An all-electric sports vehicle that was produced by Tesla Motors, the Tesla Roadster happens to be the first vehicle produced by this company. Able to travel 244 miles on just a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack, the Roadster can achieve 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. Newly released a newly improved, Sport version of the Roadster with adjustable dampers and a brand new hand-wound motor that was capable of achieving 0-60 mph in only 3.7 seconds. Officially, the vehicle was debuted to the public on July 19, 2006 in Santa Monica, California at a special 350 person invitation only event that was hosted at Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport. The first auto show that the Tesla Roadster appeared on was the San Francisco International Auto Show that was held on November 18 through 26 in 2006.
By late August 2006, Tesla's 'Signature One Hundred' original set of fully equipped vehicles had sold out, and the company began accepting reservations by September of 2006 for their 2008 models. By October the second 100 models had been reserved, and by January 15, 2008 all 650 Tesla Roadsters planned for 2008 model year had been reserved. Roadsters were only available with the steering wheel on the left-hand side, since the vehicle had originally only been available in the U.S.
The design of the Roadster came about with help from Lotus Cars, who were responsible for the basic chassis development technology that came from the Lotus Elise. The Tesla Roadster was originally debuted to the public on July 19, 2006 and a series production of the vehicle began on March 17, 2008. The styling was created with input from Telsa, but also from Barney Hatt at Lotus's design studio. The designers chose to create the body panels from resin transfer molded carbon fiber composite which minimized weight. This choice transformed the Roadster into one of the least expensive vehicles with a completely carbon fiber skin.
Much more advanced version of the AC motor and the drive-train were utilized than the ones found in the GM EV1 and the Ac Propulsion tzero. The AC Propulsion's EV Power System design and Reductive Charging paten was licensed by Tesla Motors, and covered integration of the inverter and charging electronics which reduced the price, the complex nature of the vehicle and the mass. Following this, Telsa Motors then designed and constructed their own motor, power electronics and other various drivetrain components that resulted in the construction of this licensed technology from AC Propulsion.
From 2004 until 207, several variations of the Tesla Roadster were constructed. Original studies were done in two test vehicles. The EP1 thru the EP10 were 10 engineering prototypes that eventually led to a numerous amount of minor changes that were constructed and tested from late 2006 until early 207. Nearly 26 Validation Prototypes were introduced in the beginning of March 27, 2007. In preparation for series production, these final modifications were both crash tested and endurance rated.
The NHTSA told the public in January of 2008 that it would grant a waiver of the advanced air bag rule. This waiver noted that the Tesla Roadster now included standard air bags.
Assembled at the Lotus factory in Hethel, England, the Tesla Roadster featured drivetrain Features and body components tat were supplied to the factory, directly from Tesla. Just less than 10% of the Roadster's components were shared with the Lotus Elise, and these are restricted to the air bags, the tires, the windshield, a few dashboard parts and several dashboard components. The parts supply chain extends worldwide and the Tesla Motor's plan in Taiwan manufactures the motors, while the Energy Storage Systems was originally manufactured in Thailand. Eventually, the development was moved to San Carlos, California following the start of production. The chassis of the roadster was manufactured in Norway, while SOTIRA in St. Meloir & Pouance, France constructed the RTM carbon fiber body panels. Both the airbags and the brakes were made by Siemens in Germany, while the crash testing was done at Siemens as well.
Though originally planned for October of 2007, the production delivery was delayed in September of 2007 until the first calendar quarter of 2008. The actual series production of the Tesla Roadster began on March 17, 2008, following two years of testing and prototyping. The first original Roadster was dubbed as the 'P1' and was hand delivered to Tesla Motor's Chairman, Elon Musk, on February 1, 2008.
Following the completion of car number one at Hethel, the Tesla Company publicly announced that problems were affecting transmission reliability. With a life expectancy of as low as merely a few thousand miles, the development transmission, with first gear, was only able to reach 0-60 mph in just 4 seconds. The first two transmission suppliers for Tesla Motors' was not able to produce transmissions in large quantities, and was unable to withstand the gear-shift requirements of the high torque, high rpm electric motor.
The Tesla Roadster produced a maximum net power of 248 hp and was powered by a 3-phase, 4-pole electric motor. Unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the Sport Model came with a higher density, hand would stator that produced a maximum of 288 hp. These motors were designed for rotational speeds of up to 14,000 rpm, while the regular motor delivers an efficiency of typically 90% or 80% at peak power.
The Tesla Motors company announced in December 2007 plans to ship the original Roadster models with the transmission locked into second gear, which provided acceleration time of 0-60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. The original production vehicle, the P1 came with both transmission gears enabled, and was not delivered with the interim solution. When the finalized transmission, PEM; power electronics module and cooling system became available, the original transmissions will be replaced out under warranty, as set out in the original plan. Due to an error in equipment calibration at the lab when the original test occurred, the EPA range of the model was restated from 245 miles to 221.
Tesla constructed three Roadsters in their initial two months of production. The P1 and the P2 were built before the start of regular series production that commenced on March 17, 2008. Tesla had delivered 27 of these models to customers by September 10, 2008. A much better, improved transmission had been refined and hopes were high that a production total of 20 cars per week would be constructed by December 2008, and eventually 40 per week by March of 2009. Unfortunately though, over the span the next 20 days, only 3 more models were delivered to customers, which brought the grand total to only 30 by September 30th 2008. By November 19, 2008, an estimated 70 models had been delivered to awaiting customers, and by December 9th, 2008, the 100th vehicle had been sent out. A total of 200 Roadsters were produced and delivered to customers by February 11th 1009.
On May 1, 2008, the first Tesla Motor Service center was opened in Los Angeles, CA on Santa Monica Boulevard. The second showroom was publicly opened in Tesla Motors and service area in Menlo Park, CA on July 22, 2008. This location will also be the final assembly area for the Tesla Roadster.
The base model was finally priced at $98,000 for the 2008 Tesla Roadster, along with a destination charge of $950. Fully loaded with all optional equipment, the first 200 Roadsters that were ordered by October 2006 were priced around $100,000.
Telsa has plans to deliver around 1500 vehicles for the 2009 year, and the price has been increased to $109,000. This newest model features options ranging from audio to color and heavy duty cables that could add up to another $10,000. Telsa reached an agreement by February 2009 to open stores in Chicago and was very close to finalizing new locations spots in New York, Seattle and Miami.
The Telsa Company had plans to begin sales in Europe during the third quarter of 2008 and was originally limited to 250 vehicles, all priced below €100,000. Since there are no future plans to build Roadsters with the steering-wheel on the right-hand side, the cars won't initially go on sale in the U.K.
On August 21, 2008, the 2009 Signature Edition Tesla Roadster was officially available in Europe, and only 250 vehicles were available and were priced at €99,000. For a €3,000 Euro refundable reservation fee, the 2010 Roadster could be reserved. Tesla Motors Inc. began selling cars to Canadian customers on March 3, 2009 and deliver was setup for 2009.By Jessica Donaldson