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by Tim Beissmann

Electric supercar manufacturer Tesla Motors has launched its Tesla Roadster 2.5 in Australia, making it officially the first electric vehicle on sale to the Australian public. (The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is currently only available to companies and government organisations on three-year leases.)

Starting at $206,188 (plus on road costs), the Tesla Roadster 2.5 is widely acknowledged as the world’s only electric supercar.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and a 375-volt air-cooled electric motor, the Roadster produces 215kW of power and 370Nm of torque (400Nm for the Roadster Sport variant).

It has a top speed of 212km/h and it accelerates from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. That’s as fast as the $399,000 Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2, which has a 405kW/510Nm 5.2-litre V10 petrol engine.

Unlike many other fully electric vehicles whose range is limited to around 160km, the Tesla Roadster has a range of 394km and an expected battery life of seven years.

A full recharge of the 6831 individual battery cells using a high-power 240-volt wall connector takes just three and a half hours.

The Roadster features a double-insulated black roof and body covered in carbon fibre panels, which can be painted in 14 different colours.

Standard features include cruise control, power windows, air-conditioning, heated seats and two front airbags, while the options list includes a 7-inch touchscreen, leather seats and carbon fibre panel highlights.

A showroom will be established in Sydney soon, but as is the case in all Tesla markets, Australian vehicles are available through Tesla’s online dealership network.

All Australian vehicles will also come with the convenience of ‘house-call’ servicing, where Tesla’s mobile service technicians – known as Tesla Rangers – will travel to your home or office to perform annual inspections and repairs.

Tesla Motors will have a Roadster 2.5 on display to the public between 9am and 6pm on Saturday January 15 in First Fleet Park at Sydney’s Circular Quay.




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