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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Tesla Roadster Sport - The Eco-Supercar

A brainchild of Silicon Valley, financed by a PayPal billionaire, the Tesla Roadster Sport is the first fully electric supercar with commercial capability. An unusual motoring start-up founded by Californian software engineer Martin Eberhard.

The aim of the company was to develop a car that ran on sustainable energy and was practical enough to use every day. The difficulty was developing the technology and putting it in a car everybody could afford. Eberhand decided that their first venture would have to start out like the high tech gadgets he had worked with, hyped-up, over priced and rare, becoming cheaper with time and volume. This would mean that the first line of consumers would subsidise the development of the company.

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 Elon Musk, a billionaire 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 the company chance to market the car to George Clooney, who in turn convinced Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, the Red Hot Chilli 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.

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.

Official testing has shown the Roadster can achieve 0-60 in 3.7 seconds with a limited top speed of 125mph, this means it can out-drag a Ferrari while keeping you pinned in your seat from the instance you touch the pedal, all in absolute silence.

Tesla say they plan on selling the intellectual property for their engines to some of the European car giants which should cause a rise in electric car technology, meaning even if your next car isn't electric, the one after probably will be.

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