Electric cars coming to town
Penn State alumnus is roadster engineer
Today two sports cars will roar into the Nittany Valley — but the only sound of their passing will be the noise of tires on pavement and the steady hum of their electric motors.
Tesla Roadster. On Friday, from 10 a.m. to noon, the twin roadsters will be on display at Penn State’s Morningstar solar home off of Park Avenue — free and open to the public.
Tesla Roadsters will appear in a display in State College today as part of a nationwide tour to promote electric vehicles.
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With a zero-to-60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph, the Tesla Roadster is hardly the stereotypical all-electric car — normally considered slow vehicles with a short driving range.
By contrast, the roadsters are fast and can travel more than 200 miles between charges — no small feat compared to the electric vehicles of yore that normally topped out at a 60-mile range.
Of course, all that performance comes at a cost — the 2009 Tesla Roadster starts at a base price of about $100,000. The company is working to develop a family-sized model with a price tag of around $50,000.
When the Teslas roll into State College today as part of a nationwide tour to raise interest in renewable energy and electric vehicles, they will not only be displaying some of the latest evolutions in alternative vehicles, but also technology developed in part at Penn State. One of Tesla’s research and development engineers is Jamie Clark, who received his master’s degree from Penn State in 2008.
Also on display as part of the Renew America Roadtrip’s stop will be a Nissan Hybrid Altima, touring with the Teslas; Penn State’s Chevy Equinox hybrid and the Hi-Lion fuel cell vehicle — a stock 1997 GM EV1 that was converted to hydrogen fuel cell operations by the Penn State students.
In addition to the public display, one of the purposes of the visit to Penn State is for a pit stop — a recharge overnight Thursday before roaring off to Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon — minus the roaring engine noise, of course.
(Copied from Penn State L-Sustainability Mailing List)