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Local News / Automotive

Sunday, 23 May, 2010 10:45 PM

Tesla comes to metro Detroit to put drivers behind the wheel of its new Roadster electric vehicle

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Tesla Roadster produces 236 miles per charge, zero emissions and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.
by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- Amid brief showers Friday morning, representatives of Tesla Motor, Inc. provided the public and the media attendees with a chance to experience its new Tesla Roadster electric vehicles from the driver’s seat. While a black Roadster on hand for show, the display allowed guests who signed in to drive along the back road in a red-coated Roadster Sport, demonstrating the battery-powered car’s ability to reach 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.

The Tesla Roadster was at the Concept Factory in Southfield from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and at the Forest Lake Country Club in Bloomfield Hills from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. After signing a waiver form, individuals were allowed to drive the Roadster on the street for a mile or two.

"We wanted to come to Detroit to try to meet people in Michigan who may have not been introduced to our car before," said Dustin Krause, regional sales manager for Tesla Motors. "It's very important that we continue to push our brand forward and try to show it to as many people as possible. To really understand how special our vehicle is, you really have to drive it."

With 288 horsepower and a top speed of 125 miles per hour, the Roadsters are powered by lithium-ion packs with a lifecycle over 100,000 miles. The minimum charging time for one cycle is 3.5 hours, according to a press release. The body is made of hand-crafted carbon fiber and the chassis is made of bonded extruded aluminum.

Based out of Los Angeles, Tesla Motors has seen reasonable sales that total over 1,000, with model prices starting at $109,000 and leasing that comes to $1,600-1,700 a month. There is a $7,500 federal tax credit for buying this environmentally-friendly vehicle.

"With an electric vehicle and especially a Tesla, there's very little service involved," Krause added. "We also have Service Rangers. The Service Rangers would actually come right to you and can repair your car at your home. It only costs about $5 to charge. It requires very little maintenance. As an exotic car, it's very inexpensive to own and incredibly fun to drive."

This January, Tesla drove one of its Roadsters from L.A. to Detroit just in time for the North American International Auto Show. It was to prove that the infrastructure is already in place for electric vehicles.

Despite having additional stores and affiliates in Illinois, California, and five other states plus D.C. and Canada, the Tesla reps on hand were engaged in a tour that was concentrated in the Midwest region. There is no dealer in the Detroit area. However, interested buyers can go to their Chicago dealer, buy online or purchase the vehicle at one of their tour stops.

"The Roadster liberates me from foreign oil and wild price fluctuations at the pump," said John A. McEwan, owner of a Tesla Roadster. "It represents the fundamental paradigm shift that will define the 21st century. It has great road feel. I feel one with the seat! But beyond national security interests, the Roadster simply is exhilarating to drive."

Next weekend, the Tesla exhibition is heading down to Indiana in time for the Indianapolis 500, according to Krause.

For more information on the Tesla Roadster electric vehicle, visit www.teslamotors.com.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Tesla trailer rolled into Southfield on Friday morning.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

This Tesla Roadster is driven by Brian West, CEO of Southfield-based Concept Factory.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A look at the rear of the Tesla Roadster electric vehicle.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

This Tesla Roadster was available for test drives by the public and the media.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Visit TeslaMotors.com to find out when the Roadster will be in your area.

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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