More Tesla Models and Service Centers on the Way

Tesla

We've already seen the Tesla Model S, which is on sale now, and the new midsize Tesla Model X crossover that's due out in early 2014. A compact, entry-level Tesla priced around $30,000 also should be coming in 2015. Now we're learning that the automaker also plans to build a compact crossover and a new Tesla Roadster by 2016, Tesla founder Elon Musk told Wired Magazine. That would bring the carmaker's lineup up to five vehicles from today's one.

The Roadster and the compact crossover are being designed and engineered in tandem, according to Musk, and would go on sale at the same time in 2016. Like the now-defunct Tesla Roadster, Musk says the new model will have supercar performance, but, unlike the old Roadster, it will be less expensive. A base 2011 Tesla Roadster cost $109,000.

By Colin Bird | September 13, 2012 | Comments (3)

Charging the 2010 Tesla Roadster Video

If electric cars still seem like a foreign concept to you, up until a few months ago, most of the editors at Cars.com hadn’t experienced the fun of driving one of these throttle-packed vehicles, either. All that get-up-and-go requires frequent plug ins, and fortunately, our local parking garage installed two charging stations. Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder took a crack at using the machines during his test of the 2010 Tesla Roadster. Much to his surprise, the attempted charge did not go as planned. Check out the video above to see why.

By Colin Bird | October 14, 2010 | Comments (2)

2010 Tesla Roadster Video

Despite the hubbub about the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Roadster is the only battery-powered electric car sold in the U.S. market as of ... today. Cars.com’s senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder managed to get some drive time in a 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport, and he was impressed by the sporty nature of the EV. To learn more about the Tesla’s strengths and weaknesses, watch the full the video above.

2010|Tesla|Roadster

By Colin Bird | October 13, 2010 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: Tesla 2.0, 2.5 Roadster

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Electric sports carmaker Tesla is recalling 439 of its latest Roadster models due to a potentially defective low-voltage cable. The 12-volt auxiliary cable could lose power, which would impact systems including headlights, taillights, turn signals, hazard lights and airbags. The recall was initiated after the cable caused a short in a vehicle, leading to a fire.

The models involved in the recall are the Roadster 2.0 and 2.5. The Roadster 1.5 is not included in the recall.

Tesla has reported the recall to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and begun contacting customers. The fix will include inspecting the cable’s routing and adding a protective sleeve over it.

Customers can contact their Tesla dealer for more information.

By David Thomas | October 4, 2010 | Comments (2)

Hybrids Lose California Carpool Privileges

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If you’ve ever driven in California, you’d know that one of the state’s defining qualities is its carpool lanes. Carpool or high-occupancy vehicle lanes are lanes of traffic designated for vehicles with more than one commuter. According to California’s Department of Transportation, nearly half of all the traffic on state highways travels through HOV lanes. HOV lanes can be used by solo drivers of motorcycles and people with white or yellow clean-air stickers on their cars (shown above). That means stickered vehicles like the Honda Civic Hybrid and Toyota Prius can drive down the carpool lane without remorse. 

Well, with hybrids being as popular as they are in California — 85,000 people have an exemption sticker on their hybrids already — the state has decided to let the stickers lapse or expire at the end of this year. Hybrid cars with only one occupant in them would have to merge back into the mixed-flow lanes. 

We’re in favor of this move as the idea behind carpool lanes is to move more people, not more cars. We understand the concept behind the yellow clean-air stickers was to promote hybrids, which get double the mileage of many other vehicles on the road, but there are a number of 30-plus mpg cars on the road today that aren’t hybrids. 

Of course, buyers of the Tesla Roadster, Honda’s fuel cell FXC Clarity or Honda’s compressed gas Civic GX would still be permitted to drive in the HOV lane with one driver as those drivers are a part of a much more elite class of white clean-air-sticker holders. 

HOV lanes are typically only enforced during peak traffic periods, with the exception of most in Los Angeles, where it is enforced 24/7. The minimum fine for being caught in a HOV lane with only one passenger is $381. As with most hard-and-fast laws in California, there are dozens of exemptions, exceptions and addendums. 

California drivers shouldn’t give up their hopes yet, as pending legislation could extend the yellow stickers until July 1, 2011. For a complete list of cars that qualify for yellow or white clean-air stickers go here.

By Colin Bird | July 13, 2010 | Comments (13)

Tesla Unveils Newest Iteration of EV Roadster

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Tesla recently released information on its fourth-generation Roadster, called the Roadster 2.5. The model features some cosmetic changes, interior improvements and a larger touch-screen. 

The front clip and rear diffuser have been refreshed, supposedly to resemble stylistic cues on the upcoming Model S. Other exterior changes include new forged wheel designs. 

Under the hood, the 2.5 Roadster gets improved sound-deadening materials and something called “power control hardware” that allows the driver to maintain a vigorous driving style even under severely hot temperatures. 

 Inside, the Roadster gets improved seats that include larger bolsters and a new lumbar system for better comfort. The optional navigation system has been upgraded to a 7-inch screen with a backup camera; last year’s was a tiny in-dash unit. 

The 2.5 Roadster will be available at Tesla stores shortly. If you’re already one of the 1,000-plus owners of a Roadster, you can get many of the new features on your vehicle if you are willing to upgrade, according to Tesla. 

Check out more pictures of the Tesla Roadster 2.5 after the jump.

By Colin Bird | July 2, 2010 | Comments (4)

Tesla Stock Price Holds Steady After IPO

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It’s been more than 50 years since an American automaker had an initial public offering on a U.S. stock exchange. Earlier today, Tesla broke that barrier, and despite warnings from many analysts about the risky finances of the company — and its president — the stock has been holding steady at just over $18 after dropping from its $19 opening price to $17.50 almost immediately. The stock price was originally slated for $14-$16.

Electric-car Maker Tesla Opens Strong After IPO (Los Angeles Times)

Related
Tesla's Not So Typical Dealership

By David Thomas | June 29, 2010 | Comments (2)

Tesla's Not-So-Typical Dealership

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FuelBlazing_icon With the recent news that Toyota will invest in electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla, we thought it would be the perfect time to check out Tesla’s new Chicago dealership. Nestled in an industrial no man’s land just off the main freeway that bisects the city, the Chicago Tesla Store has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it quality. Not that Tesla sells its lone model, the Roadster, based off of red, white and blue streamers or oversized inflatable gorillas.

Starting at $109,000, the all-electric sports car is a double-niche product. It’s a lightning-quick two-seater with no gas tank — a toy for the wealthy — yet it’s also the most environmentally friendly car currently available.

“It’s a beautiful car, and it’s different than anything out there,” said Regional Sales Manager Dustin Krause. “There are a lot of people interested for a lot of different reasons, but think of how many [Porsche] 911s are out there. It’s that type of interest, but it throws the common thinking of an electric vehicle on its head.”

Krause won’t say how many Roadsters the store has sold since its grand opening in January but assures me Tesla Chicago — one of just seven Tesla stores in the country and the only Midwestern outpost — is doing just fine. Tesla spokesman Khobi Brooklyn said the automaker has sold about 1,200 Roadsters nationwide as of April.

The formal showroom is small, with three Roadsters and a display of the electric motor accounting for most of the decor. The majority of the cars they sell are custom-ordered and shipped from the manufacturer in California, said Seneca Geise, a sales adviser in the Chicago store.

By Stephen Markley | May 28, 2010 | Comments (1)

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