Falling in Love with an Electric Car

| 8/21/2008 3:51:16 PM

Tags: Tesla, electric vehicles,

Check out the video below. It's from Mark Templeton, who can't stop smiling because he got his Tesla Roadster. Watch it and you'll understand why.

I so desperately want one. Especially the jet black color. If Batman had an electric car, this would be it. The only problems for me are it costs about $110,000 and takes about 12 months to get one. Ha ha, like I could actually get past the first problem, right?

If you don't already know, the Tesla Roadster is an all-electric (uses lithium ion batteries) two-seater. It goes zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and gets the equivalent of 256 mpg. Its batteries will take you about 220 miles. Performance, efficiency and range — what's not to love?

But here's the best part: with the national average price of electricity being about 10 cents per kilowatt hour, you'd pay less than 2 cents per mile to drive this car. Rock.

You can learn more about Tesla Motors and the Tesla Roadster here.

John Rockhold is a green car enthusiast and Contributing Editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Find him on .

t brandt
12/23/2011 11:00:55 PM

Somebodiy's lying. According to the Tesla website, the car draws 240W-hr/mi @60 mph, but in another spot on the same site it says it draws 215kW @4400rpm. That means to drive 240 mi (its range) @60mph ( drawing122kW) it would use ~488kW-hr of juice. At 15c/kW-hr (don't forget the taxes), that's about $73 for the trip. A car with ICE getting 20mpg & fuel @ $3.50/gal would do the trip for $42....There's no free lunch It takes so much power to drive a certain speed for a certain distance, regardless of the type of engine.. And if you have a high performance car, it burns more fuel.... In the US, about half our electricity comes from coal. Power plants and the transmision of electricity across a distance are not terribly efficient. It's actually better for the encvironment to use petroleum fuel than electricity for automotive applications if your power is coming from a coal fire plant.

ben nelson
12/23/2011 7:42:43 PM

In regards to "letting 'er rip"...... The one thing the Tesla Roadster does NOT do well is burn rubber! It has computerized traction-control to maximize power to the rear wheels for acceleration WITHOUT letting them slip! This means AMAZING acceleration, but is NOT a LOUD and SMOKING display of power. It's bizzare to see the Tesla accelerate full-tilt in person because we are so used to loud noise as a cue to automotive power. I was fortunate enough to once ride in the passenger seat of a Roadster. While 0-60mph is sort of the standard for acceleration, what you would not believe is the 0-25mph time. It had to have been under a second! Ever go to an amusement park and go on the ride which is a cylindrical room, where it spins and then the floor drops out? THAT'S what it feels like to accelerate in a Tesla. When I built my DIY Geo Metro Electric Car, I made sure that I COULD burn rubber in it. Mostly, just to get the people who think electric cars are nothing more than golf cars, to think a bit different. In fact, one thing I noticed when I rode in the Tesla was that the SENSE of acceleration in both the Electro-Metro AND the Tesla were EXACTLY the same! It's just that the Tesla kept that feeling going for MUCH longer! Still, I'm pretty proud to have a homebuilt car that burns rubber, not gasoline!

matt foster
8/25/2008 9:01:47 AM

This is a great post because even though most of us can't afford a performance machine like this, it illustrates that it's important for us not to give up our dream-like fantasies just for the sake of the green revolution. I think a lot of people who care about making good envioronmental decisions, maybe men in particular, also hold onto fantasies of having a high performance sportscar or a high horsepowered truck. We just demand it to also make good environmental sense. My dream machine is a biodiesel-electric hybrid truck with a modification done by AFS Trinity Power Corporation http://www.hybridsuv.com/concept-vehicles/150-mpg-hybrid http://www.afstrinity.com/. They modified a 30-mile-per-gallon Saturn Vue to get 150 mpg. I could probably never afford this and besides, to my knowledge no one is even making a biodiesel-electric truck. But I can dream and I think where dreams and common sense collide is where reality becomes most blissful.

john rockhold
8/22/2008 12:23:12 PM

Darryl -- watch the end of the video again closely. He does let 'er rip. You can even hear his wife getting concerned. But the fact that you missed it brings up an interesting point: electric vehicles are smooth and quiet rides, even when rapidly accelerating!

8/22/2008 9:47:15 AM

Awesome car!! Although, it would have been cool in the video to see him really "let 'er rip!!! Now why can't the "big 3" and others put this technology in the BASIC vehicles RIGHT NOW? Like the Dodge Grand Caravan Electric? They would "sell like hot cakes"!! I'd be first in line.

8/22/2008 8:55:46 AM

$1250 fuel savings per year isn't including the maintenance savings like oil changes and other part replacements that would be a thing of the past. Also, you can add water to your ketchup.

bill uhler
8/21/2008 5:37:48 PM

So....2 cents a mile vs. the 11 cents a mile it's costing me to drive now.... that's 9 cents times the 250 miles I commute a week....divide that by 52 weeks a year. 94 years. Bummer. I can't justify it that way. Let's see. If we skipped vacations, and the kids got scholarships..........

8/21/2008 5:08:43 PM

Hey John -- Wow, awesome video. That is a seductive machine indeed. I really appreciate its performance numbers and the range. I think you should request a demo model. I can't wait until the technology trickles over to other kinds of vehicles. When I first read about the Tesla, I was hoping that it would be priced at less than $100K.

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