Behind the Scenes: $128,500 Tesla Roadster Sport

Talk about electricity.

My Bloomberg column on the all-electric Tesla Roadster ran today, and I’ll be doing a live spot on Bloomberg TV at 4:45 Friday afternoon December 4th, as well (plug plug!). I’ve been waiting some time to get behind the wheel of this sucker, considering it’s not only the first electric sports car out, it’s actually the first all-electric car to go on sale, period, in the last few years. (I’m not so sure the GM EV-1 counts anyhow, and the other golf-cart-like cars such as the Neighborhood certainly don’t.)

It’s zero to 60 mph is as good as Ferrari, fer Crissakes, and its exterior DNA is straight from one of my favorite rides, the Lotus Elise. So what’s not to like?

Well, as I mention briefly, there are problems, like range anxiety and scant storage space. I got around 140 miles out of the car on the cold and rainy day I drove it, which may also have had some effect on the range. And I did several  energy-sucking zero-to-60 runs, just because it’s too much fun not too. That being said, I didn’t put it into “performance” mode, which is how you’ll actually attain the most serious torque (and that 3.7 second time) — I was warned this mode REALLY sucks power.

And though it was chilly, I chided a passenger not to put on the heater, which in an electric drains power, unlike a normal car which just uses ambient engine heat.

No worries/whatever. Many sports cars are less-than-practical toys — I barely complain when a supercar gets 12 miles per gallon — so why hold the Tesla up to a special standards. After all, it’s truly broken a mold.

The fact is, this car was mad fun. It goes to show that the future of cars can not only be green, but, significantly, fun. With other hot EVs on the way, including the Fisker Karma and Audi’s eTron, it looks like a whole new segment of road-burning super-sportscar is in the making, and one you won’t have to feel (overly) guilty about.