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Tesla Roadster is an Ultrafast Green Machine

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The future is an exciting place. The Tesla Roadster is a fully electric sports car, and is the first car to be produced by electric car firm Tesla Motors. The car will be able to travel 221 miles (356 km) on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery,The Roadster's efficiency is reported as 133 Wh/km (4.7 mi/kWh), equivalent to 135 mpg–U.S. (1.74 L/100 km / 162.1 mpg–imp). Tesla Motors engineers have designed an electric engine that will go 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph. Would you pay $90K for an electric sportscar that out performs a Ferrari?

 

The Roadster was developed with help from Lotus Cars. The AC motor and drivetrain technology are more advanced than versions used in the GM EV1 and AC Propulsion tzero. Tesla Motors licensed AC Propulsion's Reductive Charging patent which covers integration of the charging electronics with the inverter, thus reducing mass, complexity and cost.

 

Tesla Motors has designed and built its own power electronics, motor, and other drivetrain components that incorporate this licensed technology from AC Propulsion.

 

Lotus supplied the basic chassis development technology from its Lotus Elise. Tesla engineers designed a new chassis with this development technology. The Roadster shares some components with the Elise, such as the windshield, air bags, tires, some dashboard parts, and suspension components.[9] The styling was by Barney Hatt at Lotus' design studio with input from Tesla. The car will be assembled at the Lotus factory in Hethel, England, with drivetrain components and body components supplied to the factory by Tesla.

 

Tesla Motors has completed all Regulatory Approvals and has set a schedule to begin production in March.

 

How It Works

When you build a car that's electric, you start with one built-in advantage: Electric cars just don't have to be as complex mechanically as the car you're probably driving now. Sophisticated electronics and software take the place of the pounds and pounds of machinery required to introduce a spark and ignite the fuel that powers an internal combustion engine.

 

For example, the typical four-cylinder engine of a conventional car comprises over a hundred moving parts. By comparison, the motor of the Tesla Roadster has just one: the rotor. So there's less weight to drive around and fewer parts that could break or wear down over time.

 

But the comparison doesn't end with the counting of moving parts. The engine and transmission of a conventional car also need lubricating oils, filters, coolant, clutches, spark plugs and wires, a PCV valve, oxygen sensors, a timing belt, a fan belt, a water pump and hoses, a catalytic converter, and a muffler — all items requiring service, and all items that aren't needed in an electric car.

 

The Tesla Roadster's elegantly designed powertrain consists of just the four main components discussed below. Mind you, these aren't "off-the-shelf" components, and each includes innovations, both small and large. But when you build a car from the ground up, you have the luxury of questioning every assumption — and to distill as you reinvent.

 

The Energy Storage System (ESS)

When we set out to build a high-performance electric car, the biggest challenge was obvious from the start: the battery. Its complexities are clear: it's heavy, expensive, and offers limited power and range. Yet it has one quality that eclipses these disadvantages and motivated us to keep working tirelessly: it's clean.

 

The Tesla Roadster's battery pack — the car's "fuel tank" — represents the biggest innovation in the Tesla Roadster and is one of the largest and most advanced battery packs in the world. We've combined basic proven lithium ion battery technology with our own unique battery pack design to provide multiple layers of safety. It's light, durable, recyclable, and it is capable of delivering enough power to accelerate the Tesla Roadster from 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds. Meanwhile, the battery stores enough energy for the vehicle to travel about 220 miles without recharging, something no other production electric vehicle in history can claim.

 

Motor

Some people find it hard to imagine our car's Lamborghini-beating acceleration comes from a motor about the size of a watermelon. And while most car engines have to be moved with winches or forklifts, ours weighs about 70 pounds — a strong person could carry it around in a backpack (although we don't recommend it). Compare that to the mass of machinery under the hood of $300,000 supercars that still can't accelerate as quickly as the Tesla Roadster.

 

But more important than the motor's size or weight is its efficency. Without proper efficiency, a motor will convert electrical energy into heat instead of rotational energy. So we designed our motor to have efficiencies of 85 to 95 percent; this way the precious stored energy of the battery pack ends up propelling you down the road instead of just heating up the trunk.

 

Transmission

Our transmission couples the fuel efficiency of a manual with the driving ease of an automatic. The Tesla Roadster has only two forward gears, allowing you to fine-tune your driving experience (but either gear will work for most driving scenarios). Unlike a manual transmission, the car will not stall if you have it in the wrong gear. There's also no clutch pedal. Just move the lever and the electronic control module takes care of the shift, so you can launch from a full stop to freeway speed without taking your focus off the road, your foot off the accelerator, or your hands off the wheel.

 

Power Electronics Module (PEM)

Most of the subsystems in the Tesla Roadster are completely electronic and under direct software control. But unlike all other cars, these systems are not a hodge-podge of independent systems — instead, they are designed as an integrated system, the way complex network and computer systems are designed today.

 

You'll see the hub of this network every time you pop the trunk — the Power Electronics Module. When you shift gears or accelerate in the Tesla Roadster, the PEM translates your commands into precisely timed voltages, telling the motor to respond with the proper speed and direction of rotation. The PEM also controls motor torque, charging, and regenerative braking, and it monitors things like the voltage delivered by the ESS, the speed of rotation of the motor, and the temperatures of the motor and power electronics.

 

The PEM controls over 200 kW of electrical power during peak acceleration — enough power to illuminate 2,000 incandescent light bulbs

 

http://www.teslamotors.com/efficiency/how_it_works.php

 

Acceleration & Torque

 

The first time you drive the Tesla Roadster, prepare to be surprised. You're at freeway speed in seconds without even thinking about it. There is no clutch pedal to contend with and no race-car driving techniques to perform. Just the touch of your foot and you're off, without any of the sluggishness of an automatic.

 

How powerful is the acceleration? A quick story to illustrate. A favorite trick here at Tesla Motors is to invite a passenger along and ask him to turn on the radio. At the precise moment we ask, we accelerate. Our passenger simply can't sit forward enough to reach the dials. But who needs music when you're experiencing such a symphony of motion.

 

Rest assured that this responsiveness works at all speeds, as noticeable when you're inching your way through parking lots as when flying along freeways.

 

100% Torque, 100% of the Time

The Tesla Roadster delivers full availability of performance every moment you are in the car, even while at a stoplight. Its peak torque begins at 0 rpm and stays powerful at 13,000 rpm.

 

This is the precise opposite of what you experience with a gasoline engine, which has very little torque at a low rpm and only reaches peak torque in a narrow rpm range. This forces you to make frequent gear changes to maintain optimal torque. With the Tesla Roadster, you get great acceleration and the highest energy efficiency at the same time. All while requiring no special driving skills to enjoy it. This makes the Tesla Roadster six times as efficient as the best sports cars while producing one-tenth of the pollution.

 

http://www.teslamotors.com/performance/acc..._and_torque.php

 

Tesla Motors, Inc. is a Silicon Valley automobile startup company focusing on the production of high performance, consumer-oriented electric vehicles. The firm was started in the summer of 2003 by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in San Carlos, and has since grown to include several team members with extensive computer, electrical, and automotive engineering backgrounds from around the world. Tesla Motors is named after Serbian inventor, electrical engineer and scientist Nikola Tesla.

 

Initial investment came from PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, who became Tesla's Chairman of the Board. He also led Tesla Motors' first two rounds of financing and co-led the third round along with VantagePoint Venture Partners. Tesla's third round included investment from prominent entrepreneurs, such as Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and former eBay President Jeff Skoll.

 

As of May 2007, the company has raised over $105 million USD through private financing. Elon Musk, who was President of PayPal before it was bought by eBay, has contributed $37 million of his own money to the company. As of 2008, Elon Musk has successfully ousted Tesla's original founder Martin Eberhard from the company and fired several key personnel that were there since its inception. New direction is now under Ze'ev Drori, the current CEO of Tesla Motors.

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Here is the fun stuff: Acceleration & Torque

 

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Instant Freedom

The first time you drive the Tesla Roadster, prepare to be surprised. You're at freeway speed in seconds without even thinking about it. There is no clutch pedal to contend with and no race-car driving techniques to perform. Just the touch of your foot and you're off, without any of the sluggishness of an automatic.

 

How powerful is the acceleration? A quick story to illustrate. A favorite trick here at Tesla Motors is to invite a passenger along and ask him to turn on the radio. At the precise moment we ask, we accelerate. Our passenger simply can't sit forward enough to reach the dials. But who needs music when you're experiencing such a symphony of motion.

 

Rest assured that this responsiveness works at all speeds, as noticeable when you're inching your way through parking lots as when flying along freeways.

 

 

100% Torque, 100% of the Time

The Tesla Roadster delivers full availability of performance every moment you are in the car, even while at a stoplight. Its peak torque begins at 0 rpm and stays powerful at 13,000 rpm.

 

This is the precise opposite of what you experience with a gasoline engine, which has very little torque at a low rpm and only reaches peak torque in a narrow rpm range. This forces you to make frequent gear changes to maintain optimal torque. With the Tesla Roadster, you get great acceleration and the highest energy efficiency at the same time. All while requiring no special driving skills to enjoy it. This makes the Tesla Roadster six times as efficient as the best sports cars while producing one-tenth of the pollution.

 

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SO, HOW MANY HORSEPOWER IS 189 kW? 253.45hp!

 

TO SEE MORE ABOUT THIS AMAZING AMERICAN-MADE ELECTRIC CAR, CLICK HERE

Edited by Doug White

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