When potential buyers get a look at the Tesla Roadster this summer, it will be among the quickest production cars in the world. And, compared to other supercars like the Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari Enzo, and Lamborghini Diablo, it's a bargain. And even more intriguing: It has no combustion engine. The Tesla Roadster is powered by 6,831 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, the same cells that run a laptop computer. Range: 250 miles. Fuel efficiency: 1 to 2 cents per mile. Top speed: more than 130 mph.
It took Martin Eberhard, CEO of Tesla Motors
, three years to get this prototype ready for mass production, but with the backing of PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and ex-eBay chief Jeff Skoll, he has created Silicon Valley's first real car company.