Car of the Month – December, 2021

2010 Tesla Roadster


2010 Tesla Roadster

Engine – 375 volt AC induction air-cooled electric motor
Horsepower – 288 hp, 280 ft-lbs of torque
Transmission – 2 forward speeds
Curb weight – 2,727 lbs
0-60 time – 3.9 seconds
Top speed – 125 mph
Range – 244 miles
Number built – 2,450 worldwide
MSRP price – $110,950.00

The Tesla Roadster is the first battery electric vehicle (BEV) sports car. Based on the Lotus Elise chassis, it was produced by Tesla Motors from 2008 to 2012 and was the first highway legal serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells. It also was the first production all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles per charge. The Roadster is powered by a three-phase, four pole induction electric motor with a maximum output power of 248 hp. Its maximum torque of 200 ft-lbs is immediately available and remains constant from 0 to 6,000 rpm; nearly instantaneous torque is a characteristic of electric motors and offers one of the biggest performance differences from internal combustion engines. The motor is air-cooled and does not need a liquid cooling system.

Tesla refers to the Roadster’s battery pack as the Energy Storage System or ESS. The 992-pound ESS contains 6,831 lithium ion cells. The cells are of the 18650 form factor commonly found in laptop batteries. A full recharge to 53 kWh requires about 3½ hours using the High Power Connector, which supplies 70-amp, 240-volt electricity.

In an effort to show off the practicality of its electric cars, Tesla sent one of its Roadsters around the world. Starting at the Geneva auto show in mid-March of 2010, the Roadster completed its journey upon its arrival in Paris in late September of 2010. It is also the first production car to be launched into deep space, carried by a Falcon Heavy rocket in a test flight on February 6, 2018. (It is still in orbit to this day.)