On Earth Day it is appropriate to feature one of the most sustainable products of the future, the electric car. High gas prices and growing environmental consciousness could finally usher in a new era for electric cars. The Tesla Roadster and the TH!NK City, represent the two extremes in electric vehicle choices and they are among the first, if not the first, electric cars scheduled to go into production.
With the announcement, on March 17, that Tesla Motors had achieved their goal of starting regular production of the Tesla Roadster, the company claimed that the modern era of the electric car had begun.
While this is an important milestone for the company and a watershed for the new era of electric vehicles, we still have a lot of work to do. Our key focus with the Roadster will be on gradually ramping up our production in a deliberate and controlled manner reaching a rate of over 100 Roadsters per month early next year.
Ze'ev Drori, President and CEO, Tesla Motors
With a 0 to 60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds, a 13,000 rpm redline, the Roadster has the fastest top gear acceleration of any production car tested by Car & Driver magazine in 2007, With an EPA rating of 135 MPG equivalent, the Roadster provides super car performance at twice the energy efficiency. The batteries provide a range of more than 200 miles (333 km) between charges. The Roadster runs on 6,831 laptop computer batteries stuffed in a car, assembled by Britain's Lotus.
More than 1,000 customers have ordered the $98,000 2008 Roadster, according to the company. The estimated base price for the 2009 Roadster is $109,000. Final pricing will be announced just prior to the start of 2009 production.Tesla started production, making one or two cars a week, but it says it will steadily increase production to around 100 cars a month by early next year. Tesla had to delay production by about six month primarily due problems with the transmission. The company is now involved with lawsuits with both suppliers and competitors.
Think Global, the Norwegian electric car producer, along with RockPort Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, announced this Monday plans to introduce the TH!INK City to the North American Market in 2009.
The TH!NK city is currently produced in Norway and international sales are scheduled to begin in Scandinavia, with Switzerland and France also being the initial focus areas. Sales, other than initial trial and demonstration projects, will begin in the North American market in 2009.
"The TH!NK city is the world's only crash-tested and highway-certified electric vehicle and is ideal for markets such as California where we will initiate demonstration projects offering an exceptionally safe and fun car to drive."
-- Jan-Olaf Willums, CEO of Think Global