Rahul Nair is a researcher at the Yahoo! Research Berkeley Lab and he drives one of my all time favorite cars, the Lotus Elise. I love the Elise because it's about as pure a sports car as you buy today. Besides being gorgeous, it is almost totally focused on it's mission. It's small and remarkably light weight, with the US spec version coming in at barely 1,900lbs. With so little mass it doesn't need a huge powerful engine to get mighty performance. All those attributes are big part of why Tesla chose the Elise as the basis for their first electric car. Rahul recently got the opportunity to visit Tesla's San Carlos, CA headquarters and learn more about the Roadster.

He took lots of photos and seemed to come away mighty impressed by everything about the Elise's battery-powered brother except the range and top speed. The top speed of the Tesla is only 130 mph compared to the 150 of the Elise. This one definitely seems like a quibble considering the limited opportunities for exploring those speeds on the roads of this country. The other main complaint is the "low range". I'll assume he forgot the quoted figure of 250 miles when he wrote this part, unless Tesla told him something they haven't mentioned to the rest of us yet about the true range of the car. For the record, the 10.6 gallon gas tank of an Elise will take it about 250 miles, depending on your driving habits. Thanks to Rahul for sharing with us and don't forget to check out his Flickr photoset of the visit.

[Source: Rahul Nair]

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