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Tragedy struck Tesla Motors after a twin-engine Cessna piloted by a Tesla manager crashed into an East Palo Alto neighborhood today resulting in the death of the pilot and two other Tesla employees that were on-board with him.

From what we’ve gathered, the plane, which was owned by Doug Bourn, a senior electrical engineer from Tesla, took off from Palo Alto Airport and was headed for Hawthorne Municipal Airport in Los Angeles County. According to various reports, the plane crashed minutes after it took off at an East Palo Alto neighbourhood, crashing first into an electric transmission line before exploding upon impact.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk issued a statement immediately following the horrific tragedy, calling it the worst day in Tesla’s history.

“Three Tesla employees were on board a plane that crashed in East Palo Alto early this morning,” Musk said in a statement. “We are withholding their identities as we work with the relevant authorities to notify the families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Tesla is a small, tightly-knit company, and this is a tragic day for us.”

Despite our running jokes about how Tesla tries to sell eco-friendly electric cars, yet travel on some pretty high-end, gas-guzzling planes, this unimaginable tragedy is something that we take pretty seriously. Our hearts and our prayers go out to all the affected families.

There aren’t that many Tesla Roadsters out there – so far, there are around 940 units all over the world - so if one of them ends up in an accident, then you can bet that it’s going to make some news.

Ever the benevolent purveyors of exotic car crashes; our buddies over at Wrecked Exotics recently unearthed two Tesla Roadster crashes that happened just recently. Though the accidents weren’t related, the two accidents brings the total of Tesla Roadster car crashes, at least as far as Wrecked Exotics is concerned, to six, with one of them being a test vehicle that met an untimely demise even before production for the car began.

As for the two newest members of the Tesla Roadster car crash club, we’re relieved to say that both cars didn’t suffer the same metal-crunching fate that other sports cars seem to routinely find themselves in.

The black 2008 Roadster accident occurred in Orlando after the driver lost control of the car after which, it clipped a concrete divider resulting in the front left side of the car to need some facial reconstructive surgery.

As for the orange 2008 Roadster that figured into an accident of its own, it was merely a minor fender-bender mishap involving the over-eager owner of the Roadster. Despite the relatively subdued crash, the orange Roadster got introduced into the world of car crashes pretty early since the car – with a total mileage of just under 3,000 miles – is still what many consider as ‘just out of the box’.

It’s never a good thing for any of us to be reporting on car crashes of any sort. But these two Tesla Roadster Tesla Roadster crashes somehow alleviates our burden because the crashes, though expensive to repair, as we can imagine, didn’t come at the cost of a life.

The all electric American automaker Tesla has just unveiled a right-hand-drive version of its successful open air zero emissions EV Roadster in London and is priced at £86,950. "The right-hand-drive model is our response to growing demand from high-performance car buyers in the UK who are also interested in their impact on the environment," said Cristiano Carlutti, Tesla’s Vice President for European Sales and Operations. "Tesla is dramatically expanding its retail footprint in Europe, we look forward to building our community of owners and fans throughout the continent."

The 2010 Roadster for those who drive on the opposite side of the road includes a host of unique noise reduction materials, an upgraded sound system as well as a few other enhancements that make it ideal for daily commuting or weekend drives. After all, who wouldn’t want to own a vehicle that is as powerful as a Porsche and twice as efficient as a Prius, especially with one particular owner setting a 313 mile distance record from only a single charge with his own personal Roadster, offering up the best of both worlds for Tesla owners.

Press release after the jump.

Posted on by Terence 10

According to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission the high end electric car builder Tesla Motors is planning to raise as much as $100 Million in capital through the aide of public investors. While the entire automotive manufacturing industry is facing difficult times, Tesla hopes that they will be able to supplement the $465 Million loan from the federal government and claim a lasting stake in the new car market by increase the public’s awareness about the forward thinking green car builder’s intent to mass produce electric vehicles for a wide range of consumers.

The California based car builder Tesla is currently offering a lineup of only two cars, with the high performance $100,000+ open air Roadster leading the charge and the $60,000 Model S sedan following closely behind. By opening themselves up to public investors with an IPO, the electric automaker is adding another element of uncertainty to their plans in an already unstable new car market; however Tesla co founder and CEO Elon Musk is no stranger to taking chances.

Continued after the jump.

Source: L.A. Times

Tesla ’s attendance at the Detroit Auto Show has been finalized and the California-based electric car maker will go to Detroit the old fashioned way: road trip. Beginning on December 17, 16 Tesla employees will start their road trip from Los Angeles and will go on a city-by-city tour en route to Detroit and Detroit Auto Show in the first week of January.

Tesla to embark on two-week LA-to-Detroit roadtrip

The decision to travel to Detroit by land was prompted by the company’s desire to espouse the message that Tesla is more than just a rich environmentalist’s pet car. “We are out to porve the Roadster is tough and durable, and that range for anxiety is for the week,” Tesla’s announcement
said.

As we’ve mentioned, their trip from LA to Detroit will be marked by a number of pit stops along the way, mainly because the cars need to be recharged every so often but also because it affords the brand to expand their reach to other parts of the country. A number of cities have already been listed on the company website as to when the Tesla caravan will stop by their areas so if any of you are looking for a first-hand look at the electric sports car, check out their site to see if they’ll be dropping your city in the coming weeks.

Source: Tesla

With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, it only makes sense that high end tuners like Brabus are delving into the world of Tesla Tesla tuning along with the forward thinking electric charging station chain RWE with this modified electric roadster. RWE recognizes that the single largest drawback of an EV is the amount of time that it takes to recharge the batteries and feels that if owners had access to in home rapid charging stations, like their Eco-Power unit, that we would see a lot more on the road already. So at this year’s Essen Motor Show Brabus and RWE will have this lightly modified Tesla Roadster Tesla Roadster on display complete with the more practical Eco-Power charging station that fits in your garage and is able to top off the batteries three times faster than with a conventional outlet.

Tesla Roadster Sport Brabus Green Package

The TESLA Roadster Sport Brabus Green Package kit includes a carbon fiber front lip and the obligatory highly efficient LED driving lights integrated into the roadster’s grill. Out back Brabus has incorporated a rear wing made from the lightweight woven black stuff and a downforce producing rear diffuser, while a set of staggered Monoblock S alloy wheels measuring 18 inches up front and 19 inches on the back axle. For those high performance electric car owners who miss the sounds of the internal combustion engine, Brabus has also incorporated a space sound generator that can produce tones ranging from race cars and V8s to futuristic songs that are referred to as Beam and Warp. And if that still isn’t enough to convince you, RWE is also offering the use of all their public charging stations to their Eco-Power customers free of charge for up to one year.

UPDATE 12/07/10:Tesla and Brabus have finally released a new set of photos of the Roadster Sport Brabus Green Package. We don’t really know why it took more than a year for these new photos to hit the streets, but some things are just worth waiting for. This is one of those times.

Press release after the jump.

This animation ad isn’t in any way shape or form associated with Tesla , but judging from the professionalism done behind it, you’d figure that it would be something that they’d wanted to have on their portfolio.

The homemade video was done by some dude named Kirk Perry and, suffice to say, it’s pretty good – good enough to get our endorsement, at least. The modest designer even said that this particular work involving a digital model of the Tesla S is nothing more than just practice for him, saying that he was just experimenting with some new techniques using After Effects.

If anybody over at Tesla happens to see this, you might want to give Mr. Perry a project - or two.

Source: Vimeo

In the not-so-distant future, car record-seekers are more likely to pass up on chasing the any sort of speed marks in favor of a new trend that seems to be sweeping the electric car world: how far can you go on one charge.

Tesla Roadster sets new record by going 313 miles on one charge

This week, Australia played host to the Global Green Challenge, where among other things, a new record was set by Simon Hackett on how far a lithium-ion battery-powered car can go on just one full charge. Driving a Tesla Roadster across the plains and valleys of Australia, Hackett established a new mark of 313 miles (501 km) on one charge, beating the previous record holder - ironically, another Tesla Roadster – of 241 miles set earlier this year at the Rallye Monte Carlo d’Energies Alternatives.

While the record itself is impressive in its own right, we can’t help but wonder exactly how far the Roadster was going when it reached that numbers. We know for certain that when the Roadster flexes its muscles, it would be a stretch to even think that it can reach 200 miles on one charge.

Press release after the jump.

Source: Tesla

Over at Tesla, a new motto is apparently taking shape: “you don’t come to us; we come to you.” In an attempt to establish a reputation as a brand that caters to the needs of its customers, Tesla Motors is keeping true to its mission of being of service to its patrons. So, as a way to ensure that they have the customer’s back in ways no other brand has, the California-based company recently announced that the arrival of their new at-home service vehicle.

Tesla introduces new mobile service squad

It’s called the Tesla Mobile Service Rangers and it was created to allow Tesla owners to have all their auto needs taken cared off right at the confines of their own homes. Whether it’s the annual service tune-ups or unsuspected malfunctions, the Tesla Mobile Service Rangers seeks to provide Tesla owners with the most personal of care.

The flip side of this new service is that it comes with a price, and it’s not a cheap one at that. Anybody who wishes to give these guys a call will be charged a dollar per round-trip mile with a minimum charge of $100. Then again, the price for convenience is well, priceless. Besides, if you can afford to buy a Roadster, then we think you won’t have any problems forking over $100 for its maintenance.

Source: Tesla

These days, the push towards electric car production has not been limited to just big time auto manufacturers; even the small-scale brands have taken their turns in creating their own electric vehicles, proving that the electric car could very well be the future of the industry.

Take Tesla , for instance. While it doesn’t have the same resources as other car brands out there, the California-based electric carmaker has nevertheless made quite an impression in the industry as a foremost proponent of the electric car revolution. Though a relative newbie in the industry with a still questionable financial structure, Tesla has been able to produce some of the more popular electric cars out in the market today; so much so that it even secure a loan from the Department of Energy to help finance the building of a new plant to develop the Model S .

At least, that’s what the original plan was. As it turns out, the company is also using the funding it secured under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program to develop a whole new fleet of electric cars, including a minivan, a CUV, and a utility van.

Continued after the jump.

Source: Tesla

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