Tesla has announced that the electric Roadster will go on sale by the end of the year. There are already 600 requests for the $100,000 vehicle by October or November.

The Roadster is being assembled by Lotus Engineering in England, with engines manufactured by Tesla in Taiwan and battery packs made in Thailand with 6,831 individual lithium ion cells from Japan.

The Silicon Valley-based Tesla has pre-sold 570 cars, including one for the California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, for his wife Maria Shriver, and actor George Clooney. The company will make 1,000 2008 model year cars.

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 Roadster, which has a base price of $98,000, can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds and has a range of more than 200 miles on a single charge on a household plug.

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