• Dec 11th 2009 at 11:51AM
  • 30
Tesla Roadster #750 - click above for high res image gallery

Tesla has now delivered some 900 examples of its electric Roadster, and some employees will take unit #750 on a road trip. Tesla will be back at the Detroit Auto Show next month and this time, they'll be driving. On Thursday, December 17, 16 Tesla employees will depart from Los Angeles and head across the Southeast toward Texas and then north east to Chicago and Detroit.

While the 2,700-mile trip could be completed in a few days in conventional car, it will take two and a half weeks for the Roadster. In the Tesla announcement, it says, "We are out to prove the Roadster is tough and durable, and that range anxiety is for the weak." While the Roadster may be durable, part of the reason the trip is taking so long is the need to stop and spend several hours recharging every couple of hundred miles. Of course, Telsa staff will be using those charging opportunities to show off the car and try to drum up a few sales.

Speaking of sales, an anonymous source claiming to have knowledge of the situation tells us that Tesla is currently selling about 20-30 Roadsters a month. New Tesla spokeperson Khobi Brooklyn tells us the company is currently building about 25 cars a week but declines to comment on the sales figures. We can't confirm the current sales but Tesla's continuing silence on the matter seems to fit with our previous thoughts that the sales pace has remained very slow.


[Source: Tesla]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      All this does is remind me that our family has a 2-car garage for a reason. On side for a BEV which will never go more than 100 miles from home, and a EREV that will only do
      • 5 Years Ago
      A bio fuel push trailer would work. Then just charge when they sleep.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah... AC Propulsion had a great little genset trailer designed for the Tzero... they should have just modified it slightly to plug into the Roadster.

        That would show that you don't need to rent another car for cross country road trips, just rent a trailer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is such a bad idea. It is even worse than the press release with "record number of miles for a production electric car", complete with a picture of the record holders next to their Tesla, neatly stranded at the side of the road. And "range anxiety is for the weak"? I guess I'm weak.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why don't they just tow a genset trailer, then they could do it in the same time as a regular car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think turning the Tesla into the worlds most inefficient serial hybrid would be much of a PR stunt either. All they'd prove is that its more eco-friendly to drive an ICE vehicle across the country.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is an un-proof of concept instead of a proof of concept, back to horses again.
      This is mainly the fault of toyota, gm, ford, chrysler, nissan, honda, volks, etc. They are own and operated by big-oil that control internationnal suffocation and u.s.a, france, germany, russia, quatar, saudi-arabia, malaysia, iceland, hollywood artists, newspapers, tv, medical, municipal wastes, wall streets, pistons, cylinders, transmissions, motor oils, wheel bearings grease, corn, beefs, cows, milk, water supply, forestration, sea level, air, politics, imagination, etc. Not long time ago peoples said that we were in a oil-economy, we are still in a oil economy and this is the fault of car manufacturers cartel ruled by richers then them, they are tools for giving the richs even more money. Every pieces of green promises is a plain limp lies from limp unnispired paid workers that own nothing, ban toyota and co, until someone sell one ( 1 ) green car to a paying consumer. This is the dream earth was made 85 billions years ago. Each and every folks is afraid of selling one green car because he or she think that time will stop after this little transaction, LOL, but they dream and talk only of that. Never since the beginning of earth someone succeeded of selling a green car to someone, peoples want to play in mud, then try to invent inventions then never finnish the project because they think that there will be no project after.

      The tesla is one exemple of this, all it take to be a green car is a small inboard gasoline or diesel electric generator of approx 10-15 h.p with an affordable smaller battery, LOL'LOL. Why they stick with an unfisnish product is beyong understanding. It cost 500$ to 1000$ to install an efficient 10 h.p electrical generator and 40 hours to drive from los-angeles to detroit. At 60 mph, this car need 10 h.p to maintain his speed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Much as I like the Roadster and EVs in general, this stunt is pretty dumb. Even a pro-EV guy like me will be the first to admit that they're not meant for long-distance trips. Trying to prove otherwise only serves to dwell on it
      • 5 Years Ago
      Best sentence ever! RANGE ANXIETY IS FOR THE WEAK. Women and children as well as men with the same acumen need to pollute or stay home.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I disagree, and think it is exactly what we need. We need a guy like me who would do it as fast as possible and do it like a soldier. I would monitor the car when charging and as soon as the amps demand dropped down because it was getting to close to the top of the pack I would drive 200 more miles and so on. I would sleep and eat when the car didn't need me. It wouldn't be about my convenience. I would be to show how it can be done. 5.41 days with 220v, maybe less and this with no fast charging. I would need the Tesla charger I think as I am not sure there empty charge to 80% in 3-4 hours utilizes a wall charger or if it is all on-board.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "We are out to prove the Roadster is tough and durable, and that range anxiety is for the weak."

      They may prove that the Roadster is tough and durable, although with repair opportunities at every stop it is difficult to see how, but they certainly won't prove anything about 'range anxiety' aka limited range.

      This is what comes of letting PR guys loose, who have a talent for getting the public's back up which is uncanny.
      They should have simply billed this as a chance for the public to meet the car 'in the flesh'.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Taking 2.5 weeks to do a drive that even the cheapest normal car could do in 1.75 days (40 hours) is a great way to show us that battery limitations aren't a factor!

      A fit biker could bike there in less time than this. I'm not even joking. It's under 150 miles a day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree that Tesla PR dropped the ball on this. Why the hell didn't they just make sure there was 480 level 3 charging at each place they refueled, then they would be looking good.
        • 5 Years Ago
        In CA, they can probably do it quicker, since there is already some charging infrastructure. Across the country they will have to rely on 8 hour charges.

        Anyways if they were really trying they wouldn't have to take this long (RV parks offer pretty quick charges). They probably are taking a bit longer since they want to show off the car too.

        Renew America did it in 2 weeks and they were showing off the car too.

        An 850 mile trip was completed in 2 days. So it is possible to average 400 miles a day and finish this trip in a week if you get access to RV park charging.
        http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/tesla-roadster/3109-drive-menlo-park-seattle.html

        Of course with a fast charge infrastructure installed, it'll be even quicker.

        But roadtrips aren't a BEV's strong suit, an EREV is definitely more suitable.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Whynotthels, as far as level 3 charging being prevalent. Every gas station has the power coming to it already, is it realy that hard to access it. Considering the amount of money that GM use to spend on commercials. (super bowls a million dollars for 30 seconds) It would make good PR for Tesla to install these stations for there trip. I know Tesla is no GM but perhaps you get my drift.

        Now you revealed that the batteries would not even accept this kind of use, this has realy burst my bubble. Indeed it is very disappointing and to me a huge short coming. At least Tesla revealed this info. They could have done it and made it across country quickly and not told any one that the pack will only go 500 cycles as a result of the trip.


        @David Marten, the dancing bear analogy. LOL Not since Captain Kangaroo have I recalled the dancing bear.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Why the hell didn't they just make sure there was 480 level 3 charging at each place they refueled"

        The Roadster can't use this yet. 240v, 70 amp is the most it is designed to accept. That charges from totally empty to totally full in ~3.5 hrs. Charges to 85% in probably 2.5-3 hrs.

        The Model S is supposed to accept a 480v DC-to-DC connection, and the Roadster will most likely be able to use that eventually as well.

        It is fine to charge the batteries with these high power connections. The thing that 'wears' on them really is charging completely full. That's why the car normally keeps you in the middle 80% of the charge range, locking you out of the top 10% and the bottom 10%. This is best for long-term life of the battery pack. Using the top and bottom 10% though is only very slightly detrimental, and doing it every now and then isn't something you have to worry about. Tesla's test packs and test fleet of cars go through extreme charging cycles near constantly, from full to empty and back over and over and over again and they are showing extreme reliability and much better lifespan than even they expected. Tesla has told me that their test packs, which undergo rapid charging and discharging in extreme temperatures (high and low) and extreme humidities (wet and dry), plus harsh viration testing, are still retaining approximately 93% charge capacity after 5 years of simulated usage under these conditions. Normal use is supposed to leave you with about 75-80% charge capacity after 7-10 years or 100,000 miles, and from their testing and the data from all of the customer cars, this looks like it will likely be a conservative estimate.



        As I see it, they *could* drive 200 miles, charge for a few hours, and drive another 200 miles. You could easily make 400/day. I think, yes, they are planning on doing some marketing events along the route and the point of this is not to make it there as quickly as physically possible.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Keep in mind, btw, that if doing any of these things to the battery did actual damage, Tesla simply wouldn't allow you to do it. No company would purposely allow a function that damaged the product. They don't have to allow the battery to drain to near empty or to charge to full. They don't have to allow it to charge as quickly as it does. They do let you do these things because, while it is slightly harder on the batteries and ever so slightly will affect its long-term lifespan, it's extremely minor.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I doubt they can find enough level 3 charging stations that close together.

        Also, if you drove and charged for 40 hours straight in that car you'd put a real hurt on the battery. Tesla doesn't even recommend you charge at full speed on 220V every night due to pack wear, going level 3 over and over for 2 days while discharging in between is going to do some damage.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks taxi, whew that is a relief. It would be ironic if the it damaged the Tesla's batteries to recharge after going a twohundred miles and defeat the purpose. I guess I should have done my own research on the Tesla web site. They probably explain it there like you did. Thanks again.

        Yes I understand most batteries and BMS are more careful when topping off the pack. The Tesla's 53 kwh pack is so big and the wieght and coefficiant drag so little, you could easily go 200 miles quick charge to 80% and go another 200 miles, cool. Thanks for explaining that Tesla has not yet developed the DC to DC level 3 fast charging. It is realy neat how fast they got it to charge using 220 in the USA and in Europe it must be 240 as you said, with out level 3 DC to DC charging. Great info about there testing too.

        David Martin your analogy of the dancing bare made me laugh. I was not making fun of you or your comment I just though it was funny. Captain Kangaroo was funny not a real bear. Real bears is cruel thing as I am sure they do not like to dance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        why not the LS2LS7?
        4:09AM (12/16/2009)
        Kinda tough to look at the owner's manual saying not to use certain charging settings or it will shorten pack life and to use the setting that cuts power output in half in order to preserve it and believe what Tesla is saying not to worry about the pack.

        Flagging Taxi, hey Taxi is whynotthels7 right above? Does the manual tell you not to use certain settings? Cut charging power in half or cut down on cycle life?
        • 5 Years Ago
        They'd likely proove the opposite of the 'reliability' they are setting out to show! ;-)
        Bear in mind that these are basically batteries stolen from a laptop, and like the dancing bear, the remarkable thing is not how well they dance, but that they dance at all.
        The iMiEV or the Leaf 'might' do better, but I doubt that Mitsubishi or Nissan are daft enough to try, although some enthusiasts might, as after all it is not what the cars are designed to do - they are for journeys of limited distance, or at most a gentle touring holiday with plenty of time to recharge.
        Their later generation batteries would be a lot more likely to stand up to repeated fast charges though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, all gas stations don't all have 480V, 400A (192kW) service. I think perhaps you don't understand how much power that is. Many of them could probably get it, especially in city centers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Having to stop every 200 miles for 6-8 hours at a time proves range anxiety is for the weak? Okay, if you say so.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Damn Reply button wasn't working very good for me this morning?

        Does it still take 6-8 house on level 3 charging?
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