"I am a socially responsible consumer who considers the environmental impact of my purchases,” said Hennig, 24. “As soon as I saw the Tesla web site in 2006, I knew I wanted to support a company dedicated to making more and more affordable vehicles so that mainstream people could have cars with a lower carbon footprint. I plan to drive this car every day so that people can see for themselves that the future of mobility is electric.”
The 700th delivery came less than a week after Tesla opened a store in Munich (Blumenstr.17) — its first regional sales and service center in continental Europe. Tesla opened its flagship London store in June and will open a store in Monaco later this year.
“Many of our customers are die-hard European sports car aficionados who switch to Roadsters over concern about climate change and the dangers of foreign oil addiction,” Musk said. “And some customers buy the Roadster simply because it will beat the Porsche 911 or Audi R8 off the line every time.”
Tesla’s Full 2010 Model-Year Lineup On Display in Frankfurt
Musk and Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen unveiled the production version of the second-generation Roadster and the even higher-performance Roadster Sport supercar. The Frankfurt Motor Show also marked the European debut of the Model S, an all-electric, seven-passenger sedan that Tesla plans to begin producing in late 2011. Photos are available online.
The Roadster 2, which Tesla is building and shipping to customers now, features an array of enhancements over the first-generation car, which Tesla began producing last year. Those include a more powerful heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, more comfortable seats and a far more luxurious dashboard and cabin. The interior is quieter than its predecessor, and the ride is forgiving over harsh surfaces — without sacrificing handling performance.
The Roadster Sport, which Tesla is also building and shipping to customers now, is an even higher performance car that does 0 to 100 kmh in 3.7 seconds, compared to 3.9 seconds for the standard Roadster. The Sport includes a more powerful motor, custom-tuned adjustable suspension and forged wheels. A customer’s Roadster Sport sprinted the quarter-mile in 12.643 seconds in late July, setting a new record in the U.S. National Electric Drag Racing Association.
The acclaimed Roadster – which has better acceleration than a Porsche 911 or Audi R8 and is twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius – is the only highway-capable electric vehicle for sale in Europe or North America. It’s the first EV to travel more than 300 km per charge and the first EU- and US-certified Lithium-Ion battery electric vehicle.
The Roadster has an estimated average range of about 400 km per charge and produces zero tailpipe emissions. In April, the Roadster set another significant EV record when it traveled the entire 390-km course of the Rallye Monte Carlo d’Energies Alternatives on a single charge – from Valance, France to Monaco, through the Alps. The Roadster was the only car to finish the course – and at the end it still had 61 km left on the charge.
The Roadster qualifies for numerous tax benefits in Europe, including sales, luxury and use tax waivers in Scandinavia and exceptional incentives in Holland, making the car an unquestionable bargain compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. The relatively high cost of petrol in Europe dramatically lowers Teslas’ total cost of ownership relative to gas-guzzlers. Eventually, Tesla expects sales to be roughly split between North America and Europe.
Tesla Motors remains the only automaker worldwide manufacturing and selling highway-capable EVs. The company achieved overall corporate profitability in July and has delivered 700 Roadsters to real-world owners so far. Tesla’s goal is to produce increasingly affordable cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EV technology. Tesla also sells patented power train components to other automakers, including the battery pack and charger for the electric Smart, built by German carmaker Daimler.
Tesla sells cars online and operates showrooms in New York, Seattle, London, Munich, West Los Angeles and California’s Silicon Valley. Tesla will soon open stores in Chicago, South Florida, Washington DC, Toronto and Monaco.
The Roadster beats nearly every other car for acceleration yet is twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius and has a range of approximately 400 km per charge. The Roadster costs about €10 to recharge with 100 percent renewable energy, and it’s faster than street-legal Porsches and Ferraris. The Roadster consumes no gasoline whatsoever, never needs routine oil changes and requires far less maintenance than internal combustion engine vehicles or complicated hybrids, resulting in dramatically lower total cost of ownership than a conventional car.
Tesla to open power train facility in Palo Alto, California
The City of Palo Alto and Tesla Motors announced that Tesla will develop and manufacture electric vehicle components in a renovated building in the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto.
Tesla, the only automaker that is already producing and selling highway-capable electric vehicles, will lease an approximately 350,000-square-foot building on a 23-acre parcel at 3500 Deer Creek Road. The facility will supply all-electric powertrain solutions to Tesla Motors vehicles and other automakers, greatly accelerating the availability of mass-market EVs.
The world’s premier EV manufacturer will also move its corporate headquarters from San Carlos to the site later this year. Roughly 350 employees will work in Palo Alto initially, with space for up to 650 people at the facility.
Tesla’s lease of this facility is a creative, adaptive reuse and modernization of a manufacturing facility formerly occupied by Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies. The three-building complex is minutes away from Stanford’s main campus and from the garage in Palo Alto where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard built their original audio oscillator.
“Silicon Valley and the Stanford Research Park are synonymous with innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Tesla CEO and Product Architect Elon Musk. “It’s an ideal place for a new car company trying to rethink many aspects of the traditional automotive business.”
“Our city is a leader in promoting sustainability and has a strong commitment to green technology. Therefore we’re extremely pleased to welcome Tesla to Palo Alto,” said James Keene, Palo Alto City Manager. “Stanford, its Research Park, and Palo Alto have always been at the forefront of new technological discoveries and inventions, as well as fostering practices and ideas that increase environmental sustainability. Tesla’s move is another indicator that Palo Alto is the place to be for the green tech and alternative energy companies that will help solve the daunting global environmental challenges of the 21st century.”
Tesla sells power train components to other automakers so they can get affordable EVs to customers faster. Tesla is already producing EV components for Germany’s Daimler, maker of Mercedes. The company will build the highly anticipated electric version of the Smart city car using Tesla battery packs and chargers.
Tesla, which achieved overall corporate profitability in July thanks to the popularity of the Roadster sports car, expects to announce other powertrain deals in the upcoming months. Tesla has already delivered nearly 700 Roadsters to customers.
“Tesla is rapidly recruiting new employees, and this fabulous working environment and proximity to Stanford University will give us excellent access to top engineering talent,” said JB Straubel, Tesla’s Chief Technology Officer and leader of the powertrain group. Straubel received a bachelor’s degree in energy systems engineering and a master’s in energy engineering, both from Stanford.
Tesla is in site negotiations for an assembly plant for the all-electric Model S. The sedan will be produced at a separate assembly plant in California — not at the Palo Alto site.
Tesla will renovate the Deer Creek Road facility to the highest environmental standards, incorporating sustainable building practices certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Construction is expected to begin in early fall.
Financing will come in part from loans from the U.S. Department of Energy. Last month, Tesla received approval for nearly $465 million in low-interest loans to accelerate the production of affordable, fuel-efficient electric vehicles.
The loans are part of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) Program, which provides incentives to new and established automakers to build more fuel-efficient vehicles. Created in 2007, the $25 billion ATVM aims to reduce America’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil and create “green collar” jobs. The program is entirely unrelated to the stimulus package or the so-called “bailout” funds that General Motors and Chrysler have received.