The Tesla Roadster is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) sports car that was produced by the electric car firm Tesla Motors in California from 2008 to 2012. The Roadster was the first highway legal serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles (320 km) per charge. A replacement for the Roadster is expected for 2019.It was also known as Dark Star. Undoubtedly it had marked the beginning of the era of battery operated vehicles, a very important and tactful initiative by the manufacturers.
Tesla sold about 2,450 Roadsters in over 30 countries, and most of the last Roadsters were sold in Europe and Asia during the fourth quarter of 2012.Tesla produced right-hand-drive Roadsters from early 2010.The Roadster qualified for government incentives in several nations. The trails the vehicles passed not only cleared their way but also flashed light towards the sustainable development. Once the vehicle burst out into life it then crossed every road in its way very comfortably.
The world distance record of 311 mi (501 km) for a production electric car on a single charge was set by a Roadster on October 27, 2009, during the Global Green Challenge in outback Australia, in which it averaged a speed of 25 mph. In March 2010, a Tesla Roadster became the first electric vehicle to win the Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally and the first to win any Federation Internationale de l’Automobile-sanctioned championship when a Roadster driven by former Formula One driver Érik Comas beat 96 competitors for range, efficiency, and performance in the three-day, nearly 620-mile (1,000 km) challenge.
According to the U.S. EPA, the Roadster could travel 244 miles (393 km) on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in 3.7 or 3.9 seconds depending on the model. The Roadster’s efficiency, as of September 2008, was reported as 120 MPGe.It used 135 Wh/km battery-to-wheel and has an efficiency of 88% on average.
The evolution of this revolutionary man made entity began when Martin Eberhard sold NuvoMedia to TV Guide, and he wanted a sports car with high mileage, but could not find one. His battery experience with the Rocket eBook inspired him to develop an electric car. The production idea was conceived by Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning who incorporated Tesla Motors in Delaware on July 1, 2003, to pursue the idea commercially. South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk took an active role within the company starting in 2004, including investing US$7.5 million, overseeing Roadster product design from the beginning, and greatly expanding Tesla’s long-term strategic sales goals by using the sports car to fund development of mainstream vehicles. Musk became Tesla’s Chairman of the Board in April 2004 and had helped recruit JB Straubel as chief technology officer in March 2004. Musk received the Global Green2006 product design award for the design of the Tesla Roadster, presented by Mikhail Gorbachev, and he received the 2007 Index Design award for the design of the Tesla Roadster.
Tesla cumulative production of the Roadster reached 1,000 cars in January 2010. The Roadster shared roughly 6 percent of its components with the Lotus Elise; shared components include the windshield, air bags, some tires, some dashboard parts, and suspension components. The Roadster’s single-speed gearbox was made in Detroit to Tesla’s specifications by Auburn Hills, Michigan-based supplier BorgWarner. Brakes and airbags were made by Siemens in Germany, and some crash testing was conducted at Siemens as well.
In 2007, the Roadster’s battery-to-wheel motor efficiency was reported as 88% to 90% on average and 80% at peak power. The vehicle was the seed of those innumerable attempts the manufacturers have made in the later years in the light of eco-friendly fuels and vehicles at large. It has hidden initiatives in the formation of those vehicles which are unlike humans doing their bit to conserve the environment and this is the need of the hour.
The risk the manufacturers took in monetary terms is the capital they invested for a better tomorrow. They had certainly brought things very clear to the people that the environment and its safety is the prime motive of the people. Hats off to such entrepreneurs who have brought such ideas in a format to the notice of the people.
Risks big or small are a part of the industry of vehicles and other things, no one can be certain that the vehicle launched will actually make its manufacturer proud. But still, such risks are a part and parcel of life and are also the mother of some great inventions and products that we use today.