Tesla pulls plug on pricey Roadster, focus shifts to sedan

James Raia

The Tesla Roadster electric car can now be considered a collectors’ car.

The much-touted California start-up manufacturer has announced it will stop taking orders for the $109,000 vehicle at the end of July 2011.

The reason: The Telsa Roadster didn’t sell particularly well. Further, the innovative company is focusing on its less expensive Model S electric car, a four-door sedan.

Now in version 2.5, the Tesla Roadster is a two-seat coupe. It’s fast (3.7 seconds, 0-60 mph), features a carbon-fiber body designed by Lotus, and a 245-mile-rated range.

Tesla pulls plug on pricey Roadster, focus shifts to sedan 1
Images © James Raia

Powered by a liquid-cooled battery pack made up of 6,831 lithium ion cells (similar to those found in laptop computers), the Tesla Roadster delivers 295 lb-ft of torque and has an electronically governed top speed of 125 mph.

But its base cost (plus a substantial increase with options) proved its undoing despite its more select status as hand-built.

Tesla announced plans for a lower-priced electric car in 2008. The Model S will sell for around $57,400 (up from its previously announced $49,000) when it debuts in mid-2012, according to The New York Times.

Less than a year ago, during its Go Electric Roadster Tour, Tesla showcased the  Roadster in Sacramento. A company representative at the time said about 1,300 Telsa Roadsters are in circulation globally.

A company spokesperson said Tesla introduced the Roadster as “a limited run vehicle and it was designed to showcase Tesla’s technology, and prove that EVs  can outperform traditional combustion vehicles while producing zero emissions, and be beautiful and incredibly fun to drive.”

Article Last Updated: June 23, 2011.

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