click above image for more pics of the Tesla Roadster

New Tesla Motors CEO Michael Marks sent out a letter to all their customers yesterday confirming both some good and bad news. The good news is that the efforts of Tesla's engineers over the last several months have resulted in the recovery of most of the range that had been lost to weight increases and other engineering changes. The Roadster has now been validated on the EPA combined cycle with a range of 245 miles (252 city and 236 highway). Your mileage will of course vary. They have also made structural improvements and one of the validation prototypes has now passed the side impact test that caused problems for an earlier version.

On the downside, prospective buyers will have to wait longer for their cars. Tesla's revised production schedule now has them only building a small number of production cars by the end of this year with the first fifty being delivered in the first quarter of 2008. Once production ramps up a bit they plan to turn out another 600 cars by the end of the 2008 model year. You can read Marks' letter to buyers here.