Renewable Energy

More mpg than a Prius and faster than a Ferrari

Posted by Jeroen van Agt in Transport Add comments

When talking about electric cars, many people people still have the image in mind of a slow golf car or a quiet car for disabled people. This car proves the opposite. The car accelerates from 0-60 mph in less than 4 sconds, has 248 HP, an equivalent fuel usage of 192 mpg and is 100% electric. This is the new Tesla Roadster….

Tesla Roadster

Tesla Motors

The Tesla Roadster is made by the company Tesla Motors

Tesla Roadster

Tesla roadster front-view

The name Tesla is derived from Nikola Tesla an Serb-American inventor,physicist, mechanical engineer and electrical engineer. Tesla’s patents and theoretical work formed the basis of modern alternating current electric power (AC) systems. The same motor also used in the Tesla Roadster.

Tesla Roadster

Tesla roadster back-view


As you may know, a good electric motor is much more efficient (95%) compared to a diesel engine (35%) or a petrol engine (25%). The result is that you need less energy for driving an electric car compared to a fossil fuel car. Although the car has more weight due to batteries, this is over compensated by the improved efficiency of the engine and the energy retrieved back during regenerative braking.

Elektromotor Tesla Roadster

The electric engine of the tesla roadster


Not only are electric engines very efficient, they also have a perfect torque curve. This perfect torque curve causes an electric car to accelerate very fast. An electric motor has a high torque for the full rpm range (0-13.000 rpm).


Motor torque curve. Click on graph for details.

This is the precise opposite of what you experience with a gasoline engine, which has very little torque at a low rpm and only reaches peak torque in a narrow rpm range. This forces you to make frequent gear changes to maintain optimal torque.

Tesla Roadster


The specifications of the Tesla roadster are impressive.

Motor type 3-phase, 4-pole elektromotor
Max. power 248 PK (185kW)
Max. rpm 13,000
Efficiency 90% average, 80% at peak power
Max. torque 244 Nm


The electric car does not produce CO2 or other polluting exhaust when the electricity of the car is generated using renewable energy sources. Fortunately there are more than enough renewable energy sources on earth.

Source: New renewable energy sources, Norway

The annual amount of solar energy on earth is larger than the all the available oil, gas, uranium and coal added together. The annual amount of exploitable energy using solar power or wind power are (both) larger than the world annual energy consumption. Knowing this, it is very strange that we keep burning fossil fuels, polluting our environment and changing our world climate.

If we want to start using these renewable energy sources to build a sustainable future we must invest large scale in renewable energy production. With peak-oil happening (in the near future) and climate change (which is already started) we cannot wait any longer.

Energy usage

The energy usage of the Tesla is 176 Wh / mile. The average US residential retail price for electricity in 2007 was $0.1064 / kWh. The energy consumption cost for the Tesla is 0,176 * $0.1064 = $0.0187 / mile. Lets compare this with a Toyota prius getting 45 mpg–U.S. (5.23 L/100 km / 54 mpg–imp) on the highway according to the U.S. EPA. The price of gasoline cost $3.60 per gallon (updated 4/28/2008) and thus driving a Toyota prius will cost $3.60 / 45 = $0.08 / mile. So the Tesla is 4 times less expensive to drive than a Toyota prius (when comparing the energy / fuel usage). When we calculate the equivalent fuel usage we get the following:

The Tesla Roadster has an equivalent fuel usage of 192 mpg.

Using the Tesla together with your own solar panels make things even more interesting.


The range of a car is determined by the energy usage per mile and the amount of energy available in the car. The Tesla Roadster makes use of lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have a high energy density of 200 Wh / kg. This packs 5 times more energy per kg than the well known lead-acid batteries. The result: the Tesla has to carry “only” 500 kg (~1100 pounds) of batteries for a range of 220 miles.


Plug your Tesla Roadster into its at-home charging unit, and you’ll be fully charged in about 3.5 hours. But this is only needed with a completely dead battery. Even after a 100-mile trip, you can be completely charged in less than two hours (with a Home Changing Station installed operating at 70 amps). And should you need to charge on the road, packed away in the trunk is an optional mobile-charging kit that lets you charge from most standard electrical outlets while away from home.


Charging at home

Regenerative breaking

With regenerative braking, the motor is used as generator which recovers and stores the energy usually lost when you slow down. Up to 30% of the energy can be recovered using regenerative braking. This is especialy true in a city where you need to a lot of breaking (due to the traffic lights).



10 Responses to “More mpg than a Prius and faster than a Ferrari”

  1. Jeanne Eisenhut Says:

    Excellent article; great graphics. I really believe that more and more people are looking for a vehicle that saves energy. For us, gasoline is now $4.00 per gallon. I know that you have paid a lot more that, but the Midwest of the U.S. does not offer good public transportation to offset the high cost of fuel.

  2. Ahmad Kamal Says:


    I am Ahmad Kamal from Pakistan.
    And I am student of electrical engineering and interested in electric car systems. These are good articles but i want more information about electric car system because I want to make a mini car as a project .

    may i get any guidance to make a electric car

  3. Ali Muntazir Says:

    @ Ahmed Kamal man it not possible to give you the spoons of information if you`re an engg then you should know how an AC motor works when the power is dc.but i shortly tell you that tesla has a very complex and precise pwer control units. this unit should be an electronic circuit.

  4. TopGear Says:

    Me & my fellow classmates use your blogs as our reference materials. We look out for more interesting posts from your end about the same topic . Even the future updates about this topic would be of great help.

  5. David Burrell Says:

    I heard a rumour that Renault (?) is negotiating to have its new “Fluence” all electric car integrated into at least one of the major car hire firm’s fleets. Does anyone have any information on this, please?

  6. Francis Fernandez Says:

    Dear sirs,

    I would like to apply for representation rights for the Tesla Electric Vehicle in Mayaysia. Our traffic system is for Right Hand Drive only. We are the fastest growth area of aSouth East Asia currently and have our own gasoline engined car called the Proton. This year , an Electric version ( of Mitsubishi origin) is to be introduced into this market. The same goes for the surrounding nations such as Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia .In China,,the are plans to set up 10 million cEV charging stations. We are now negotiating with a US manufacturer of Solar and Wind Charging systems for car-parks. If you are comfortable with our proposal, please send us a note soon.

  7. kantilal Says:

    Things have changed a great deal within a year. What seems to be the most important thing is the storage of the current and size of the batteries.
    Charging batteries almost FREE is possible! Yes I said FREE!! I have a cocept of doing so but I do need technical advice for implementing the same. Do you think we could work to gether? Please contact me by

    e-mail: kanti12us@yahoo.com OR
    phone: 1 868 665 2270 OR 1 561 279 1729


    Dr Kantill Khatri

  8. Abu Syef MD. Tusar Says:

    It’s a boss car.


    Things have changed a great deal within a year. What seems to be the most important thing is the storage of the current and size of the batteries.
    Charging batteries almost FREE is possible! Yes I said FREE!! I have a cocept of doing so but I do need technical advice for using the Wind Power to charge the Battery Bank. Do you think we could work to gether? Please contact me by

    e-mail: kanti12us@yahoo.com OR
    phone: 1 868 665 2270 OR 1 561 279 1729


    Dr Kantill Khatri

  10. benjaminsmith3002 Says:

    Thanks for the information.
    The closest airport to sequoia national park are Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) and Visalia Municipal Airport (VIS). Fresno Yosemite International, situated approximately 65 miles from the park, is the primary gateway for travelers, offering a broader range of flight options and services. Visalia Municipal Airport, located about 80 miles away, caters more to general aviation but can be a convenient choice for visitors arriving from the southern region. Both airports serve as access points to the awe-inspiring natural wonders and majestic giant sequoias that await within the boundaries of this iconic national park.

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