by Michael dEstries
Categories: People, Transport.

snipshot_e41ece8jat7s.jpgRemember when you couldn’t buy a Toyota Prius to save your life? Demand was crazy, spotting one was akin to reading ‘Where’s Waldo?’, and the waiting list was depressing. Think of the Tesla Roadster having the same effect on the very rich — but in even more limited quantities.

This is what Tesla Motors is facing as it prepares to place the final touches on its all-electric sports car. All in all, when the first units roll out in late summer, the last person on the waiting list –with more than 380 ordered — won’t be cruising in this red beauty until June of ’08. So, as you can imagine, where you are on that list is very, very important.

Lawrence Ulrich of the NY Times has the opportunity a few weeks back to take the Tesla for a spin. He also managed to squeeze out of company reps who the first fortunate few will be to land a Tesla in their driveways. From the article,

“Beyond that, Tesla is being somewhat coy about the public run. But George Clooney’s cleft-chin credentials –- Hollywood superstardom, passion for green issues, decent checking balance -– got him all the way to No. 8 on Tesla’s list. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’s been wielding his regulatory pen against carbon-dioxide emissions like it was Conan’s mighty sword, couldn’t get higher than No. 10. The Governator, however, only asked for his car two weeks ago, and was almost immediately slotted into the Top Ten.

Will.i.am of the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas, expressed his interest in the Tesla and is now hovering around No. 59. In a hip-hop universe that exerts enormous cultural influence, having an owner-advocate in the community could create even more buzz for electric cars, Mr. Siry said.”

I think Tesla is playing their cards right with this roll-out. Celebrity influence is incredibly inportant — even more powerful than any marketing budget — and getting these vehicles into the hands of people who will really show them off is key.

And for the rest of us on the outside looking in, fret not. The article also revealed that Tesla is working on a sedan (codenamed White Star) that will have increased room and offer a more practical alternative to the roadster. They expect to produce almost 10,000 by 2009 — so here’s to hoping the price is considerably lower.

So tell us, where are you on Tesla’s golden list?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • bright strangely

    i know this is ecorazzi and all… but can we sound a little less chipper about the tesla and how beyond us all it is? it’s so incredibly sad to me that fashion drives more eco-purchases and designs than truth, especially after the discovery about “i am not a plastic bag”. how many celebrities have a bus pass?

  • CassieST

    Hurumph!

    I’d be #1 if everyone had started listening to me 40 years ago! ;-)

  • Mr. Know-it-all

    BIG DEAL! A few hundred battery EVs clogging the streets. And MAYBE up to 10,000 sedans in a few years? Are these guys serious or just looking for a real automaker to buyout their company?

    The battery EV Zealots finally get to drive this tiny, UNPROVEN, and impractical car. Hmmm, let’s see, non-automotive industry people aka computer geeks make yet another battery electric car that the majority of the public already rejected earlier this decade. Sounds neato.

    How much will the 1,000 lbs. of replacement batteries cost the “priviledged” owner?

    How much will the supposed “practical” sedan (codenamed White Star) cost? Sounds like something Dr. Evil may have designed…LOL

    Hey “EVERYBODY” don’t become lemmings like those in Hollywood who didn’t go to college. You can eliminate your petroleum addiction by driving a car that has been made in the USA for 10 years, always ranked the “Greenest Car”, and has the highest safety rating: http://www.civicgx.com

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