Tesla Motors

september 27, 2006

The CEO of Tesla Motors, Martin Eberhard swung by Yahoo! today to tell us about their new Tesla Roadster. He also brought a Roadster with him to show off. You can visit the Tesla Motors website to find out more about the car. But, here's a quick rundown of the car: The presentation that Eberhard gave was a lot of marketting and some technical speak -- mostly marketting. I'm not sure, but hasn't Eberhard noticed that Yahoo! stock is not doing that well. I'm not sure that he could convince many of us to put down the mandatory 75% down payment for a car -- the car costs $100,000, by the way. Wired ran a pretty good article about Tesla (with an interview with Eberhard) in their August 2006 issue. You can find the article here. The car looks to be an awesome car. I surely can't afford one, and after seeing it in person, I'm not sure I could fit in one. The thing that really got me was the small size of the thing, I have wide shoulders and I doubt you could squeeze two guys like me into this car.  But, the cool thing is that a small car means that it is also a light car -- it weighs in at somewhere around 2,500lbs. Still, Tesla Motors has done something that the major automobile companies haven't been able to do. They have produced an electric car that has a great range per charge. They have used a lot of off-the-shelf parts, including (non-Sony) Lithium Ion batteries to produce the car.  Which helps reduce the cost of building the car. The design of chassis and shell for the car was done by the Lotus Group -- and it really looks like it. The car looks like a Lotus Elise, but is longer. It is quite a car to look at and I am sure there are rich people lining up to pick one up. Gone are the days of trying to figure out when you need to charge your car while on the road -- for example when one was driving an EV1 that got 60 miles per charge, you really couldn't go very far before you had to find a place to charge up. It was interesting to find out that the car's computer is an ARM computer running a highly stripped down version of Linux.  Nice!  Also interesting was the fact that Tesla needs to install a special charging station at your house for the car, apparently the charging station helps by pulling a lot of voltage off your powerline to charge the car quicker. It's a great start for Tesla Motors and I look forward to their sports sedan that will be coming out late next year or early 2008.  Now if only they would have let me test drive this thing!  Heh.