Tesla Roadster - Click above for a high-res image gallery

From the first to the 100th and now to the 500th, the story of Tesla Motors and their initial offering - the Roadster - has been pretty heavily documented. The trend is unlikely to stop any time soon and, in that vein, Tesla is making sure to note the latest milestone, the delivery of the 500th Roadster. The lucky recipient is New Jersey's Martin Tuchman, who Tesla describes as chairman of The Tuchman Foundation and a board member of The Parkinson's Alliance and Parkinson's Disease Foundation of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. Tuchman is apparently a car fan, with a 1967 Mercedes 250 and a 1993 Jaguar convertible in his stable. Those cars will get even less of a workout now that the Roadster is around and is scheduled to become Tuchman's main commuter car. It's especially nice that Tuchman will be using solar power to charge his new toy whenever possible.

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[Source: Tesla]


PRESS RELEASE:

Tesla Motors Delivers 500th Roadster

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A New Jersey philanthropist was the 500th person to take ownership of a Tesla Roadster, an important milestone for the world's leading electric vehicle manufacturer.

Martin Tuchman, former chairman and CEO of Interpool, is chairman of The Tuchman Foundation and a board member of The Parkinson's Alliance and Parkinson's Disease Foundation of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He plans to charge his Roadster partly with solar energy thanks to photovoltaic panels he helped install throughout his hometown of Kingston, NJ.

"My Roadster drives like a dream -- it's amazing," said Tuchman, a former automotive engineer and owner of a 1967 Mercedes 250 and a 1993 Jaguar convertible. Tuchman converted his 1937 Chris-Craft into an electric boat so he could take it on nearby Lake Carnegie, which prohibits gas-powered boats. He plans to use his Roadster as his primary commuter car.

Tuchman took delivery of a Twilight Blue Roadster last weekend, a few weeks before the anticipated opening of a Tesla showroom in New York's Chelsea Art District. Greater New York is Tesla's largest market outside of California, and local EV owners enjoy numerous incentives.

Zero-emission vehicles are exempt from New Jersey sales, use and luxury taxes. Single occupants of alternative-fuel vehicles may also use the high-occupancy commuter lanes on the New Jersey Turnpike. These incentives are on top of a $7,500 US federal tax credit, which fully applies to all Tesla Roadsters.

Tesla will also soon be opening stores in Chicago, London, Seattle, Miami, Washington, Monaco and Munich. Tesla will begin deliveries in Europe this summer.

San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla is the only production automaker selling highway-capable EVs in the United States or Europe. The Roadster beats nearly every other car for acceleration yet is twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius. It costs roughly $4 to refuel and can be completely recharged in as little as 3.5 hours.

Michael van der Sande, Tesla Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Service and Marketing, called the 500th delivery an important symbol for the world's newest production automaker.

"We now have more than 500 real-world customers providing valuable feedback on our cars and contributing to Tesla's spirit of continuous improvement," van der Sande said. "We intend to leverage our first-mover advantage and continue to build brand loyalty for years – from our 500th to our 500,000th delivery."

About Tesla Motors:

Based in California's Silicon Valley, Tesla Motors builds electric vehicles with exceptional design, performance and efficiency, while conforming to all North American and European safety, environmental and durability standards. The Roadster, which has a 0-to-60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds, is the only highway-capable EV for sale in North America or Europe. It is six times as efficient as rival sports cars and has a range of 244 miles per charge. Tesla expects to produce the Model S sedan in late 2011. The anticipated base price of the sedan will be $49,900 after a $7,500 US tax credit.