Electric cars are just around the corner

MENLO PARK and SAN JOSE, CA

It is the sports car of the green era. There is nothing else like it. The car will cost you just under a $100,000 and you'll have to wait more than a year to get one, but when you do, you'll own the most technically advanced electric vehicle, or E.V., on the market.

"Sell me on this car -- why should i buy it?" asks ABC7's Dan Ashley.
"Well for starters it's 100 percent electric. Zero to 60 is 3.9 seconds, which is phenomenally fast," says Jeremy Cleland, the showroom manager.
"Under four seconds zero to sixty?" asks Ashley.
"Faster than your Ferrari, some Porsches, even some Lamborghini's," says Cleland.

Using battery power, similar to what's used on laptop computers; the Tesla Roadster gets an unprecedented 244 miles to a charge and burns no oil.

"The fact that it charges back up to full in less than three and a half hours makes it extremely practical," says Cleland.

Dan Ashley got a closer look at the car at the company's Menlo Park showroom.

"You sit in the car, it's like a cockpit. It's unlike any other driving experience. The fact that it is 100 percent silent when you drive it, is a completely different concept," says Cleland.

Tesla is now looking to its next incarnation.

"This must be an exciting time for Tesla?" says Ashley.
" It's really exciting," says Diarmuid O'Connell, director of marketing for the San Carlos-based Tesla.

O'Connell says high gas prices and an increased awareness of the impact that fuel has on global warming, is why the company is looking to make a more reasonably priced car.

"American's love cars. If you are going to sell them a new technology, an alternative technology such as this, you have to appeal to that instinct. Give them a car that they love and that's what we've tried to do," says O'Connell.

Tesla hopes to eventually make a car they can sell as little as $30,000. Its first mass-produced model will be a sedan. They won't show ABC7 the new Model "S" electric vehicle yet, but it will cost about $60,000, hold five people, and be made right here in the Bay Area.

"We must stay here in the cradle of some many modern technological innovations, the state of California," says Ze've Drori, the president and CEO of Tesla motors.

Last month the company announced it will move its headquarters to the South Bay where it will also build a factory to build the Model "S".

"When we put everything on balance, it appeared that San Jose had the edge," says Drori.

"It's a big step for the future, the electric car, it's clean technology. It's many, many things and it's thousands of jobs and that's a major statement for San Jose," says San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.

While the roadster will continue to be manufactured in England, 15,000 to 20,000 Model "S" Tesla's should roll off the assembly line in 2010. Tesla expects the cars will be in high demand and aren't afraid of competition.

"When do you expect to have a lot of competition out there in terms of E.V. vehicles for sale?" asks Ashley.
"We'd like to think sooner rather than later, we invite the competition. I mean we are going to grow with a growing market," says O'Connell.

Tesla hopes to put the Bay Area on the road to cleaner cars.

Charging a Tesla Roadster will run you $.015 to $.03 a mile.

Tesla Motors: www.teslamotors.com

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This report was written and produced by Ken Miguel.

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