Tesla drives their roadster cross-country to Detroit Auto Show

Tesla Motors – the California start-up and maker of an electric roadster – has reached a major milestone.

As part of the company's 1,000th sale, several company employees took on the challenge of a 2,700-mile trek from Los Angeles to Detroit in a Tesla Roadster. The goal: Prove that electric vehicles are viable without any special infrastructure.

"We charged it up at people's homes, restaurants, RV parks, wherever we could," said Elon Musk, Tesla's chairman and CEO. The employees were joined by several Roadster owners at a kick-off event on Dec. 17. The Roadster arrived in Detroit on Jan. 8 and was parked – unwashed – at the Tesla display on the auto show floor.

The company is auctioning off the 1,000th vehicle with the proceeds going to three Detroit-area charities and two national environmental charities, Musk said.

Musk said the company is still pushing ahead with development of the Model S sedan. He noted it is still about 2.5 years away from dealer showrooms, but is on track with the company's original development schedule.

The Model S is a four-door sedan designed to seat five adults and two children while doing 0 to 60 in less than six seconds – all with a range of 300 miles.

The car will cost less than $50,000 when a federal tax credit for electric vehicles is figured into the price. Musk said in order to make the vehicle more accessible, it will be available for lease and the lease price will be comparable to that of a $35,000 vehicle.

Musk said the company still plans to make an "affordable" $30,000 vehicle within five years. He expects the company to sell more than 200,000 of those vehicles. Detroit News

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