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Old 4th February 2010, 08:10   #1
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Default The Tesla (electric car) experience!

A really great experience I had recently has prompted me to actually open a new thread here. Just got lucky enough to get a ride in a Tesla roadster!!! For those who don't know it Tesla Motors - High performance electric vehicles. Available now.

First impressions were that its a really low car and the driver really has to take care when going up/down curbs. The car is based on a Lotus chassis and Lotus actually builds and supplies it to Tesla. The body is primarily made of carbon fiber. Its fully electric with the batteries mounted just behind the seats in front of the rear wheels. They're actually about 7000 laptop batteries squeezed in there giving the car a range of about 200 miles (360km). Boot space is almost non existant, with the boot holding 2 thin bags as apparent from the picture.

This is an older model and came with a 2 speed transmission I think (not sure though). The car is very silent (obviously) and a pedestrian can hardly hear it coming. It has no power windows but no power steering which explains the great road feedback received.

Coming to the most enjoyable part - being powered by an electric motor, it gets its full torque right from 0 rpm . This means you get unbelievable acceleration which is among the very top even in the supercar range! (0-60mph is quoted to be 3.9 sec for the base model).
The car was not even fully floored when I was in it and still I was looking at my watch and it hit 70mph in like less than 5-6 seconds and the sheer acceleration made my head hit the headrest. The driving feel is a bit different from normal cars because of the immense power delivered very linearly (quite different from the MJD turbo rush felt back home but thrice as strong and throughout the rev range, just to give an idea). Also, to make it more efficient, as soon as the foot is lifted from the accelerator, the motor starts recharging the batteries almost making you feel like you are braking, which means that for everything other than complete halts, the brake is not even needed!

After a ride in this car, I really felt that electric cars have come a really long way and are here to stay. Hope its not a long post. I had only my phone then, so these are the only pics I have.

The first pic shows the boot space with the batteries on the right.
The second and third are the cockpit of the monster. It has TC as well which is pretty useful actually.
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Old 4th February 2010, 09:14   #2
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Thanks for the info and pic.Electric car coupled with petrol(hybrid cars) has become the trend now. In future solar powered cars will be the trend many R&D work is going on with the solar powered cars. There are many races that are taking place with solar power.They almost cover 600kms on an average.
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Old 4th February 2010, 15:25   #3
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Electric cars are going to EAT everything in their path when it comes to performance.

Right now the weakest link is battery technology. Its improving at a fast pace - but still has a long way to go.

Ofcourse - Engine sound, the smell of gasoline and manual gearboxes are currently lacking.

Tesla has done a big part in establishing the electric sportscar concept. The have some cool stuff going.

Heres another one. Wrightspeed X1. Its using a slightly modified Ariel Atom chassis.

Here it is making fun of a Gallardo and a NASCAR :


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Old 4th February 2010, 15:57   #4
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There's a long way to go for such electric supercars. This is just the beginning of a modern electric roadster. I'm sure we'll have cars in near future that will be as much fun to drive as any other supercar. But given the 2010 Tesla Roadster's $129,000 price tag and small cabin, this car is not for someone who wants performance while saving the world. For that, he'd be better off buying the Toyota Prius!
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Old 4th February 2010, 18:00   #5
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Nice report meghan. I guess this is the way of the future. Though still a bit away, it wont belong before we see electric Ferraris and Lamborghinis too. The Telsa is definately a step in the right direction. But yes, as Rehaan mentioned, the exhaust note and the smell of petrol will surely be missed.
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Old 4th February 2010, 18:18   #6
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I love electric cars except for the sound of the engine (melody actually). May be they could simulate an artificial noise of the engine with an option to choose variety of exhaust notes (a kit to make noise of Corvette, another one for Mustang, another one for Lambo) like we used to tie a stick to the rear wheel of the cycle & noise that comes out when the stick hits against each spoke of the cycle wheel
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Old 4th February 2010, 18:48   #7
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Nice report

@rehaan - Nice video but I think they should put the Arial Atom against the Wrightspeed X1 & see the results
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Old 4th February 2010, 20:44   #8
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nice report.

The rush of adrenalin is what the electrics can't give
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Old 4th February 2010, 22:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Right now the weakest link is battery technology. Its improving at a fast pace - but still has a long way to go.

Ofcourse - Engine sound, the smell of gasoline and manual gearboxes are currently lacking.

Heres another one. Wrightspeed X1. Its using a slightly modified Ariel Atom chassis.
R
Yes, the batteries are indeed the weakest link, them being responsible for both the high cost and low range of electric cars.

Wrightspeed X1 looks interesting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
I love electric cars except for the sound of the engine (melody actually). May be they could simulate an artificial noise of the engine with an option to choose variety of exhaust notes (a kit to make noise of Corvette, another one for Mustang, another one for Lambo) like we used to tie a stick to the rear wheel of the cycle & noise that comes out when the stick hits against each spoke of the cycle wheel
Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
nice report.

The rush of adrenalin is what the electrics can't give
Actually, instead of the engine sound, you do get a highly addictive electric whoosh rising in pitch when you accelerate really fast which I really enjoyed and think does make up quite a bit in the sound department.

And you do get an adrenaline rush actually, you should see the look on the driver's faces when they get out of the car, owners call them 'Tesla smiles'.

For those who think the driving experience is not good in electric cars should really get a ride in one of these cars and I'm sure that you will change your mind after that.
Even I was a bit skeptical about the claims made before I actually got a ride in the car.


Last edited by meghan : 4th February 2010 at 22:27.
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Old 5th February 2010, 00:50   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
....but I think they should put the Arial Atom against the Wrightspeed X1 & see the results
Hah! I was waiting for someone to say that

The top version Ariel Atom would probably beat this to 100km/h by 0.3 seconds, though the lowest spec atom would be about 0.7-0.9 seconds slower.

These are still "pre production" specs for the Wrightspeed.

Also keep in mind that with electric cars, within a certain window they can change the battery load sacrificing long-distance travel, but improving weight (and therefore acceleration) etc etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
The rush of adrenalin is what the electrics can't give
As meghan said - the instant torque is probably more of an adrenaline kick-start than most gas powered cars could provide.

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Old 5th February 2010, 01:37   #11
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Nice report. Great car but at what cost?. I pray for the day we can end dependancy on fossil fuel. Till then.
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Old 5th February 2010, 01:46   #12
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I kinda like the styling of the car,and gas or no gas if it moves well I'd go with it.All the more due to the non-polluting nature of the engine!
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Old 10th February 2010, 16:20   #13
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vow! I never thought about the linear power delivery of electric vehicles! So, as mentioned, an electric vehicle with enough power should be lot more fun to drive! I never struck me.
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Old 10th February 2010, 16:34   #14
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This looks good. My only worry is that electricity is generally not carbon neutral. But thats a bigger debate.
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Old 10th February 2010, 17:16   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
....it wont belong before we see electric Ferraris and Lamborghinis too.
Dippy the oracle.

Just a short time back Ferrari announced that they would be showcasing their 599 Hybrid for the upcoming Geneva show. A 599 with KERS!

More info : http://www.rpmgo.com/ferrari-to-show...eva-motor-show

cya
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Last edited by Rehaan : 10th February 2010 at 17:17.
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