June 3, 2009 Tesla Motors has delivered its 500th Roadster to New Jersey Philanthropist Martin Tuchman. The fledgling electric car company - 10 percent of which was acquired by Daimler last month - also has 1000 reservations for its Model S electric sedan and plans to roll into Europe this year, opening showrooms in London, Monaco and Munich, as well as Seattle, Miami, Washington, Chicago and a second New York store in the Chelsea Art District.
Tuchman, a former automotive engineer who also owns a 1967 Mercedes 250 and a 1993 Jaguar convertible, took delivery of a Twilight Blue Roadster last weekend and plans to use it as his primary commuter vehicle.
The Tesla Roadster boasts sports car performance (0-to-60 mph acceleration in 3.9 seconds) with a 244 mile range between battery charges. The Roadster beats most other cars for acceleration and is claimed to be twice as energy efficient as the Toyota Prius. It's estimated that it costs about $4 to refuel and full recharge within 3.5 hours.
There are incentives in the U.S. to encourage uptake of zero-emission vehicles. A $7,500 US federal tax credit applies to Tesla Roadsters and in some areas like New Jersey, there are added exemptions from sales, use and luxury taxes. Single occupants of alternative-fuel vehicles may also use the high-occupancy commuter lanes on some freeways.
The 500th Roadster to leave the production comes 12 months after commencement of production .