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Magazine Honors Silicon Valley Manufacturer of Performance Electric Vehicles

NEW YORK (October 5, 2006) – Tesla Motors, manufacturers of performance electric cars, was named a recipient of a 2006 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award for its work in developing the Tesla Roadster, the world’s first all-electric production sports car. The magazine's editors presented the 2006 winners their awards Wednesday evening at the publication’s new home, the Hearst Tower in New York City.

Popular Mechanics salutes 10 advancements each year--and their innovators--that promise to shape the future by improving lives and expanding possibilities in the realms of science, technology and exploration. 2006 is the second year the publication has presented its Breakthrough Awards.

The Tesla Roadster is the first automobile to receive a Breakthrough Award.

"The Breakthrough Awards distinguish those ideas and inventions that are changing the face of technology, and the Tesla Roadster is leading an automotive revolution," said James Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics. "Martin Eberhard and his team at Tesla Motors have developed a car with something for everyone—speed, great handling, good looks and zero emissions."

“We’re pleased to receive the Breakthrough Award,” said Eberhard, CEO and co-founder of Tesla Motors. “We wanted to make a car that was fun to drive and environmentally responsible. Our key breakthrough is the concept of using Lithium-ion batteries which have long been used in laptops, cell phones, cameras, and power tools. Due to the number of cells that are used in a car we had to develop some unique technology for managing the temperature, charge balance and safety of the Tesla battery pack.”

Tesla Motors, based in San Carlos, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley, is in the process of bringing the all-electric Tesla Roadster sports car to market. It is capable of going from zero to 60 mph in around four seconds, has a top speed of better than 130 mph, and can travel up to 250 miles on a single charge. The car’s power comes from its Lithium-ion Energy Storage System, or battery pack, which can be recharged in about 3.5 hours. First deliveries are expected to begin next summer.

A complete report of the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards will be published in their November 2006 issue (on newsstands October 10, 2006). High-resolution images of the winners will be available upon request and at

Past Winners include Hugh Herr for his advances in rehabilitative prosthetics, father and daughter duo Tim and Sarah Pickens for their rocket-powered bicycle, and the Microsoft Xbox 360.

About Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors was founded in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning to create efficient electric cars for people who love to drive. The Chairman of Tesla Motors, a privately held company, is Elon Musk, who has led or co-led all three rounds of investment resulting in $60 million in funding. Musk has been instrumental in both corporate and product development at Tesla Motors.

Tesla Motors currently employs more than 80 people, including teams in California, the U.K. and Taiwan. The company has recruited employees whose background and experience mirror the vehicle itself, drawing from diverse expertise in the electronics, automotive and software industries.

Tesla Motors creates vehicles that conform to all U.S. safety, environmental and durability standards. The cars include modern safety equipment such as airbags, front crumple zones, side impact protection and 2½ mph bumpers. Tesla Motors will only sell cars in the U.S. once they pass the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS).

For more information, visit
Dan Smith, PCGCampbell (310) 224-4954 or

About Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics is published by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst Corporation ( and one of the world's largest publishers of monthly magazines, with a total of 18 U.S. titles and 145 international editions. Hearst reaches more adults than any other publisher of monthly magazines (76.3 million according to MRI, spring 2005). The company also publishes 19 magazines in the United Kingdom through its wholly owned subsidiary, The National Magazine Company Limited.

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