Tesla Motors unveiled its first high-performance, zero-emissions electric car – the Tesla Roadster. The electric-powered Tesla Roadster boasts a top speed of more than 130 mph and a range of 250 miles on a single charge, a combination heretofore unseen in a mass-produced electric vehicle. Its extended range is due to its state-of-the-art lithium-ion Energy Storage System. The Tesla Roadster is capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in about four seconds.
Using a unique two-speed manual transmission, the Tesla Roadster’s power comes from a 3-phase, 4-pole ac induction motor coupled with the Power Electronics Module (PEM) which provides multiple functionality of inverting direct current to 3-phase alternating current, the charging system, and the regenerative braking system. The Roadster’s Energy Storage System (ESS) provides power to the entire vehicle, including the motor. Its durable, tamper-resistant enclosure includes: 6,831 lithium-ion cells; a network of microprocessors for maintaining charge balance and temperature among the batteries; a cooling system; and an independent safety system designed to disconnect power outside the enclosure under a variety of detectable safety situations.
The Tesla Roadster comes complete with its Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE), a home-based charging system. An optional mobile charging kit, for re-charging while away from the EVSE, also features this automatic disconnect system. Charging the Tesla Roadster takes approximately 3.5 hours. The vehicle is capable of driving up to 250 miles (EPA Highway) on a single charge, a range roughly triple that of previous mass-produced electric vehicles, like General Motors’ EV1.
Tesla designers and engineers have gone to great lengths to ensure that not only is the Tesla Roadster safe to drive, but also when charging the performance electric car, at home or on the road. Their goal is to not only meet, but to surpass the rigorous standards of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, or FMVSS, as implemented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Deliveries of the Tesla Roadster are expected to begin next summer.