Thursday, June 17, 2021
News The First Tesla Roadster Prototype Was Unveiled 14 Years Ago Today

The First Tesla Roadster Prototype Was Unveiled 14 Years Ago Today

Happy Birthday, Tesla Roadster

  • The original Tesla Roadster was built on a Lotus Elise chassis

  • It was unveiled by Tesla on July 19, 2006 in Santa Monica

  • It would go on to become the first Tesla production model in 2008


On July 19, 2006, a man by the name of Elon Musk unveiled an electric car prototype called the Tesla Roadster in Santa Monica, California.

Who would have known that 14 years later, Tesla would become the most profitable car company in the world. The production Tesla Roadster based on the concept shown in 2006 hit the market in 2008 and was produced until 2012.

The unveiling took place at the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport. It was a small event by Tesla’s current standards, but the Roadster quickly garnered at lot of attention. It was even featured in Time Magazine‘s Best Inventions of 2006 alongside a robot that could ride a bike and a San Diego company called Allerca that bred hypoallergenic cats.

Of all the inventions of 2006, one could argue the Tesla Roadster would go on to have to biggest impact on our daily lives. When you think about how Tesla has changed the automotive landscape today, it’s hard to imagine it all came from a small two-seater costing $100,000 US.

Tesla Roadster July 19, 2006
Original Tesla Roadster | Photo: Tesla

The production 2008 Tesla Roadster was powered by a 248-horsepower electric motor connected to a 53.0-kW battery that provided 244 miles of range (393 kilometres). It reached 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The first production model was delivered to Elon Musk himself.

As with every Tesla model since except maybe the Cybertruck, the reaction was almost unanimously positive. Tesla sold out the first 100 Tesla Roadster units in less than a month. By the time production began in March, 2008, 200 Tesla Roadster units were pre-sold.

In 2010, Tesla set out to show that an electric vehicle could work as a daily driver. It sent a Roadster around the world, starting at the Geneva Motor Show in March of that year and finishing the trip six months later in Paris on September 28.

Interestingly, Tesla Motors inc that produced the Roadster wasn’t just the brainchild of Elon Musk. As a matter of fact, the original Tesla was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2003. Elon Musk came on board in 2004 with a $7.5 million US investment and oversaw the original Roadster’s development while also developing Tesla’s long-term product planning strategy.

That original investment has turned into a net worth of over $70 billion, so we’re guessing Elon would do it all over again. And that first Tesla Roadster, like it or not, changed the automotive industry forever.

Happy birthday Tesla Roadster!

Tesla Roadster July 19, 2006 Tesla Roadster July 19, 2006

Trending Now

Subaru Adds Onyx to 2022 Ascent, Rest of Line Keeps Same Price

Ascent starts from just over $32k 2022 models set to hit dealers in summer For 2022, the Subaru Ascent is getting a new Onyx...

Ford F-150 Lightning Has 100,000 Pre-Orders And Counting

Ford’s EV product run will also include an electric version of the Explorer. The Lightning was revealed on May 19th. Based price in...

Jeep Photo On Facebook Hints At Gladiator 4xe

The Wrangler 4xe is the first electrified Jeep in North America, but won’t be the last. Jeep has said that it will electrify...

2022 Honda Civic Priced From $24,465 In Canada

This is the 11th generation of Canada’s best-selling car. These prices are for the sedan. The hatchback will be revealed next week. The all-new...

The Fastest Dodge Ever Will Come With an Electric Motor

Dodge planning to add electric drive to beat Demon Stellantis brands planning to electrify in a hurry How does Dodge plan to go faster...
Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.