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Tesla: in the workshop of the car co. of the future?

“I think that by 2030 the majority of the vehicles on the road will be electric vehicle and it may be the vast majority”. Tesla’s vice president of business development Diarmuid O’Connell has good reason to be optimistic. His company has turned a profit after 6 years in the car business just when the rest of the auto industry is suffering to stay afloat.

Tesla proved electrics could be sexy and fast with the release of the Roadster in March of 2008. Praised by the likes of Matt Damon, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio and Dustin Hoffman, it’s gotten a lot of buzz and for good reason.

It accelerates from zero to 60mph in 3.7 seconds, nearly as fast as a top-line Ferrari. Electric motors are built to go fast: unlike internal combustion engines they have full torque, or pulling-power, from zero revs and thus are, according to The Economist, “predisposed to go like a bat out of hell without the aid of a gearbox“.

Besides being fast, the Roaster is also America and Europe’s first highway legal all-electric vehicle and the first EV with a range of over 200 miles. The range is about 300 miles per charge. While the Roadster has at a very niche price of $109,000, the Tesla Model X- due out in 2011- will be more moderately priced at $50,000. It will also be more spacious than its 2-seater predecessor, with room for 7.

In this video, we take a tour of Tesla’s flagship retail store in Menlo Park, California where O’Connell talks about the future of Tesla, and communications director Rachel Konrad explains how with Tesla’s onboard charger owners can plug in anywhere.