Most of you are probably already familiar with Tesla's Roadster, the first model by the young electric car company. But there's also a second model coming in 2010, so far only its code name is known: "White Star". It should be even more popular than the two-seater Roadster, both because it is supposed to be less expensive (around $50k for the base model) and have enough room for a family.
Now Tesla is announcing that they have completed a new round of financing and raised $40 million to continue production of the Roadster and keep developing the White Star. That's good news for anyone who thinks we need practical and affordable electric cars as soon as possible.Along with the all-electric version, there will also probably be a series hybrid version of the White Star. So within battery range (~50 miles/80 kilometers) the car would be powered completely by the electric motor, and after that a small gasoline engine would kick in and recharge the batteries. They call it a REEV (range extended electric vehicle)..
For those who can't afford the White Star, there's a compact electric vehicle that Tesla is planning to produce around 2013 for $30k. That's fairly inexpensive if you take into account fuel costs, and even less expensive if you count the benefits to the environment.
If you have deep pockets and want to be on the cutting edge of green(er) transportaton, know that the entire production run of the 2008 Tesla Roadster (pictured above) is sold out. The company is currently taking orders for the 2009 model year, so get in line.
Tesla Motors is establishing nationwide sales and service capabilities, beginning with flagship stores in Menlo Park and Los Angeles. Both stores are scheduled to be opened early this Spring.
For those curious about how clean an electric car that gets its power from the U.S. grid can be, see Tesla's white paper on the subject (pdf).
See also: ::First Production Electric Tesla Roadster Delivered, ::BYD F6DM: Will the First Plug-In Hybrid be Chinese?, ::GM's Chevy Volt Price Goes Up; Stereo, Wipers to Blame, ::Tesla Motors: Affordable Electric Cars are Coming, ::
First photo: Ryan Anson/Bloomberg News