IT’S safe to say Jeremy Snyder gets a charge out of the two-seat Tesla Roadster whenever he pulls one off the lot — and not because it’s equipped with an all-electric engine.
As he pulled one of the sleek new automobiles down a side street and put the pedal to the metal, its lithium-ion battery-powered engine didn’t give off sparks.
It just emitted a powerful hum, something like a much quieter version of a jet taking off.
“I call it a turbine sound,” he said of the sound. “Because it’s an electric motor it’s got 100% torque all the time. So it just pulls you, like when you’re taking off in an airplane.” After several years of development, the Roadster — with sleek lines like a Ferrari or Porsche and a sticker price of $109,000 (€70,000) — moves from the drawing boards to the market this week when Tesla’s first store opens near Hollywood.
The car was developed with venture capital of more than $40 million from such investors as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. More stores are planned for Chicago, New York and other cities by early next year.
The car goes from 0 to 60 mph in just under four seconds and tops out at 125 mph. It goes about 350km on one charge and can be fully recharged in 3.5 hours, which Tesla officials say should allow most people to drive it to work and back and recharge it at night like a cell phone.
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