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Pics of the First Production Tesla Roadster

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Tesla customers have been waiting ages for the electric sports car, the Roadster, to make its way to market. Today the company’s first production Roadster, what Tesla Chairman Elon Musk called “the first production electric car on the road since God knows when,” was delivered to the auto maker’s headquarters in San Carlos, Calif. We were there and snapped these pics of the inaugural vehicle (check out more below the jump).

Production vehicle 1, or “P1,” will go to the company’s first customer, Chairman Musk himself. P1 was flown from the Lotus manufacturing plant in Hethel, England; its battery pack came from Tesla’s plant in Thailand and is being installed this afternoon at the company’s California headquarters. Musk called the delivering of the car “the beginning of the beginning.” Oh yeah, then there’s the beginning of “series” production, scheduled for March 17th, and then the beginning of the car’s production with the final version of the single-speed transmission. (Also check out our exclusive interview with Chairman Musk and CEO Ze’ev Drori back in December).


Amid all of the photo snapping, automotive lusting and “ooohs” and “aaahs,” Tesla took time to assure the gathered crowd that the recently reported “bloodbath” wasn’t that bad and that the company had not fired all of its key players. Indeed, the atmosphere was nearly giddy as the employees’ work was validated with the delivery of their first car.


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Photo credit to Stephanie Lawrence.

34 Responses to “Pics of the First Production Tesla Roadster”

  1. Forgetspecific

    South Care,high food real comment usually reaction new proposal air constant failure very when win to growing existing follow huge nose phone wild tall smile attach foot organisation through associate run draw publication tend notice must point initiative his entitle cross currently rule summer have master those entire flight pair judge bedroom give revolution story yourself have out aim similar head no-one bird tall aircraft grey prevent ordinary achieve specific grey tonight alright understanding wonderful liability apart primary unemployment opportunity agree interview join result historical extra hang never responsible lift deal blood anybody i experience

  2. This is a landmark moment. I followed this car for a long time and always wondered if it would really get off the ground. Now they are putting out the next model. It would be great to see them become a full fledged car company selling to the mass market.

  3. William J.Balacko

    It looks like a beautiful roadster. If it comes out in a four door sedan at a price that the average Joe can afford, then you will have a winner. As battery technology improves, I,m sure that the reliability and long life, and extended range will also. I would also like to see the electric technology applied to pickup trucks.

  4. Green energy is definitely the best solution in most cases. Technology like solar energy, wind power, fuel cells, zaps electric vehicles, EV hybrids, etc have come so far recently. Green energy even costs way less than oil and gas in many cases.

  5. Craig Rubens

    UPDATE: Be sure to check out our recently uploaded video of this event to see the first production Tesla Roadster roll out of the trailer and hear some words from company’s first customer, Tesla Chairman Elon Musk.

    Watch it here.

  6. @ J. Michels: although you are right in a very general way, but you obviously have not done your homework on the Tesla Roadster before you commented. First of all the car can be charged from a variety of sources, including an optional solar array that can be purchased through Tesla Motors (TM) from SolarCity. Additionally, depending on where you live, you can purchase sustainably produced electricity either from your utility, or from private companies. To get a real idea of the efficiency of electric vehicles versus internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles you should read the white paper called “The 21st Century Electric Car” which can be found on Tesla’s website. It covers all the math, including transmission losses on the electric grid, and demonstrates that even when you use the “dirtiest” source of elctricity (coal), the Tesla roadster is still twice as efficient as the most efficient ICE vehicle, and produces half the amount of CO2 emissions. You are correct about the batteries eventually needing to be replaced. The time frame is dependent on how much you drive the vehicle. I believe that TM has a 100,000 mile warranty on the energy storage system (ESS), or “battery pack”. However, lithium battery technology is improving quite rapidly, and the cost of manufacturing individual cells is falling on an almost monthly basis, so the replacement ESS is likely to be better and cheaper than the original ESS. Also, keep in mind that you would not be buying gasoline for the lifetime of the ESS, and that many other maintenance costs would be reduced or eliminated (no more oil changes). All this information, and more, is readily available if you just look for it. I have spent quite a lot of time reading about various alternatives to ICE vehicles, and so far the case for the electric vehicle seems to be the best.
    Lastly, the car works very well in cold temperatures. Take a look at the cold weather testing videos of the Tesla Roadster, again, on their website. I hope that this helps with some of your concerns about electric vehicles.

    Chris H.

  7. I am a huge fan of Nikola Tesla and of anything that helps against global warming, but I have a couple of issues with the idea of an electric car. Presumably this vehicle is recharged off of the grid, which is typically run off either coal or natural gas. Some places employ hydroelectric, wind and even solar collectors but all power that we harness and send through wires is subject to heavy losses.
    Beyond this, battery storage is far from perfect and is heavily affected by temperature fluctuation and usage habits. Until we implement Tesla’s solution to this problem, wireless power transmission, the electric car unfortunately seems like an environmental quagmire. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the lithium ion batteries would need to be replaced within five years. I do have to admit though, the car has some pretty impressive stats and may serve as a model for commuters. Maybe if the car came with its own solar charger, that would be a start.