Tesla Roadster

The Tesla Roadster is one of the earliest electric production sports cars (if not the first one), and it helped change the public perception that electric vehicles were slow, with a 0-60 MPH acceleration time of 3.9 seconds. Tesla Motors eventually released the Tesla Roadster Sport which could make 0-60 MPH sprint in 3.7 seconds.

The car was first unveiled on July 19, 2006 in Santa Monica, California at an invitation-only event in Barker Hangar  at Santa Monica Airport. The first Tesla Roadsters were delivered in 2008. During the first two months of production (before regular series production started), only three vehicles were produced: P3/VINF002, P4/VINF004, and P5/VINF005.

The Tesla Roadster. Image obtained with thanks from Tesla Motors.

Tesla Roadster Fact Sheet/Datasheet

  • Years produced: 2008-2012.
  • Codename: DarkStar.
  • Doors: Two.
  • Kerb weight: 1,235 kg (2,723 pounds).
  • Wheelbase: 2,352 mm (92.6 inches).
  • Length: 3,946 mm (155.4 inches).
  • Width: 1,873 mm (73.7 inches).
  • Height: 1,127 mm (44.4 inches).
  • Estimated Efficiency: 216 Wh/mile (battery capacity / range), or 120 MPGe.
  • Original retail price: $109,000 (2010).

This vehicle was assembled in the following regions:

  • Hethel, Norfolk, England.
  • Menlo Park, California, USA.

Tesla Roadster Performance Specs

  • 0-60 mph acceleration time: 3.7 seconds for the Sport model, 3.9 seconds for the base model.
  • Top Speed: 125 mph. The sport is also 125 mph.
  • Gravimetric energy density of battery pack: 117 Wh/kg.
  • Volumetric energy density of battery pack: 37 Wh/L.

Propulsion System

  • 248 to 288 HP (185 to 215 kW) 3-phase, 4-pole AC induction motor (the Sport was 288 HP). Torque: 270 to 400 Newton-metres. (200 to 295 foot-pounds).
  • Motor voltage: 375 volts.
  • Transmission: Single speed BorgWarner (just a reduction gear). Gear ratio: 8.27:1.
  • RWD.
  • Battery pack: 53 kWh lithium-ion pack with battery heater for charging to -20 degrees C.
  • Range per charge: 393 km (245 miles).
  • Regenerative Braking: Yes.
  • Extended range/EREV: No. This vehicle is all-electric.

Article Glossary

Wh/mile: Watt-hours of energy consumed by the vehicle per mile.

RWD: Rear-Wheel-Drive.

kWh: Kilowatt-hour.

Extended-range/EREV: EREV means extended range electric vehicle. Such vehicles are electrically propelled. However, a backup generator is present to provide them with electricity if needed.

Gravimetric energy density (of a battery pack): Also known as energy-to-weight ratio: This is the amount of energy stored per kg of a given battery pack’s weight.

Volumetric energy density: Also known as power-to-size ratio, this is the amount of energy stored per litre of the battery’s volume. This is basically a measure of how compact the battery pack is.

Source: Tesla Motors and Wikipedia.