The all-electric, hot and sexy Tesla Roadster goes zero to sixty in 3.9 seconds and sits in the garages of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, David Letterman, and the founders of Google.
There are six hundred of them in the world, put together not in Detroit but in Silicon Valley. In 2011, backed by almost half a billion dollars in government loans, Tesla plans to roll out a high-performance sedan, the Model S.
In a decade, claims Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, there could be a million new Teslas a year. They could revolutionize the U.S. auto industry, he says. And save the world.
Elon Musk dreams big. Is he just dreaming?
This hour, On Point: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, on the future of electric cars -- and the planet.
Joining us from Los Angeles is Elon Musk, chairman, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors. A Silicon Valley entrepeneur, he's also CEO of Space X, a space technologies company that resupplies the Space Station and aims to colonize Mars; chairman of SolarCity, a solar power provider; and co-founder of PayPal.
From Detroit, we're joined by Bill Vlasic, Detroit bureau chief for The New York Times.
You can see a photo gallery of Tesla's cars at their website.
In a skeptical piece last June, BusinessWeek's David Welch asked "Can Tesla Become a Real Automaker?" And on The New York Times' Wheels blog, Jim Motavalli looked at some of the challenges facing Tesla's Model S.
Here's the Edmunds.com video review of the forthcoming Model S:
Watch a video about the forthcoming Tesla sedan, the Model S:
This program aired on September 24, 2009.