Everyone seems to want to drive a “green” car these days. No, I’m not talking about a Dodge Charger painted in sublime like the one that BBC’s Top Gear host Richard Hammond drives (get well soon, Hamster…bring back TG!). I mean enviromentally friendly automobiles that supposedly magically heal the earth as they travel.
Now I have test driven a Prius as well as a hybrid Honda Civic and I felt like I was sitting in some kind of PowerWheels toy. However, I’m from the mindset that believes cars have to look a certain way, sound a certain way and perform a certain way. I must tell you, “green” vehicles are horrible cars. They don’t sound like a car should nor do they have any kind of go under their engines. Not only that but for some reason, whoever designed them must be blind since most hybrids and electric cars are the ugliest things I’ve ever seen.
Of course, there are hippies everywhere that think that we should drive these and that the ugliness of the cars is just because we are slaves to consumerism! Screw that…consumerism and cool stuff like a Koenigsegg CCX is what makes life interesting!
Where would the fun be if we all drove steam powered VW Beetles, made necklaces and played hackysack all day? For those of us who love to drive, there is no substitute for a combustion engine. Regardless of polution or fuel consumption, when you hear that roar, there’s very few things that can give you that sense of power and savagery.
It seems, though, that someone has found a market for those of us would would drive an electric car if it looked awesome and went like a Roadrunner! Tesla Motors, presumably named after Nikola Tesla (scientist whose contributions to research on electricity and magnetism opened the doors for modern electrics), have made an electric car…that does zero to 60 in 4 seconds!
To give you some frame of reference, the Porsche 911 Turbo gets to 60 in about 3.7 seconds. However, the Porsche will hit 190mph while the Tesla is limited to 130. Still! 130 is pretty fast for an electric considering that most electric cars struggle to break 60!
Get this though: while the Porsche barely hits 20mpg on the highway, the Tesla’s electric motor (when converting electric consumption to gas equivalent) gives you roughly 135 mpg, or, according to the website, less than a cent per mile! Of course, you can only go 250 miles per charge (it takes 3.5 hours to charge to full) but hey, it’s not like you can got 250 miles without filling up in a regular supercar!
Especially when it looks like this! It looks like the love child of a Lotus Elise and a Porsche Carrera GT…although I’m not a big fan of the vents in the hood. Lose those and you have a very nice looking car. The car is, in fact, based on the Lotus Elise which may explain the similarity in looks.
Oh, and then there’s the price. The base model starts at $92,000 with all the regular amenities we’re used to with conventional automobiles. There are a variety of options which could put you well over 100 grand such as SatNav, Bluetooth phone integration and XM Satellite Radio. The first batch of a hundred is already sold out but you can order yours for a $30k or $50k deposit today and you should get it sometime in 2008.
This is a serious product for petroheads who have long believed that electric and hybrid cars are ugly and have horrible performance. The only problems I see for the Tesla Roadster is the 130 mph top speed, which isn’t that fast, and the charge time, which is rather slow but you can just plug it into any standard electrical outlet. Let’s hope that there will be more of these sorts of cars if electric is what is going to be standard in years to come.