The first-ever car that Tesla manufactured was the original Roadster and even CEO Elon Musk now admits it was an early draft of what Tesla could do. The design was borrowed from Lotus, and the UK automaker supplied Tesla with chassis through the Roadster’s run, from 2008-2012.
The carmaker announced, dramatically, what Tesla was all about: fast, sexy, all-electric cars. No more glorified golf carts.
The Roadster hit the market priced at $80,000, but by the time the third upgrade was retired, the sticker had topped $150,000. Around 2,500 were sold, reported by Business Insider.
According to Business Insider, Many are still on the road, and Tesla recently announced it would provide separate customer service and maintenance support to Roadster owners; these folks are a committed crew of early adopters and Tesla continues to care about them.
Tesla that fathered all that followed, from the Model S to Model X, Model 3, Semi, Cybertruck, and forthcoming New Roadster.
The founder of Tesla had taken all his winnings from selling PayPal to eBay and sunk them into Tesla and another company, SpaceX. He was determined to make electric cars a viable alternative to gas-powered vehicles.