"Green Mile: The Tesla Roadster"
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CNET News Video
CNET News Video
Green Mile: The Tesla Roadster
>> Well I'll be damned: a Ford Think.
>> Yeah, this was once the future of electric cars. I mean...
>> Yeah, was.
>> Nah, it didn't get too far. At 35 miles an hour probably...
>> No doors. It's not exactly aspirational but then there is a very aspirational electric car coming up.
>> That's right: the Tesla Roadster from Tesla Motors. $98,000 and people like George Clooney have already put a deposit down.
>> And 0 to 60 in what, 3, 4 seconds?
>> 4 seconds.
>> Let's go see this thing.
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>> The Tesla Boaters [assumed spelling] Roadster is all about efficiency without a compromise in performance. We're talking about a car that can book down the quarter mile because it's only got 2 speeds. First speed is good to 65 miles an hour, second is good all the way up to top speed. And you could actually drive the car in second the whole time because it makes maximum power from 0 RPM.
>> We've got twice the efficiency of a Prius and the performance of a car that costs 3X what this does?
>> That's exactly right. And up until now, nothing like that's ever existed on the market. We have people buying the cars that could afford to drive something like a 9-11, but actually drive a Prius because they can't deal with the guilt of owning a performance car. But we also have people that are buying the -- this is a stretch purchase, but they believe in doing their part. Understand that the servicing cost on something like this are considerably less. They're never buying fuel again. And they like the idea that they're not having an impact on the environment. So if you think what goes into maintaining a traditional internal combustion engine car, you've got things like belts and hoses and gaskets and filters and...
>> ...none of that exists in a car like this.
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>> So each car that we sell comes with one of these home charging stations and this will allow you to plug your car in like you would your cell phone and charge in as little as 3 and a half hours.
>> Now does that mean I have to be home to charge the car because I only have one of these?
>> No because the charging unit is actually on board with the car. You can actually charge it anywhere you go with an adapter that we sell that allows you to plug into a standard outlet.
>> What's the range on a full charge, typical driving, not stamping on it all the time?
>> You can expect to see over 200 miles on a charge.
>> And that's actually pretty significant because we know that most commuters drive typically less than 40 miles as part of their daily commute.
>> Well that good almost be a full work week of driving, at least back and forth to work?
>> Close to it. This is the battery. But what's in here -- it started with something fairly ordinary.
>> Right. This is the energy storage system and it's comprised of 6,831 of these lithium ion cells. This is a commodity cell: the exact same that's used in a laptop computer.
>> Folks have heard a lot about certain companies in the laptop space batteries going wrong, and in a big way. What do you do to prevent those fears or real problems?
>> There's actually 13 microprocessors in here that monitor for things like smoke or immersions or overheating or under cooling, so that the batteries are always kept at an optimal temperature.
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>> Alright that is some acceleration. The torch never stops here does it?
>> No, it feels like a freight train. It just keeps right on pulling.
>> But that fist is right in your back all the way, and the sound I'm hearing it's a turbo. It's a turbo sound. Is that the flavor?
>> Yeah, it's got a jet-like feel to it. And you really feel it on acceleration.
>> Under carriage on this -- cause when you get this kind of performance you need some serious handling. You sourced a lot of the underside from Lotus, is that right?
>> Yeah, Lotus was an instrumental partner in helping us get the final suspension calibration. They're experts in that field.
>> Well what are you going to limit the speed to on this car? I mean in reality to keep folks from getting hurt with their new toy.
>> Well, this car's good till about 135 miles an hour and I think that's plenty for the US.
>> RPM limit on this? How high can you rev it?
>> Well past 3 - 13,000 RPMs.
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