New years is a time filled with resolutions…so we figured why not kick off the new year with some focus on the eco-friendly electric cars currently working to redefine the American automotive pathos. And where better to start this electric-adventure than with the fine folks at San Francisco, California’s very own Tesla Motors.
The Tesla Roadster, the company’s first vehicle, is the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production EV with a range greater than 200 miles per charge. The base model accelerates 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and, according to Tesla Motor’s environmental analysis, is twice as energy efficient as the Toyota Prius. Since 2008 Tesla has sold more than 2,250 Roadsters in 31 countries through March 2012. Tesla began producing right-hand-drive Roadsters in early 2010 for the UK and Ireland markets, then expanded sales to right-hand-drive markets of Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Tesla sold the Roadster until 2012, when its supply of Lotus Elise gliders ran out, as its contract with Lotus Cars for 2,500 gliders expired at the end of 2011. Tesla stopped taking orders for the Roadster in the U.S. market in August 2011.
Tesla unveiled the Tesla Model S all-electric sedan on March 26, 2009 with an anticipated base price of US$57,400 before any government tax credit or subsidies. The Model S will have three battery pack options for a range of up to 265 miles (426 km) per charge. In October 2011, Tesla reached its limit of 6,500 reservations for the Model S and retail deliveries began June in 2012. The Model S is manufactured at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, an assembly plant formerly operated by NUMMI, a now defunct joint venture of Toyota and General Motors. Tesla purchased a stake in the site in May 2010 for US$42 million, and opened the facility in October 2010.
Tesla currently employs almost 900 full-time employees and is recruiting employees for positions in the headquarters in Palo Alto, California, at its European headquarters in Maidenhead, UK, and at an increasing number of sales facilities throughout North America and Europe.