Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by a number of Silicon Valley investors and inventors, all of whom sought to produce efficient and practical electric cars. Naming their business after the famous inventor and scientist Nikola Tesla, who invented the electric motor and alternating current, the company is growing slowly and focusing primarily on very specific and exclusive markets. These cars are made in small batches, with long wait and reserve times, and cost much more than regular cars. It is hoped, however, that one day there will be a Tesla Car intended for the general populace.
5 remarkable things about Tesla
- The company was the first to offer an “Electric Sports Car.”
- The company’s motors currently dominate the “E-Class” electric racing series.
- The company was the first to produce a general consumer car which could travel more than 200 miles on a single charge.
- The battery packs on these cars are produced in Japan by Panasonic.
- Tesla has produced electric versions of cars made by Smart, Toyota and Mercedes as technology demonstrators.
Tesla Famous Models
The first Tesla Car on the market was the Roadster. Produced by starting with a Lotus Elise body and frame, the Tesla Roadster was equipped with the most powerful electric motor then fitted to a production car. It also had a massive one-ton electric battery, which makes it an exceptionally heavy electric car – it is almost three tons, despite its small size. This heavy weight makes the Roadster a less than stellar sports car when cornering, but its enormous 288 hp electric motor enables it to travel at a maximum speed of 125 miles per hour. It can also accelerate from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds, thanks to the incredible torque produced by its motor.
The second Tesla car, the Model S, went into production in 2012 and will be delivered to customers until at least 2015. Much less powerful than the Roadster, the Tesla Model S is intended to be an electric car more suitable for the general consumer market. The Tesla Model S costs about half as much as the Roadster, and has four seats instead of two. It is also a totally original design, looking much more like a traditional luxury sedan than an electric or “eco” car. It is front-wheel drive, and although it has a 362hp electric motor, the immense weight of the vehicle (due to the battery) means that it has less than stellar performance on the track. However, it has a 265 mile range, enabling it to function on long trips as well as short commutes.
In current development is the Tesla Model X, which will go into production in 2013 and begin sales in 2014. The Model X will be a full-sized SUV based on the Model S. It is expected to have a 200+ mile range and more passenger space than any other electric car ever produced.