Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Story Of Tesla Motors As Told By Martin Eberhard

Autoblog has a video from Martin Eberhard's presentation on Tesla Motors in L.A. from earlier this month. It's just over 50 minutes. And the Q&A at the end is especially interesting.

One knock on electric cars has been what happens when the battery dies. Batteries generally aren't very friendly to the environment. Martin explains that the Li-Ion batteries that they're using in the Tesla Roadster aren't deemed as hazardous as the batteries traditionally used in cars. And Tesla has apparently partnered with someone to recycle as much of their batteries as possible.

The other interesting big-picture take-away for me is that electric cars really move the choice of fuel away from the driving experience itself. Yes, electric cars require electricity to function. But, electricity can be produced from any number of sources (nuclear, coal, wind, solar, etc.). So, not only is the car itself "friendlier" to the environment than gas-powered cars, but people may further choose that they'd like to power their electric car with solar panels installed on their home's roof, for example.

Martin concedes in the video that Tesla's still got a lot of work to do to get the Roadster to market. And he's noncommittal on a delivery date (even though he expects it to be before the end of the year). Here's to hoping that it's sooner rather than later!

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