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Offline AshSimmonds

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I never bothered to start a topic on this car as when it was concieved a couple years ago it specifically stated it would only ever be available in California or something like that, but I just found a couple articles about Simon Hackett - the dude who started Internode - is bringing one in.  Also a few nice little commentaries on the state of Oz motor industry legislation.

Quote
WEEKEND READ: Power shortage
Simon Hackett

Iíve been an electric car fan for a long time. Some friends in the USA, back in the last electric car era, had two General Motors (GM) ĎEV Ií cars Ė the stars of the movie Who Killed The Electric Car. They did the only thing it takes to turn any car driver into an EV fan: turn one over to me and say ďsee you in a few days.Ē

Making this car was a grudge project for GM, forced into existence by a Ďclean airí mandate from the California Air Resources Board, CARB. But nobody told GMís engineers that; for them this was a labour of love, and the car absolutely rocked.

I was hooked.

Driving an electric car feels like stepping into a jet aircraft after a lifetime of flying little bug smashers with propellers. Eerily quiet, they have a flat torque curve from zero rpm. Putting your foot down Ė at any speed Ė commands an instant kick in the back. They operate with ease at US highway speeds.

The EVís only real challenge was range, as a function of the available battery technology. As anyone who watched the movie knows, GM couldnít kill them off fast enough as soon as CARB lost their nerve in the face of extensive political lobbying from the car industry at the time.

Fast forward to today. Tesla Motors have created an electric sports car for today. Itís the first full production EV since the EV I era and like the EV I, it rocks: 0-100 km/h in less than four seconds. Over 360 km range Ė far more than most Australian cars in the real world. Silent. Pretty. Zero tailpipe emissions. Able to be charged from solar panels on your own roof.

I had been wanting to buy an EV ever since I was hooked on the GM EV I, all those years ago. So it was no surprise that I became the first (and to date, the only) Australian to order a Tesla Roadster. Mine gets built in Q1 2009.

But I expect a battle to get it legally on the road in Australia. While itís a fully crash tested and California-legal road car, itís also left hand drive.

Unlike in Europe and the UK, a curiosity of the Australian registration system is that itís perfectly okay to register a left hand car here if itís a 30 year old Caddy (and probably a death trap in a crash), but not if itís a current production model.

I guess this is designed to protect the so-called local car industry.

Taken a look at the local car industry lately?

That industry Ė and sadly, politicians here too Ė seem to think hybrids are the way of the future, but in fact theyíre the way of the present.

Meanwhile, take a look at the financial state of GM now. Talk about adapt or die!

But the greatest irony to me is this: to bring the car in, so I can start battling the registration regulations, I first have to pay the punitive and ill-conceived luxury car tax. And this is really going to hurt for a $US100,000 car at current exchange rates.

When the luxury car tax was jacked up even further a few months ago, the independents managed to carve out a minor reduction in that impost for fuel efficient cars. This was for a fossil fuel consumption rate below a defined threshold.

But sadly nobody thought to argue for the obvious amendment: a zero luxury car tax rate for cars with zero fuel consumption.

Surely, saving the planet isnít a luxury?

Simon Hackett is co-founder and managing director of Internode and a prominent technology advocate.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/WEEKEND-READ-Electric-cars-are-not-a-luxury-LD2TP?OpenDocument&src=ea

Quote
Tesla Motors Electric Cars - Prove there is No such thing as Peak Oil.

California car company Tesla Motors is manufacturing itís Tesla Roadster. The all electric car that is faster from 0-100kms than a Porsche or Ferrari .

Australian Simon Hackett [pictured] has one on order. Simon is the managing director and founder of technology company internode.

In the weekend read section of Business Spectator Simon writes:

Driving an electric car feels like stepping into a jet aircraft after a lifetime of flying little bug smashers with propellers. Eerily quiet, they have a flat torque curve from zero rpm. Putting your foot down - at any speed - commands an instant kick in the back. They operate with ease at US highway speeds.

    The EVís only real challenge was range, as a function of the available battery technology. As anyone who watched the movie knows, GM couldnít kill them off fast enough as soon as CARB lost their nerve in the face of extensive political lobbying from the car industry at the time.

    Fast forward to today. Tesla Motors have created an electric sports car for today. Itís the first full production EV since the EV I era and like the EV I, it rocks: 0-100 km/h in less than four seconds. Over 360 km range - far more than most Australian cars in the real world. Silent. Pretty. Zero tailpipe emissions. Able to be charged from solar panels on your own roof.

    I had been wanting to buy an EV ever since I was hooked on the GM EV I, all those years ago. So it was no surprise that I became the first (and to date, the only) Australian to order a Tesla Roadster. Mine gets built in Q1 2009.

Why are the world car manufacturers concentrating on building hybrid cars when companies like Tesla can build all electric cars that use no oil what so ever?

You can only guarantee one thing, this technology will get better and better and within the next decade we could see the combustion engine the same way as we view the steam engine, as museum pieces.

Those that carry on about Ďpeak oilí as they did in the 70ís will once again discover that manís ability to develop new technologies to replace what was once considered a scarce natural resources (oil) means we never have peak anything.




Offline AshSimmonds

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<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykT2OFXpJkg" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykT2OFXpJkg</a>



Offline trev0006

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Tesla electric car  reviewed by Supercars Exposed.
<a href="http://videos.streetfire.net/vidiac.swf?video=b2ddb51a-98bb-4b6c-aa4c-9ba400ba63e6" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://videos.streetfire.net/vidiac.swf?video=b2ddb51a-98bb-4b6c-aa4c-9ba400ba63e6</a>
Fast cars and fast motorcycle video collection



Offline mhh

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Quote
reviewed by Supercars Exposed.


Oops, he didn't get around to driving it.  :doh:

Re Simon Hackett, good move but how does he get it registered?  I'll wait for the first RHD electric car thanks.



Offline trev0006

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Tesla Roadster  test and review by Car and Driver.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge0jgudOQzc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge0jgudOQzc</a>
Fast cars and fast motorcycle video collection



Offline AshSimmonds

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Quote
First drive: Tesla Roadster
Toby Hagon, drive.com.au, March 21, 2009

With a turbine-like whir and performance to match a Porsche the Tesla Roadster electric car is like no other.


From the moment you start the Tesla Roadster itís clear it is a unique machine, arguably more familiar to those who drive electric golf buggies than cars. Instead of the clatter of the starter motor as it fires the engine to life thereís a simple beep to signify the vehicle is now ready for action.

Otherwise the controls for this electric car are similar to those in a conventional car. A stubby gearlever helps select forward and reverse (although there is no gear lever). Like any automatic, there are only two pedals - a brake and accelerator. The speedo reads to 150mph (242km/h) while the tachometer shows the motor can rev to 15,000rpm Ė double that of an average petrol engine.

Being based on the Lotus Elise itís a cosy cabin, with head and leg room at a premium. Thereís also the occasional hint of other cars, such as the washer/indicator stalks that are borrowed from Opel (Europeís Holden).

Manoeuvring at low speeds you notice the heavy steering, but it lightens quickly once on the move.

Squeezing the accelerator for the first time is an eerie experience, with instant response and a mild whir as the motor builds speed.

Being an electric car I was expecting near silence Ė one of the concerns raised by some enthusiasts is that electric cars lack sound of a petrol engine Ė but was surprised to hear so much.

As speed rises so does the pitch and volume of the whirring, resulting in a muted turbine-like yowling thatís in keeping with the Teslaís image.

My brief test drive was on public roads, so not enough to put the Tesla through its paces around corners. But the steering felt accurate and responsive.

When you lift off the accelerator thereís noticeable deceleration, similar to that of a petrol car thatís revving hard in a low gear. As the electric motor starts to wind down itís also recovering some of the energy lost in accelerating. Thereís also regenerative braking, which helps recover energy normally lost in heat through the brakes by transferring kinetic energy into electricity.

One of the weirdest sensations is when you come to a stop at a set of lights or intersection. Thereís almost complete silence, as though the engine has stalled, with only the clicking of the indicator interrupting the hush.

Another thing you do notice, though, are the looks from interested onlookers. Some are just admiring what is a small, sexy sports car. But others recognise it an electric car.

ďThis is that Tesla electric car, isnít it?Ē asked one passer-by.

Others are happy just to take photos. Needless to say, itís a car that garners interest.

Perhaps most interesting is that the Tesla can be driven similar distances to a petrol car, with a claimed range of nearly 400km.

A screen near the driverís knee displays how much energy is left in the batteries and how long till the next recharge.

Thatís as simple as plugging an extension cord into a power point, although charging times can be extensive. Depending on the voltage and amps of the power outlet, youíre looking at between 3.5 and 16 hours.

Itís hardly conducive to a drive around Australia. Then again, thatís not what the Tesla is about. And for most peopleís driving, it would be just fine.

Price: US$109,000
Motor: 375-volt AC induction air-cooled electric motor with variable frequency drive
Batteries: Lithium-ion with 6831 microprocessor-controlled cells
Battery life: Five years or 160,000km (estimated 5000 charge cycles)
Power: 185kW at 5000-8000rpm
Torque: 375Nm at 0-4500pm
0-100km/h: 4 seconds
Top speed: 201km/h

http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=61666&IsPgd=0



Offline AshSimmonds

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Quote
Tesla: 500th Roadster delivered

New York (NY) Ė Tesla said it has just delivered the 500th unit of its Lotus Elise-based all-electric Roadster.

The 500th Roadster went to Martin Tuchman, former chairman and CEO of Interpool, and chairman of The Tuchman Foundation and a board member of The Parkinson's Alliance and Parkinson's Disease Foundation of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. Tuchman said he plans to charge his Roadster partly with solar energy thanks to photovoltaic panels he helped install throughout his hometown of Kingston, NJ.

The 2009 Tesla Roadster is currently priced at $101,500 in its 248 hp base configuration. Tesla will begin offering a $121,000 performance model in July, which is promised to deliver 288 hp and shaves off two tenths from the 0-60 mph time (3.7 seconds for the performance model).

Tesla plans to introduce its first sedan, called the Model S, in 2011 as a limited edition version to 1000 buyers. The price of this limited edition has not been determined yet, but we know that the full-production version of the Model S, which is scheduled for a 2012 launch, will cost $49,900 in its base configuration.

http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/42781/178/



Offline AshSimmonds

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Big silent convoy :tilt:

http://www.autobloggreen.com/photos/convoy-of-50-tesla-roadsters/2068248/

Quote
Convoy of Tesla Roadsters in California commemorates 500th delivery

Just what do you call a gathering of 30 or so Tesla Roadsters all in one place? A gaggle? A flock? After taking a look at the photos of such an event from our friends at Speed and Motion, we'll go with "convoy." This crowd was brought together to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Tesla's first retail store and the delivery of the 500th Tesla Roadster, meaning that the cars you see in the pictures below represent less than one tenth of total Roadster production so far. Duane from Speed and Motion describes the experience this way:

What a treat it was to experience 60 miles along the streets and freeways of LA including a run through the scenic Malibu canyons. What surprised me was how quick (0-to-60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds) and agile in the corners this electric vehicle really is on the road. We made a pit stop at the Rock Store before heading over to for a wonderful for a barbecue at Greener Pasture Ranch, a Tesla customer's private home.

Riding in these cars is so peaceful and tranquil. It sure was a change from the loud and wild exotic cars that we are used to experiencing here at speedandmotion! One thing I can say for sure is the owners are such a spirited and lively group, not to mention car aficionados at heart.



Offline AshSimmonds

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Quote
Tesla electrifies

By Mark Hinchliffe

THE future of motoring is quiet, powerful and electrifying, according to Tesla.


The world's fastest electric car rolled into Brisbane for the second annual Greenfest last weekend and the Tesla Roadster was also put through its paces at Queensland Raceway where the V8 Supercars usually roar.

While there was no roar from the quiet electric car, there was still plenty of V8-style acceleration with the tiny vehicle whipping up to 100km/h in an impressive 4.2 seconds on a wet track with two people on board.

Down the back straight of the circuit, the car wound out to an indicated 110mph (177km/h), just short of its electronically limited top speed of 200km/h.

While there have been plug-in electric cars before and new models are about to hit the Australian market, these are plodding and quirky looking, are slow to recharge and have limited range. This is where the Tesla is different. It looks and goes like a Ferrari, recharges in 3.5 hours and has a range of about 390km, depending on how hard it is driven.

When we hopped into the car at the track the computer screen display on the left side of the steering wheel said the effective range was 285km.

After less than a dozen laps and some hard 0-100km/h tests, the screen displayed the message: "Motor getting hot. Power reduced." Range was then reduced to about 100km.

By this stage the four-wheel ventilated disc brakes were also getting fairly hot and ineffective while the road tyres were losing traction on the wet track with standing water in some corners.

We still managed to set a time on the truncated "sportsman" circuit of 1.13.57. That's not bad considering race cars do the same lap in about 1:06.

It's also a track record for an electric car that will probably stand for some years.

Our times were gradually getting worse due to the fading brakes, reduced motor power and my passenger; a nervous Eric "the human handbrake" Erickson. He represents Internode the internet service provider which imported the vehicle for display purposes.

Erickson said the car was not designed as a track car, but an "everyday sports car".

"It is designed to give the other manufacturers a bit of a fright that while they are still thinking about their electric cars, this one is already available and turning some heads," he said.

It certainly is a head-turner, looking as futuristic as the DeLorean in Back to the Future.

Although it doesn't have a flux capacitor for time travel, it is named after a unit of magnetic flux density which is named after Serbian physicist and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla who also invented the radio, AC motor and Tesla coil.

The Tesla Roadster costs about $160,000 and is only available in left-hand drive so it is not registrable on Australia's roads. However, a right-hand version will be built in England from February.

It is currently sold in only the US, England, Germany and France.

Tesla is also working on a four-door sedan Model S which is expected to hit the market in 2012. It will cost half as much as the Roadster with almost 500km range, a 45-minute recharge time and a 0-100km/h time of 5.6sec.

The Roadster is a product of Tesla Motors in California's Silicon Valley, but was designed by English sports car company Lotus and is assembled in Hethel, England, using many of the Lotus Elise parts and a lightweight carbon fibre body.

Its remarkable acceleration comes from a mixture of immediate maximum torque, light weight and a good power-to-weight ratio.

The Roadster weighs just 1.2 tonne, which is about half a tonne less than a 3.5-litre V6 Commodore Omega, but has 185kW of power which is 10kW more and 380Nm of torque which is an extra 55Nm over the Commodore.

Launching off the starting line is like stepping on to an escalator.

With maximum torque from 0-5500rpm there is instant cheek-ripping acceleration.

However, despite being made by Lotus, this is not a hard-edged sports car and by no means a track car.

The suspension is fairly plush with a bit of nose dive under hard braking.

It understeers a little into corners which is surprising given its mid-mounted motor and batteries and light front end.

Punching the throttle to shift the weight and steering emphasis to the tail is hampered by the soft intervention of the stability control system and the human handbrake's refusal to allow me to switch it off.

It uses a single-speed transmission with reversed polarity for reverse which has a limited speed.

Turn the ignition on and you can hear the whirring sound of the large fans under the bonnet which are part of the airconditioning for the cabin and to keep the batteries cool.

Then there is a chiming sound to say that the motor is switched on and ready to go.

Move away and the whirring increases, but not much louder than normal tyre noise.

The brakes feature a regenerative system to recover power and return it to the battery. It also acts as an "engine braking" system when you take your foot off the accelerator.

This braking effect is much more noticeable at slow speeds than high speeds where the vehicle coasts along and slows gradually.

Steering is very heavy, the turning circle is not good and rear visible is poor, so parking is tricky.

However, the steering feels precise at high speeds around the "paper-clip" Queensland Raceway circuit, although there is a fair bit of kickback over the notorious bumps.

The small steering wheel is set low and is non-adjustable.

While the outside is well made and the sports seats are leather, the spartan interior trim is dominated by hard plastic and cheap-looking instruments.

Getting in and out is as difficult as in a Lotus Elise, but once in the cockpit, it feels comfortable with generous legroom and headroom.

The rag top has to be removed by hand and stored in the surprisingly big boot.

Even with the top removed, there is little wind noise, so the lack of aural feedback is quite a surprise at high speed.

An interesting feature is a valet mode that restricts speed, acceleration and range while a valet is parking your car Ė so no Ferris Bueller's Day Off, either.

Is this the green future of motoring?

Not until the mains electricity is also green, but at least it should reduce CO2 emissions in cities and quieten traffic noise.


Tesla Roadster
PRICE: about $200,000 on the road
MOTOR: 3-phase electric
POWER: 185kW and 14,000rpm limit
TORQUE: 380Nm from 0-5500rpm
TRANSMISSION: single speed, rear-wheel drive
BRAKES: ventilated discs with ABS, stability control and regenerative power
DIMENSIONS (mm): 3946 (l), 1873 (w), 1127 (h), 2352 (wheelbase)
TRACK (mm): 1464/1499
KERB WEIGHT: 1220kg
PERFORMANCE: 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds (claimed), 4.2 seconds (tested)
TOP SPEED: 200km/h (limited)
RANGE: 390km
RECHARGE: 3.5 hours
BATTERY REPLACEMENT: about $16,000
CO2 EMISSIONS: 0g/km
FUEL ECONOMY: 0L/100km

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25614928-5010760,00.html



Offline PA

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Pity the writer did not get all their facts right, but then I guess they never do.  :boggled:



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