COMPARED with other electric vehicles, the Tesla Roadster is what you might call a hot rod. With an impressive range of 380km (236 miles) between charges, the two-seater sports car is capable of going from zero to 96kph in just 3.9 seconds. But as is so often the case, such performance comes at a cost. For a vehicle that weighs around 1,200kg (2,645 pounds) a whopping 450kg of that is taken up by the car’s batteries.
Although new battery technologies are emerging, their weight and size is likely to remain a drag on the development of electric and hybrid cars, forcing manufacturers to come up with new and inventive ways to shed weight and free up space.