Tesla Motors has set a production goal of 50 electric Roadsters in the first quarter of 2008, followed by an additional 600 cars for the remainder of the year.
Tesla is currently engaged in intensive durability and validation testing of the final prototype cars. As part of this final testing, a Tesla Roadster ran for 245 miles on the combined EPA cycle on a single charge (236 on the EPA highway cycle, 255 on the EPA city cycle).
In an announcement earlier this year, Tesla notified customers that the EPA range of the car was not likely to reach the original goal of 250, and instead would be closer to 200 miles based on progress at that time. Since then, Tesla engineers have worked diligently to improve on this.
Separately, a validation prototype Tesla Roadster successfully passed static and dynamic side-intrusion crash tests, the only tests that were not passed in the earlier prototype phase.
In other performance testing, a validation prototype Tesla Roadster accelerated consistently from 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds.
Tesla will stop taking reservations for 2008 Roadsters in the near future and initiate a traditional waiting list. Customers who sign up for the waiting list will pay $5,000 for their place in line for additional 2008 Roadsters if and when an increase in production is announced. Alternatively, customers on the waiting list will be first in line for the 2009 model year Roadster (pricing and specifications for 2009 Roadsters is not yet announced.)
Where the Rubber Meets the Road (Tesla engineer post on range and performance testing.)