- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2010

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland | Leading electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors recently offered test drives in St. Moritz, the world’s oldest and most prestigious winter resort.

Prospective customers and members of the media drove the 2010 Tesla Roadster at the Carlton Hotel in St. Moritz during the last weekend of the exclusive “White Turf” horse race on frozen Lake St. Moritz.

Tesla has delivered about 1,000 Roadsters to customers in 21 countries, including 30 cars in Switzerland. That makes Switzerland one of the company’s top markets on a per-capita basis, testimony to the Roadster’s all-weather durability and its solid performance in the rugged Alps.

The Roadster accelerates faster than a Porsche, yet has zero tailpipe emissions and is twice as energy-efficient as leading hybrids. It consumes no petroleum and plugs into conventional 220-volt sockets throughout Europe. It can be fully or partially recharged by solar or wind power.

The Roadster is ideal for discerning drivers who refuse to give up sports car performance during winter weather or at high altitude. Thanks to sophisticated software and a patented power-management system, the Roadster’s revolutionary traction control is almost instantaneous.

Unlike gasoline-powered cars, the single-speed Roadster does not require oxygen, and therefore, does not lose efficiency at high altitudes. That means Roadster drivers can confidently overtake slower cars on Alpine passes without any lag or downshifting. Additionally, regenerative braking allows the Roadster to recover energy on downhill stretches.

“Unlike conventional competitors, the Roadster is as much fun on a high Alpine road in February as on a sunny weekend in July,” said Cristiano Carlutti, Tesla’s vice president for European sales and operations. “The Roadster gives you uncompromised, high-performance driving all year round - without the hassle of conventional cars.”

The Roadster qualifies for numerous incentives in Switzerland. In some Swiss cantons, electric vehicles get a 100 percent waiver of the annual road tax. Some cities, including Zermatt, ban internal-combustion engine cars from the city center and only allow EVs to drive and park there.

Tesla automobiles are available through its retail outlets in the United States, including the Los Angeles and Menlo Park, Calif., locations.

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