Tesla Roadster : 2008

0-60 in four seconds.
Filed under:  Green
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MSRP Engine HP Manufactured
n/a 3-phase, 4-pole electric motor. n/a n/a
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Tesla Roadster, an electric-powered road rocket that can travel from 0-60 in four seconds with a top speed of 130mph.

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How It Works.
The Tesla Roadster powertrain consists of four main parts: the battery pack (which we call Energy Storage System or ESS), motor, transmission, and the PEM (Power Electronics Module), none of which are "off-the-shelf" components. Rather, each includes innovations, both small and large, to support our mission of a high-performance car that's gentle on the environment. Together, these four components form one of the most instrumented cars ever made.

Energy Storage System (ESS).
When you set out to build a high-performance electric car, the biggest challenge is obvious from the start: the battery. Its complexities are clear: it's heavy, expensive, and offers limited power and range. Yet it has one quality that eclipses these disadvantages, and motivates you to keep working tirelessly: it's clean.

The Tesla Roadster's "fuel tank" weighs in at about 1,000 pounds and delivers four to five times the energy-density stores of other batteries. Safe, light, durable, and recyclable, it represents the biggest innovation in the Tesla Roadster and is one of the largest and most advanced lithium-ion battery packs in the world. Why this matters to you, the driver, is that it frees you to drive farther than ever before in an EV, while enjoying the power of world-class performance. The design ensures optimum operating conditions which maximize the life of the cells, while offering high levels of safety.

The architecture provides excellent redundancy and tolerance against cell-to-cell manufacturing variations. The system uses commodity lithium ion cells which, thanks to high demand by the consumer electronics industry, has spurred development that drives costs down and performance up. Finally, recharge time is impressively quick, enabled by an onboard, high-power charging system.

The system addresses thermal balancing with a liquid cooling circuit. Multiple passive and active safety devices ensure safe operation over the wide range of driving environments and scenarios. An array of sensors and a dozen microcontrollers communicate with the vehicle to allow efficient use and management of the battery pack. Finally, the entire assembly is housed in a rugged enclosure, which protects the system from the harsh road environment while supporting the internal components.

The ESS changes the very personality of electric cars, making the Tesla Roadster the first car that delivers the power of a sports car, the driving range of a gasoline-powered car, and the greenness of a bicycle.

The motor for a high-performance electric car requires a device that is simultaneously light, compact, and high in efficiency. The Tesla Roadster EV motor is just that. We accomplish this by starting with a well-optimized electromagnetic design and then using the lowest loss conductors and the highest quality magnetic steel possible.

The power of the motor is not only limited by how much power you put into it, but also by how fast it can be cooled, how hot it can operate, and how efficiently it runs. We addressed each of these in innovative ways. Our motor can operate continuously around 120c, thanks to the array of air-cooling fins on our aluminum housing.

Without proper efficiency, our motor would convert electrical energy into heat instead of rotational energy. That's why we constructed it with specially designed, high-quality lamination steel that has very low eddy current losses, particularly at high rpm. The rotor is made with a proprietary process that produces a low resistance "squirrel cage" with large end rings using oxygen free copper. This allows the rotor to develop high current flows, and torque, with low resistance losses. The use of a small air gap allows tight inductive coupling which, combined with low loss magnetic materials, enables the development of high torque at high rpm. Together, these factors allow us to induce large currents, even at high rpm, producing much flatter power and efficiency curves from approximately 2,000 rpm to 12,000 rpm.

The sum of all these features is a single motor with efficiencies of 85 to 95 percent, power output of up to 185 kW, and a small footprint that measures just 250 mm (diameter) by 350 mm (length).

Inside the box, our transmission couples the simplicity and efficiency of a manual with the smarts and sophistication of an automatic. The Tesla Roadster has only two forward gears and either one will work for most of your driving. Unlike a manual transmission, the car will not stall if you have it in the wrong gear. Plus it puts you in control of the shifting to fine-tune your driving experience or to achieve the upper limits of acceleration and top speed. And because there is no clutch, you can quickly and easily start from a stop or shift gears on the freeway.

Power Electronics Module (PEM).
You'll see this very important part of the car every time you pop the trunk. It controls over 200 kW of electrical power during peak acceleration, enough power to illuminate 2,000 incandescent lightbulbs (or 10,000 compact fluorescents). The PEM performs several critical functions in the Tesla Roadster, including motor torque control, regenerative braking control, and charging.

When you shift gears or accelerate in the Tesla Roadster, the PEM translates your commands into precisely timed voltages that tell the propulsion motor to respond with the proper speed and direction of rotation.

Circuits within the PEM monitor temperatures, voltages, and currents for maximum or minimum limits by using a combination of hardware- and firmware-settable values. These circuits prevent damage to the PEM, ESS, or motor when a variance from nominal operating conditions is detected.

During normal operation, the PEM monitors things like the voltage delivered by the ESS, the speed of rotation of the propulsion motor, and temperatures of the motor and power electronics. Should you like to know these things yourself, simply glance at the on-board Vehicle Display System.

Safety. Protection from the Ground Up.
A well-built car considers safety long before it meets up with slick surfaces or red-light runners. At Tesla, we talk in terms of "active" and "passive" safety, ensuring our cars are built to prevent a collision and to minimize damage should one be unavoidable. The car's very design, with its low center of gravity and finely tuned steering, offers such stable wheel control that it drives like it's on rails.

Four Outstanding Safety Features: The Tires.
Most people rarely think about tires. At Tesla, we obsess about them. The reason is simple: when driving, tires are your only contact with the outside world. Keeping that contact steady, compliant, and with good grip is key to stability. The Tesla Roadster starts with superior Yokohama tires, and fits them onto custom and directional wheels. Our independent, double-wishbone suspension ensures that each wheel works independently with optimal tire-to-ground contact at all times. And because tire pressure is crucial to a balanced drive, our VDS (Vehicle Display System) comes standard with a tire-pressure monitoring system.

The Most Crucial Few Seconds Behind the Wheel.
We've done everything in our power to minimize the likelihood of an accident. But no car manufacturer can prevent accidents. Should the unthinkable happen, you'll be reassured to know that we've already thought about it, many times over. Our 4-channel ABS system offers shorter stopping distances and gives you full steering control with no lockup. The car's side beams are positioned to offer extra safety to the exact area where you sit. Plus, we outfit every car with driver and passenger airbags, roll-over protection, and energy-absorbing sections in both the front and back of the vehicle.

When you make an open roadster with eye-catching lines and jaw-dropping performance, security is a key concern. Here are the features we've incorporated to safeguard both the vehicle and the driver.

Customized PIN.
Enter your unique PIN, and the car will start. Without it, the car won't budge. This simple detail means there's no way to hot-wire the car.

Valet Mode.
When dropping off your Tesla Roadster at a hotel or restaurant, preventing joy rides is simple. Just tap on the on-board display to put the car into Valet Mode. Until you type in your PIN to release it, the security system limits the car's range, acceleration, and speed.

Charging Intelligence.
We've outfitted both the car and the charging unit with computers that talk to each other. No power will begin transferring unless both computers agree that the charging cable is correctly attached. If ever there is tension on the cord (from pets, kids, bicycles, and other items that may pass through your garage), the charger disengages immediately.

Even the battery box is self-regulating and protecting. It's programmed to prevent overcharging, and will shut itself down should it ever become immersed in water, detect smoke, or if it detects that the car's airbags have deployed.

Tesla Roadster Technical Data.
- Motor.
--Type designation : 3-phase, 4-pole electric motor
-- Max net power : 185kW
-- Max rpm : 13,500
-- Efficiency : 90% average, 80% at peak power

- Transmission.
-- Type: 2 speed electrically actuated manual transmission with final drive; constant mesh gears and inertia lock key type synchromesh

- Front Suspension.
-- Type: independent; upper and lower wishbone; co-axial coil spring/telescopic damper unit; anti-roll bar

- Rear Suspension.
-- Type: independent; upper and lower wishbone; co-axial coil spring/telescopic damper

- Brakes.
-- Type : Cross-drilled 300 mm front and 310 mm rear discs with curved vane ventilation; AP Racing Two piston Aluminum fixed front calipers; Brembo Single piston sliding rear calipers
-- Disc size : front & rear: 11.3 in / 288 mm
-- Operation : Vacuum pump driven Servo assisted with 4 wheel ABS system

- Wheels.
-- Type : Forged Anodized Light alloy
-- Size - front : 5.5J x 16
-- Size - rear : 7.5J x 17

- Tires.
-- Type : Yokohama Neova AD07 LTS
-- Size - front : 175/55 R16
-- Size - rear : 225/45 R17

- Dimensions.
-- Overall length (in. / mm) : 155.4 / 3946
-- Overall width - incl. mirrors (in. / mm) : 73.7 / 1873
-- Overall height (at curb weight) (in. / mm) : 44.4 / 1127
-- Wheelbase (in. / mm) : 92.6 / 2352
-- Track - front (in. / mm) : 57.6 / 1464
-- Track - rear (in. / mm) : 59.0 / 1499

- Standard Features.
-- Twin airbag, seat belt retractors
-- 4 wheel ABS
-- Traction Control
-- Cruise Control
-- Central door locking
-- Alarm & Immobilizer
-- Homelink device
-- Electric windows
-- Air conditioning
-- Heated Seats
-- Radio + 4 speaker audio kit with iPod interface
-- Half leather trim
-- Full carpet set
-- Passenger Footrest
-- Black soft top
-- Sun Visors
-- 7 spoke forged alloy wheels
-- Locking wheel lugs
-- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
-- Tire Inflator
-- Cold weather ESS heater kit (sub zero charging)
-- Home based charging system (EVSE) with integral safety features

- Factory-fitted options.
-- Satellite Navigation System
-- Satellite Radio
-- Hard top (body colored)
-- Metallic Paint
-- Full leather trim

- Accessories.
-- Brand-embossed floor mats
-- Dust cape
-- Fitted luggage
-- Mobile Charging Kit
-- Additional Home based charging system (EVSE) with integral safety features

(source: Tesla)

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Tesla Motors   Founded in 2003.
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Tesla Motors Receives $40 Million Financing Commitment   Financing Will Accelerate Roadster Manufacturing and Expand Powertrain Supply Business
Tesla Roadster Sport : 2009   To begin producing in 2011.
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Tesla Roadster makes history in Moscow’s Red Square   World’s only electric sports car receives clearance to park in front of iconic Russian landmark.
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Tesla Roadster 2.5 : 2011   
The Tesla Factory opens   
Tesla, today and tomorrow   An interview with Dustin Krause.
Tesla Model X : 2014   
Tesla   Official site.
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THE "1900's" BOOK.
Each decade seems to have its own stylistic language, and this issue showcases logos, ads, cars, companies and products (and their typographical sensibilities) from the early 1900s.

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