Electric Tesla Roadster makes Canadian debut

The electric Tesla Roadster is now available to Canadian drivers with a passion for fast sports cars and a concern for the environment.
Tesla roadsters bound for Japan are seen at a dock in Port Hueneme, Calif. ((Chuck Kirman/Associated Press))

The electric Tesla Roadster is now available to Canadian drivers with a passion for fast sports cars and a concern for the environment.

The Tesla is billed as the only electric, highway-capable, high-performance vehicle in the world.

The Roadster consumes no gasoline and can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds. It has a top speed of 200 km/h, no tailpipe emissions, and sells for $125,000.

What makes the Tesla unique, besides its performance, is its range of nearly 400 kilometres on a single charge. The vehicle can be plugged into any standard electrical outlet or also be charged with solar, hydro or wind energy.

The first Canadian customers took delivery of their Tesla Roadsters this week.

The company is planning on opening a dealership in Toronto.

Transport Canada approved the vehicle last fall after ensuring it meets Canadian safety standards.

Calif. Gov., Arnold Schwarzenegger looks at a Tesla Model S at Tesla headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. ((Paul Sakuma/The Associated Press))

The company gets its name from Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla, who helped develop alternating current (AC) power systems.

Tesla Motors is based in Palo Alto, Calif., and is the dream of a team of entrepreneurs headed by PayPal founder Elon Musk.

Franz von Holzhausen, who was the former director of design for Mazda, designed the Roadster.

The independent automaker offers mobile service technicians known as the "Tesla Rangers," who travel to where the customer is to perform any repairs or upgrades.

Tesla recently teamed up with Toyota to help develop new electric car technologies.