Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on February 9, 2008
Sports car fanatics that lean green have been producing excess saliva since their first glance at the Tesla Roadster. And after the long wait, their appetites will be sated this March when the fully-electric Roadster, with a range of 200 miles, finally enters production.
But wait a minute, there are some problems. For starters, the San Carlos, CA company has reported $43 million in operating losses over the last 5 years, something the $98,000 price tag of the Roadster won’t overcome. Then there’s the waiver that Tesla needed to secure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because the two-seater doesn’t have a weight sensor to turn off the passenger-side airbag for little ones. This minor factor alone could have put the entire company out of business.
And, of course, the Roadster hides behind a green façade with its Lithium Ion batteries charged by dirty electricity. The batteries are produced in Thailand, the company’s manufacturing plant is in England and the headquarters are in California – another anti-green global problem. Not to mention that the electronics are probably manufactured somewhere in Asia, too — completely burying any idea that this car is “G” friendly.
Don’t get me wrong — I love the look of the Roadster, and if someone gave it to me, I could probably make myself drive it. But let’s be clear: electric or not, the Roadster represents yet another green marketing ruse, offering a break for the unwitting conscience without offering a break for the environment.