• Jan 25, 2008
click above for more pics of the Tesla Roadster testing for the FMVSS

In order to legally be sold as a production vehicle in all 50 of these United States, a new car has to meet hundreds of requirements, some silly and some serious. Malcolm Powell, Tesla Motors VP of Vehicle Integration, reported on the company's blog recently that the Tesla Roadster has finished taking and passed every test of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Perhaps the most important requirements to meet are the crash tests, and as you can see, a number of Tesla Roaster prototypes were sacrificed to ensure that drivers and passengers alike would be reasonably safe in the case of an accident. Emergency cutoff systems have also been put in place for those worried about what happens to those 1.21 gigawatts behind their head in case of an accident.

The Tesla Roadster also passed muster in other tests, like being able to defrost the front windshield quickly and adequately, using symbols on the instrument panel that adhere to federal standards, and having headlights that aren't positioned to blind oncoming traffic.

That's one more hurdle jumped for the Tesla Roadster on its way from hyperbolic vaporware to actual production reality. With the FMVSS tests out of the way and a solution for the transmission issue in place, it doesn't seem like much can stop this revolutionary car from entering production on March 17th as promised.

Check out more pics of the Tesla Roadster undergoing federal testing in the gallery below.

[Source: Tesla via AutoblogGreen]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I still think the best hope for real success is to partner with an existing manufacturer. The infrastructure savings alone would be huge.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Factor in the polution created during the manufacturer of those battery packs and those so called "green" vehicles are actually the WORST!

      Expensive batteries made with dangerous chemicals are not the answer. We need to get moving on alcohol. Brazil is fully self dependent on E85 and does not have to import any oil.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's completely untrue, and that's only your assumption. Read my response to vintage: here, I'll even include a link to the study that explicitly shows factoring all manufacturing even the battery and EVEN assuming all electric production comes from coal the EV still pollutes less than the gasoline car. When it's not 100% coal it's drastically decreases the pollution. http://www.ilea.org/lcas/taharaetal2001.html
        Ethanol is the one that only marginally decreases pollution, studies have shown that corn ethanol may even pollution slightly MORE or only marginally less than gasoline cars depending on the calculation. Also nowadays EVs use nimh and li-ion batteries which are both recyclable. Even better is that li-ion batteries are not considered toxic (it is safe to put in landfills). Lead acid batteries exist in every car and the lead acid battery recycling program is one of the most successful recycling programs in the US (90% recycled) http://www.epa.gov/garbage/battery.htm

        Cellulosic ethanol holds great promise (corn ethanol not so much) but don't try to downplay other methods of lowering pollution using just your assumptions. This is especially true since corn ethanol is the only current commercially viable way to produce ethanol in the US. Realize there is no silver bullet; ethanol isn't guaranteed to solve our pollution problems, which is why we need to try all sorts of methods. EVs/PHEVs are one of them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Good news...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not really.

        Lithium ion batteries are produced only in China (which has no regulations whatsoever) and Japan, and need to be shipped all the way around the world? And how they only last roughly 5 years, and we have no way to recycle them yet? And the fact that building a new car is one of the most 'ungreen' decisions you can make? Want to be green? Drive an older car. Old cars kept on the road as long as possible is the best way to save energy, reduce waste and pollution, and help the environment.

        It's just an attempt to make people feel more 'green', but in reality it's actually doing more harm than good.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Let's hold the alarmist theories until you provide a source.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @vintage
        I have heard that argument many times. First off all, what you are saying applies to virtually any car (any product too) and any new lower emission technology. Making a new car expends a lot of energy, which is true. However, what your argument amounts to is that people should keep using their old cars and we should all stop manufacturing things. Even better is we should all bike and walk. However, that isn't realistic to expect at all. Following the same standards any new car follows today an EV will still have reduced emissions (though small) compared to a gasoline car factoring in all forms of pollution including manufacturing and battery and assuming all electric production comes from coal (which is not true as even places with the most coal (IE West Virginia) generation uses 73%); when it doesn't come from 100% coal the emissions fall drastically.
        Link: http://www.ilea.org/lcas/taharaetal2001.html
        Here's an article from slate that compares emissions from a corolla and the tesla roadster. Keep in mind they weight around the same (2600lbs vs 2700 lbs) and the roadster has almost twice the power output.
        http://www.slate.com/id/2179609/fr/rss/
        EVs lower emissions not only from CO2 but also from methane, nitrous oxide, and assorted other greenhouse gases. The exception is sulfur dioxide created by coal fired plants.
        Another thing is the argument the Roadster is useless since it is so expensive/impractical. However, it has been stated from the start that the Roadster is to raise funds so Tesla can drive downmarket as quickly as possible. Not only that, it proves that an EV can be viable and compete, which has really jumpstarted the EV and PHEV market recently (ie Lutz said he was partly motivated to push the Volt because of the Tesla proving it was possible).
        Seeing that the EV does improve on the ICE car, I don't see why we can't support it, esp if we are giving ethanol, hydrogen, biofuels all a try. Not to mention there are new technologies being invented that extend battery life (ie like the batteries that GM's Volt uses). What's to say Tesla can't adopt the new batteries for their next car when the time comes.
        Also adopting EVs mean that the focus on pollution will shift to the powerplants and manufacturing (instead of just tailpipe emissions which is only a small part of pollution today), which also isn't a bad thing.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not really. Again... lithium ion batteries are produced only in China (which has no regulations whatsoever) and Japan, and need to be shipped all the way around the world? And how they only last roughly 5 years, and we have no way to recycle them yet? And the fact that building a new car is one of the most 'ungreen' decisions you can make? Want to be green? Drive an older car. Old cars kept on the road as long as possible is the best way to save energy, reduce waste and pollution, and help the environment.

        This is just a stupid attempt at making people feel more 'green', but being the complete opposite.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I've spoken no 'alarmist' theories, only conclusions I've made based on my research.

        Fact: Lithium-ion batteries are ONLY produced in China and Japan.

        Fact: They have an expected lifespan of 5 years.

        Fact: Tesla claims they will get the used batteries recycled, but has no network setup for this yet.

        Fact: Building a NEW car uses enormous amounts of energy and resources, while creating a lot of pollution. Google it. You will find a lot of research articles that support this.

        Fact: The 1984 CRX achieved over 50mpg with a carbuerated 4 cylinder, and zero fancy technology.

        Again, if you want to be green, buy a used car, and drive it until you can't fix it anymore. It will use FEWER resources and pollute LESS than the construction of a new 'environmentally friendly car''. The world is currently overproducing cars at an alarming rate, which is why cars that have relatively simple problems (a bad transmission) are sent to the scrapyard: their value drops because we have so many new cars being produced constantly, that it isn't a 'wise financial decision' to fix your old car with a bad transmission, because if you fix it, you won't get back what you paid for it.

        HOWEVER, if you do fix it, you've saved a car from the scrap yard. Overproduction of new automobiles causes many MANY cars to be scrapped that have simple problems. This is a huge waste of resources and energy, not to mention all the pollution. It's disgusting.

        Email me for more info@ wanker__@hotmail.com
        • 7 Years Ago
        I would not be surprised if the guy beyond these comments is the Detroit troll, driving 8MPG truck. Although there is some merit that current generation "green cars" have greater net poluting effect, it is just unavoidable for the transition technologies, until the economies of scale and full fledged infrastucture kick in.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would -love- to know what defrostng a windshield does to the battery life.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Russell, it's good to know that gas powered cars simply cannot run out of fuel, I didn't know that.

      Nice car, the Tesla. Stupidly priced, but still nice.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What's AAA going to bring you a can off when you run out of ions?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't hate the car or anything, I am just pointing out some shortcomings that will have to be delt with.
        Seriously, what do you do if you run out in the middle of nowhere? I guess you can tow it to a nearest power source.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Now I can sleep tonight...

      Thank gawd
      • 7 Years Ago
      SWEET!...now to the being able to afford one issue...
      • 7 Years Ago
      In reply to Vintage. Driving an old car is better--yes and no. In many cases it is. But lower fuel economy, combined with the energy created to make the old parts for repair might not add up to cheaper over time. It really depends. But, that's not the real issue. The real issue is making sure newer cars are as efficient as possible so when people need to buy new ones they will have the least environmental impact not only while driving but in the production process as well.
        • 7 Years Ago
        hasnt any one heard of the compressed air car?

        we d have to crank it up like the oldies if it died out in the middle of nowhere

        its not gonna be fast though....

        its a commuting alternative..

        for the speedfreaks though even the thrust ssc might become old hat...

        so hydrogen is the way to to go. speed and renewable.

        any engineers listening?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not really.

      Lithium ion batteries are produced only in China (which has no regulations whatsoever) and Japan, and need to be shipped all the way around the world? And how they only last roughly 5 years, and we have no way to recycle them yet? And the fact that building a new car is one of the most 'ungreen' decisions you can make? Want to be green? Drive an older car. Old cars kept on the road as long as possible is the best way to save energy, reduce waste and pollution, and help the environment.

      It's just an attempt to make people feel more 'green', but in reality it's actually doing more harm than good.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Awesome.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the Tesla Roadster is based on the Lotus Elise so why was there ever a doubt that it wouldn't pass Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. ? duh....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Always a little unnerving to see a pretty or exotic car mauled in government safety tests. I wonder if rarities like the Enzo have to go through this once in each country.. sure would reduce that 400 produced figure.
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