A different kind of company, a different kind of car

Battery-Fueled Car Will Smoke You

Saturn should give up that slogan, since GM took possession, they no longer deserve it…

Martin Eberhard was flush with cash and decided to buy himself a new sports car. He wanted something that was fast but still got good mileage. He quickly learned that high performance and fuel efficiency are mutually exclusive, at least when it comes to internal combustion engines. So he started researching alternative technologies and soon realized it was actually possible for an electric car to combine zip and efficiency. The problem: Nobody was making one.

So he did. Introducing the Tesla Roadster. Powered by 6,831 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, it has a range of 250 miles and a top speed of more than 130 mph.

Oh, and it costs roughly $80,000.

This sounds expensive, but it isn’t; here’s why:

  • It does 0-60 in four seconds. In first gear. No car with that kind of acceleration is that cheap.
  • In the two or three years that it takes to bring this idea to market, battery technology will improve the car’s performance and range still more, and the price will fall.
  • Any new technology is always astronomically expensive. How much was your first VCR/CD player/Cellphone?

It is amazing but not surprising to me that a small-time enterpreneur has succeeded where the likes of GM and Ford have failed – the auto industry has a vested interest in keeping us sucking down oil, which may be one of the reasons that electric cars never really took off. This is an idea whose time has come.

It goes without saying that I want one.

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  • joelburge  On July 27, 2006 at 1:52 PM

    Speaking of electric cars, check out this article on Dvorak’s blog.


    Seems like GM and others like them haven’t only failed but actually mislead a lot of people with the ideas that their hybrids are of special value either financially and/or environmentally.

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