a few weeks before the anticipated opening of a Tesla showroom in New York’s Chelsea Art District. Greater New York is Tesla’s largest market outside of California, and local EV owners enjoy numerous incentives.

Zero-emission vehicles are exempt from New Jersey sales, use and luxury taxes. Single occupants of alternative-fuel vehicles may also use the high-occupancy commuter lanes on the New Jersey Turnpike. These incentives are on top of a $7,500 US federal tax credit, which fully applies to all Tesla Roadsters.

Tesla will also soon be opening stores in Chicago, London, Seattle, Miami, Washington, Monaco and Munich. Tesla will begin deliveries in Europe this summer.

San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla is the only production automaker selling highway-capable EVs in the United States or Europe. The Roadster beats nearly every other car for acceleration yet is twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius. It costs roughly $4 to refuel and can be completely recharged in as little as 3.5 hours.

Michael van der Sande, Tesla Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Service and Marketing, called the 500th delivery an important symbol for the world’s newest production automaker.

“We now have more than 500 real-world customers providing valuable feedback on our cars and contributing to Tesla’s spirit of continuous improvement,” van der Sande said. “We intend to leverage our first-mover advantage and continue to build brand loyalty for years – from our 500th to our 500,000th delivery.”