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Posted at 9:06 AM ET, 02/10/2011

Tesla Motors opens D.C. showroom

By Washington Post Editors

tesla21111.jpg
Tesla Roadster (The Associated Press)

[This post has been updated]

Tesla Motors, the California-based car company that has been delivering its sporty electric Roadsters to customers since 2008, opened its Washington showroom this week.

The Post's Jonathan O'Connell reports that Tesla is allowing test drives.

According to Tesla, the showroom, located at 1050 K Street, is the company's 16th store worldwide and will also serve as a service center and a regional hub for its technicians.

Tesla plans to hold an open house on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The company's Model S prototype, a four-door sedan it plans to deliver in 2012, will be on display, the company said. The Tesla Roadster sells for more than $100,000, but Tesla estimates the Model S will start at less than $50,000.

Have you test-driven a Tesla, or do you own an electric car, such as the new Chevy Volt? What's your experience driving around the Washington area? Post a comment below.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 10, 2011; 9:06 AM ET
Categories:  Driving  | Tags:  Tesla, electric cars  
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Comments

Nice car, but with its limited range, it's impractical if you ever want to go anywhere at all distant from DC. Even Charlottesville is right at the farthest edge of its roundtrip range without charging the batteries, and that's assuming you don't get stuck in traffic or drive at night where the headlights might sap some of the charge. I know I wouldn't take the chance.

I suppose, though, that if you can afford a $100,000 car, you can probably easily afford a second car, or alternatively you can rent a car, for purposes other than commuting and local errands.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 10, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Nikola Tesla was the greatest inventive mind of the 20th century and was buggered out of his fame and fortune by Edison, Westinghouse, Marconi and every other pseudo-scientific hack who ever profited by his works. If he has to be remembered somehow, this is at least a start.

Posted by: JustSaying1945 | February 10, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree that some might think its impractical, but I think that comes without realizing their continuously growing technology capabilities. Not only is the Tesla recharging time the fastest in the industry but they will soon be offering (with the Model S) the ability to switch out battery packs. You carry the second charged battery with you and switch them out in a matter of 2 minutes.
Being stuck in traffic should be of least concern, as one could argue the exact same for a typical gasoline-powered vehicle running out of gas in traffic.
At $100,000 the Roadster is obviously not for the average driver's daily commute. The purchasers of these automobiles are by car enthusiasts and those willing to own a vehicle that represents the future of the automobile. Their purchases lead to the future decline in EV prices, similarly to the trend of all emerging technological advances (flat-screen tvs, cell phones, iPods, etc.).

Posted by: cannonmq | February 10, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Not everyone wants to be BFFs with Exxon, Chevron, and BP. Those people should have a choice, so it's good that Tesla is giving them one. In addition to the Roadster and the upcoming Model S, Tesla also produces the battery pack for the electric version of the Smart Car, and is working with Toyota on a new RAV4 electric.

I'm sure there will be lots of comments here trashing electric cars, but there is no need to do that; no one is forcing anyone to buy one if they don't want one.

Does anyone remember all the way back to last summer? Recall the oil flowing all over the Gulf of Mexico, hitting beaches and wetlands, killing birds, fish, shrimp and other animals?

Probably most people don't even realize that there is any connection from that to the way they get to work in the morning.

Posted by: BBHY1 | February 11, 2011 6:06 AM | Report abuse

"Nice car, but with its limited range, it's impractical if you ever want to go anywhere at all distant from DC. Even Charlottesville is right at the farthest edge of its roundtrip range without charging the batteries, and that's assuming you don't get stuck in traffic or drive at night where the headlights might sap some of the charge. I know I wouldn't take the chance."

How often do you drive more than 230 miles in a day (or 400+ if you charge along the way)? A small amount of planning is worth never having to use gasoline again.

Posted by: g99999 | February 11, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I test drove the Tesla Roadster on Friday around the Mt. Vernon Square area in the District, not far from where I live. It was an awesome experience. When I released my foot from the accelator, the car automatically braked without me having to touch the brake pedal. The rate of deceleration almost equalled the rate of acceleration. It was almost like riding the Acela Express where the electric engines smoothly slow down the train. Many rear end collisions will be avoided because of this feature. Motorists will be more easily avoid hitting byclists and pedestrians. The car was a joy to drive. Also, kudos to Tesla for opening its showroom in downtown DC, instead of Montgomery or Fairfax Counties.

Posted by: neighborhoodresident | February 11, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I test drove the Tesla Roadster on Thursday. It was a joy to drive and lot's of fun. I drove through the Mt. Vernon Square neighborhood, close to where I live in the District. The most pleasant surprise was the automatic braking feature. When I lifted my foot off the gas (oops, electric) pedal, the car decelerated at almost the same rate I accelerated without me having to touch the brake pedal. Even the brake light went automatically as I was slowing up. It was like being on the Acela Express where the electric motors smoothly and quickly slow down the train. This Tesla safety feature will undoubtedly save many lives and help motorists avoid rear-end collisions. Also, kudos to Tesla for opening its showroom at 11th and K Streets, NW--in the heart of the new downtown.

Posted by: neighborhoodresident | February 11, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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