Just nine months ago, when CityOut Monaco reported the victory of the Tesla Roadster in Monaco’s Alternative Energy Rally, electric cars were still a little outside the ‘comfort zone’ of many readers, in terms both of cost and geekiness, even for the incredibly ungeeky – and actually rather sporty – Tesla Motors. But in the last year, things have changed. From BP to Libya, the question of what to do when the oil runs out has once again been making the headlines and dinner party chat. Eco vehicles seem to be much more in the news these days, and so it is that we bring you the latest results from this year’s Alternative Energy Rally. And the winner is…. yup, once more, it’s the Tesla.
Named after the 19th century Serbian physicist and pioneer of electrical engineering, Nikola Tesla, the Silicon Valley company was founded just eight years ago, but has already made its name at the cutting edge of eco-sports technology. From an initially small fan-base, the company has grown exponentially, such that they can now claim to be leading the world in saving energy. According to last month’s report, “Electric Roadsters in over 30 countries have now covered over 10 million miles, the greatest collective distance covered by any electric vehicle maker to date. Roadsters have collectively saved 500,000 gallons of fuel and over 5.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.”
Thanks to early electric vehicle companies like Tesla, the image of an electric car as something like a milk float running on a converted washing machine motor has been finally dispelled. Not only do these cars look beautiful (they are based on the design of the Lotus Elise); they are also high-end performers, accelerating from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, and consuming the equivalent of just 1.7 litres per 100km – for the non-metric, that’s an astonishing 140 miles per gallon! All of which makes the cost of the Roadster seem suddenly less prohibitive.
Charging networks for all electric vehicles are being delivered quietly but steadily across the planet, including exciting plans for induction plates embedded in car parks. But even with the option of 110-volt or 220-volt power outlets, filling her up is one of the few points of detraction for cars like the Tesla. Even so, they can be topped up at home overnight at minimal cost (taking account of off-peak electricity), and Tesla claim a 245-mile range from a single overnight charge.
Tesla are exhibiting all week at Top Marques Monaco, and European deliveries begin in June.