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Tales from the Road…

Patience Rewarded – Tesla Roadster

By Laurel B. Miranda
Tesla Roadster
Jon Mittelhauser in a Tesla Roadster

After being on the waitlist for over two and a half years, Jon Mittelhauser, one of the founders of Netscape Communications, has a new car in his garage…the highly touted Tesla Roadster.

Based on a Lotus chassis, the Roaster is an all-electric sports car that can accelerate from 0 – 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds and can travel over 240 miles on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack.

When Jon called the Tesla sales department in 2006 to put his name of the waitlist for one of the company’s first production cars—known as the “Signature 100 Series”—he had not even seen a Tesla Roadster in person; he had only read about it on the Internet.

Nonetheless, Jon’s years of patience paid off; he loves his new car, saying “It really opens your eyes to the future of automobiles. No gas-powered car can even come close to the feel provided by instant torque at any speed. It still amazes me that a car which is so much fun to drive can have zero emissions.”

The only thing that is not ideal for Jon about his new car is trying to squeeze his 6’3” frame into the Roadster. However, in Tesla’s defense, Jon would probably have similar issues with any high-performance sports car. Jon is actually pleased he fits as well as he does in the Tesla’s interior.

Because Teslas are still relatively rare, people stop Jon in public parking lots to ask him questions about his new Roadster. Blessed with unusual good humor, Jon generally enjoys talking with curious bystanders about his new car and the advantages he sees in electric versus gasoline-powered engines.

However, even Jon has his limits. He has decided that he can no longer drive the Tesla Roadster to Fry’s Electronics. The last time he was there, it took him over thirty minutes to extract himself from all the Silicon Valley engineers who crowded around him and his new car! Jon is lucky he knows his way around the Internet; it looks like he will have to make all his electronics purchases on-line for the foreseeable future, or at least drive a different car to Fry’s.

Special Article Series on Environmentally Friendly "Green Cars"

Compliments of Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance