I’d test drive a Tesla: sounds like a fun car. However, way (way way) beyond my budget: $120,000 is steep for any item, much less an automobile.
[closest photo of mine I could find-this is 800 W Grand Ave, or nearby.]
Car companies have tinkered with all-electric cars for years — but have run into problems, particularly high price and limited range. The 2006 documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” told of the 1990s Saturn EV1 electric car — which General Motors recalled and destroyed.
The California-based Tesla claims to sell the only highway- capable all-electric car in North America or Europe, but it won’t be alone for long. Americans will be seeing more alternative-engine cars — all-electric, plug-in electric hybrid (like the planned Chevy Volt), conventional hybrid, and hydrogen-fuel cell — as car makers compete to offer more fuel-efficient models. Revving up the contest is last-week’s federal mandate that all new cars and trucks average 35.5 mpg by 2016.
Wisniewski’s Tesla isn’t exactly middle-market — it’s a two-seat sports car that cost him $120,000. The California company is working on a family sedan, which it hopes to start producing in late 2011, at a base cost of $49,900 after government rebate.
Tesla expects to open its first Chicago dealership next month at 1053 W. Grand.
“It’s definitely a conversation piece,” said Kevin Daly, Tesla’s Midwest regional sales manager, of his own Roadster. “It really has changed the script on what people’s thoughts are for electric cars.”
The car charges overnight, like a cell phone, using either a 110-volt or 220-volt charger. It claims to run 220 miles on a charge. Daly says the car runs well in extreme cold or heat (though he admits a sports car isn’t great in heavy snow).
The cost for the electricity is about 1 or 2 cents per mile. To get ready for guests with electric cars, Hyatt Hotels and Lake Point Tower in Chicago are offering charging stations, according to Daly.