TreeHugger has covered the Tesla Motors' Roadster, the sexy electric car launching this summer, quite a lot (here, here, here and just yesterday here just for starters. Have an hour to kill? Type "tesla" into the TH search engine and go nuts), but we've never seen anything quite like the photo above. That's right, it's U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice riding shotgun with Tesla sales manager Tom O'Leary; they went for a ride last week on the tarmac at California's Moffett Field. Secretary Rice was meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who also got a ride, at speeds up to 110 mph. The Secretary sure looks like she's having some fun; we hope she's told her boss about how efficient, exciting, fun and functional electric cars can be. Hit the jump for a transcript of a chat at the event. ::United States Department of State via ::Autoblog GreenCourtesy of state.gov:
Remarks at Tesla Electric Car Demonstration
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Moffett Field, Palo Alto, California
May 24, 2007
Secretary Rice prepares to take a test ride on the 2007 Tesla Roadster electric car along with Tesla sales manager Tom OLeary.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, the Foreign Minister and I have just gone in what felt like a little rocket ship. We went down the runway there. We've been looking at some of the ways that energy efficiency can improve our ability to get off of hydrocarbons but also to improve the environment and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is an issue of great concern to me and to Foreign Minister Downer as well. So we're delighted to be here at this great company. And we expect to see great things from Tesla, but it was a wonderful to meet with the engineers, to meet with the founder, but it was especially wonderful to ride in the car. (Laughter.)
FOREIGN MINISTER DOWNER: I can only repeat all of that. Fantastic car. We got it up to 110 miles an hour. It's entirely legal on an airport here. (Laughter.) And great acceleration, naught to 60 miles an hour in four seconds is pretty breathtaking, so a genuine sports car. And an electric car like this has great environmental advantages, including being quiet, actually. The silence of the car is extraordinary. But maybe for those who love the tone of the Ferrari engine or whatever it is, they'll miss that with electric cars, but very much the technology of the future and exciting to see. And I think this company has done incredibly well with private venture capital. It's not a government initiative. It's a private initiative and it's great to see the private sector coming up with solutions like this to some of our environmental problems.
SECRETARY RICE: Thank you.