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- 2015 Tesla S Review By John Heilig by John Heilig
- 2016 Tesla Model X Review By John Heilig by John Heilig
The Tesla Roadster is a fully electric sports car. It is the first car produced by electric car firm Tesla Motors.
The car can travel 244 mi (393 km) on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack and accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.9 seconds with the development transmission.
The Roadster's efficiency, as of February 2008, is reported as 199 W·h/km (3.12 mi/kW·h), equivalent to 105 mpgU.S. (2.24 L/100 km / 126.1 mpgimp).
The Roadster was developed by Tesla Motors with design help from Lotus Cars in certain areas. Lotus supplied the basic chassis development technology from its Lotus Elise, with which the Tesla engineers designed a new chassis. Barney Hatt at Lotus' design studio developed the styling with input from Tesla. Tesla's designers chose to construct the body panels using resin transfer molded carbon fiber composite to minimize weight; this choice makes the Roadster one of the least expensive cars with an entirely carbon fiber skin.
The AC motor and drivetrain technology are more advanced than versions used in the GM EV1 and AC Propulsion tzero. Tesla Motors licensed AC Propulsion's EV Power System design and Reductive Charging patent which covers integration of the charging electronics with the inverter, thus reducing mass, complexity and cost. Tesla Motors then designed and built its own power electronics, motor, and other drivetrain components that incorporate this licensed technology from AC Propulsion.
Several prototypes of the Tesla Roadster were produced from 2004 through 2007. Initial studies were done in two "mule" vehicles. Ten Engineering Prototypes (EP1 thru EP10) were then built and tested in late 2006 and early 2007 which led to many minor changes. Tesla then produced seventeen Validation Prototypes (VP1 thru VP17) which were delivered beginning in March 2007. These final revisions were endurance and crash tested in preparation for series production.
In January 2008 the NHTSA announced that it would grant a waiver of the advanced air bag rule noting that the Tesla Roadster already includes standard air bags; similar waivers have been granted to many other small volume manufacturers as well including Lotus, Ferrari and Bugatti.