Very green in that it is a totally electric car that can go 244 miles on a single charge and Extremely Mean because it can go from 0 to 60 in about 3.9 seconds! The Tesla Roadster is made by Tesla Motors in California and was first available in 2008. It is an engineering marvel that looks very similar to a Lotus Elise and in fact shares some parts with that car. Lotus provided advice to Tesla on designing and developing a vehicle, as well as producing partly assembled vehicles. The Tesla Roadster is the first all-electric vehicle in serial production to be made in the United States that is capable of running on the highway. This is not the only first for this uniquely engineered car; there are several, actually: The first to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production all-electric vehicle able to travel more than 200 miles on a single charge. It takes about 3-1/2 hours to recharge the batteries. The designers at Tesla made the body panels utilizing resin transfer molded carbon fiber composite to lessen weight, making the Roadster one of the most inexpensive cars available with a skin made entirely of carbon fiber.
The Tesla Roadster is truly a usable and workable vehicle, a viable alternative to gasoline engines or even hybrids. And the performance is exemplary. It is actually a fun vehicle to drive. All the torque available from a standstill with the electric motor delivers a launch that will (very quietly), leave other high performance sport cars like Porsches or Ferraris in the dust. Electric vehicles require much less maintenance than internal combustion vehicles; they do not require regular oil changes and because there are no emissions or even exhaust, no exhaust system work will ever be needed. They do not require replacement of spark plugs, pistons, hoses or belts and the motor is air cooled, so no liquid cooling system is needed. The usual parts of the car such as brakes, tires or body work can be performed by any qualified mechanic.
Although stars like Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas and Matt Damon both drive Tesla Roadsters, they are certainly out of reach for the average person, with a $100,000+ price tag; but the technology is obviously available for a functional and useful electric vehicle. One of Tesla’s long-term goals is to apply the technology to developing more mainstream vehicles that will have applicability for more of the rest of us!