Cap'n, now that's a nice car. My understanding is that it is basically an electric version of the Lotus Elise (which makes sense considering who the head of the company is). This continues a long tradition of collaboration between Detroit and England which produced cars such as the Ford GT40.
I am impressed that they can get such range out of a smaller battery pack. That is important, especially as it pertains to charging time. Tesla was originally looking at a two speed transmission, but deciede they could simplify things without it since they did not strictly need it. For sports car driving, though, it is nice to have it.
Chuck, this seems like an weird bird to me. Can a car company enter the auto market successfully with a single offering? Is exclusivity sufficient to interest enough buyers. Can the company be trusted to service the vehicle over its lifespan?
Also, I can't imagine this car all by itself -- a high-performance car -- would be able to manage the upcoming CAFE standards.
You've asked some tough questions here, Rob, and I think most of them can only be answered with time. Regarding your first question: Tesla originally entered with a single offering -- the Tesla Roadster -- and they appear to be making the business work right now. Admittedly, though, Tesla initially struggled and there are never guarantees that a company like this one will be able to survive those first few difficult years. Regarding CAFE: We don't know the fuel efficiency numbers, but I can't imagine there will be a problem here. They're now getting 180 miles out of a 37-kWh battery, which bodes well for their EPA numbers.
Great performance for an electric car. We know they are quite capable of large bursts of speed, and enough heat to melt the ice on the windscreen. I think a radio controlled version might be fun. But at that price, would not want my kids playing with it...
That's partly a result of the liberal use of carbon fiber composites for in car's body. The vehicle's curb weight is just 2,400 pounds.
@Charles, thanks for the update. Usage carbon fiber composite is a very good idea because its light weight and strong but I am more worried about the stability of the car. Since the curb weight is just 2,400 pounts what about stability of the car when it is running at the top speed ?
0-62mph in 3.7 seconds feels like what you get on the California Screamin' roller coaster at Disney's California Adventure amusement park - it uses linear motors to accelerate the coaster from a stand still.
Leave LOTS of room at the stop lights to test this out.
.76G acceleration. Hmmmm. If they tweak the performance even more, and we get REALLY grippy tires...
This isn't an electric car, it's an electric car that happens to be interesting. I mean, with a performance like that, you can tell that they're being serious. It carries a hefty price tag, but the drive-cost will certainly pay off for that.
Tesla originally started with a car based on the Lotus Elise. It also had exceptional acceleration. The original 4 speed transmission could not handle the torque and was replaced with a single speed transmission. It seems at first blush that Detroit Electric will be re-learning many of the lessons that Tesla has lived through.
If you simply want an affordable (?) vehicle with stupendous acceleration, get an Ariel Atom with your choice of motivation. Full electric version prototyped by Wrightspeed.
But as with many electric/hybrid car offerings, keeping them in production, (or just making it to production) is quite an accomplishment.
This car already costs well over $100K so I wonder why they didn't use a proper dual-clutch gearbox for not much more money...the 0-60 times would probably drop another few tenths also and it would be great to drive clicking off shifts via paddle shifters (ala Porsche Cayman S)...it would also be the first electric to have it also.
Tesla Motorsí $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the worldís vehicles will be plug-ins.
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