Tesla Motors defied expectations by announcing on August 7th that they had achieved a $1 million profit on revenues of $20 million. Though this may not necessarily prove the large-scale commercial viability of the electric vehicle, it is a significant step forward in the march toward cleaner and more fuel efficient cars.
The Roadster (pictured) is their most popular model, and can travel 244 miles on one charge from its lithium-ion battery pack. The Roadster is the first production car to use this type of battery and it is the first electric car to travel more than 200 miles on a single charge. A full recharge of the battery requires 3.5 hours, and the battery has a lifespan of 7 years or 100,000 miles. According to one analysis the Roadster is twice as energy efficient as the Toyota Prius.
Reviews for the Roadster are overall very good. Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson said the car was "Biblically quick" (though an on-air brake failure led him to conclude that the car was a failure in the real world). The price tag, however, puts the car well out of reach for a majority of Americans: the Roadster starts at $98,000 and the Roadster Sport clocks in at $128,500.