Thursday, 20 March 2008 – Mass production of electric cars is a step closer with California-based Tesla Motors announcing this week that commercial production of its Roadster had commenced. The Tesla Roadster is a 100 per cent electric vehicle, powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery cells and can travel an average 350 kilometres (220 miles) per charge.

It’s the first “plug-in” electric vehicle, recharged by drawing power from the standard electricity grid as opposed to a hybrid electric vehicles which require fossil fuels to generate charge. Because its all electric, the car boasts zero emissions of greenhouse gases although in taking power off the grid it will often have indirect emissions with many grids supplying fossil-fuel generated electricity.

The company says it has a waiting list of 900 for the vehicle, including California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and says cars will begin rolling off the production line in late April at the rate of 100 per month for $98,000 each…

Mitsubishi plans to have an all electric mini-car on market next year, Toyota says it will offer a plug-in electric by 2010, GM is developing its Volt electric model while other electric start-ups are planning releases in the next few years…

More… (source)

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