The Tesla Roadster is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) sports car that was produced by the electric car firm Tesla Motors (now Tesla, Inc.) in California from 2008 to 2012. The Roadster was the first highway legal serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production all-electric car to travel more than 320 kilometres (200 mi) per charge. It is also the first production car to be launched into space, carried by a Falcon Heavy rocket in a test flight on February 6, 2018.
Tesla sold about 2,450 Roadsters in over 30 countries, and most of the last Roadsters were sold in Europe and Asia during the fourth quarter of 2012. Tesla produced right-hand-drive Roadsters from early 2010. The Roadster qualified for government incentives in several nations.
The world distance record of 501 km (311 mi) for a production electric car on a single charge was set by a Roadster on October 27, 2009, during the Global Green Challenge in outback Australia, in which it averaged a speed of 40 km/h (25 mph). In March 2010, a Tesla Roadster became the first electric vehicle to win the Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally and the first to win any Federation Internationale de l'Automobile-sanctioned championship when a Roadster driven by former Formula One driver Érik Comas beat 96 competitors for range, efficiency and performance in the three-day, nearly 1,000-kilometer (620 mi) challenge.
According to the U.S. EPA, the Roadster can travel 393 kilometres (244 mi) on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack, and can accelerate from 0 to 97 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in 3.7 or 3.9 seconds depending on the model. It has a top speed of 201 km/h (125 mph). The Roadster's efficiency, as of September 2008, was reported as 120 MPGe (2.0 L/100 km). It uses 135 Wh/km (21.7 kW·h/100 mi, 13.5 kW·h/100 km or 490 kJ/km) battery-to-wheel, and has an efficiency of 88% on average.
Billionaire CEO Elon Musk is off to a big 2018. He's chief executive of both SpaceX and Tesla. His space-travel company launched off the planet and into orbit a roadster from his electric car company. It was the latest milestone for an executive who looks to revolutionize space travel and technology. Arash Arabasadi reports.