US

Driving the TESLA, protecting national security? Electric Vehicle market launches in Washington

Millions of Americans in the military put on their uniforms each day to defend our national security.

On Thursday, little did I realize, I too was defending our national security — by driving around a brand-new TESLA Roadster.

The all-electric Roadster is almost all-American. The battery pack is made in Palo Alto, California, but the insides — the individual lithium-ion cells — are made in Japan and Korea.*

The Roadster accelerates from zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds, drives 245 miles on a single charge, and according to Diarmuid O’Connell, TESLA’s vice president of business development. “That’s a game changer in the alternative [vehicle] space,” and “a matter of national security.”

The car quietly hugs the road and moves smoothly, no jerks, with any movement of the tiny steering wheel or brake. And, it’s not as heavy going at lower speeds, about 10 miles per hour, like a Lamborghini or an Aston Martin, according to one TESLA sales executive.

It takes almost three hours to charge the battery using the standard 120 or 240 voltage outlet; and, it’s clean and simple under the hood, only a few major parts, including a battery pack, a power electronics module that converts power and controls the braking system, and an electric motor.

Before O’Connell joined TESLA, he served two years under former Secretary of State Colin Powell as chief of staff for political military affairs.

“Most of my personal insights about what needed to be done in this sector came to me from the uniformed military. I think that if we’re responsible about our national security strategy, we really need to get solid about our energy security strategy,” he said.

O’Connell said the U.S. is “too subject to the whims of autocratic rulers,” and shifting from gasoline to electric could save lives.