Tesla Roadster - Click above for high-res image gallery

Since Tesla doesn't release the names of most of the people who purchase one of its electric Roadsters, we can only speculate about the financial wherewithal of most of them. However, it's probably reasonably safe to assume that most of them have considerable means and are mostly paying in cash. After all, the average working stiff can't afford a $100,000+ sports car no matter how low the operating costs might be. For those that can't quite swing an upfront cash payment, Tesla is now teaming up with Bank of America to offer financing on the Roadster.

Of course, being able to get a monthly payment plan on the Roadster still doesn't make it inexpensive. Assuming an absolutely baseline Roadster at $109K, the $7,500 federal tax credit, a substantial $20,000 down payment and 7.7 percent financing, the payments on a 60-month loan would amount to $1,650 every month. Bank of America isn't specifying any terms, but you can apply online or at a Tesla store.

Related GalleryTesla Roadster

[Source: Tesla]


PRESS RELEASE:

Tesla announces Roadster financing by Bank of America

Qualified Roadster customers can get lower total monthly cost than comparable gasoline sports cars.

July 6, 2009

SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE) -Tesla Motors announces Roadster financing by Bank of America, significantly expanding the number of U.S. customers who can experience the all-electric Roadster.

Owning a Roadster can result in a lower total monthly cost than a gas-guzzling sports car with a similar sticker price. Thanks to the low cost of electricity vs. gasoline, the Roadster costs roughly $4 to fully recharge – a bargain even when gasoline costs less than $1 per gallon.

The Roadster is twice as energy-efficient as a Toyota Prius and six times as efficient as comparable sports cars – yet it does not require routine oil changes or exhaust system work. Roadsters have far fewer moving (and breakable) parts than internal combustion engine sports cars, which need replacement such as spark plugs, pistons, hoses, belts and clutches.

Roadsters also qualify for federal and state tax credits, rebates, free parking, commuter-lane passes and other perks. Teslas get a 100 percent waiver on sales, luxury and use taxes in at least four states.

Tesla has delivered more than 500 Roadsters to customers nationwide. Tesla will soon begin delivering a new model of the Roadster and Roadster Sport, an even higher-performance vehicle.

Bank of America will directly finance, document, and service vehicle loans for customers, providing a very easy online interface for these services. All agreements and payments will be between the customer and Bank of America.

Roadster financing is available to customers who meet Bank of America's underwriting criteria. Customers are offered a competitive loan-to-value ratio, interest rate, and term. Prospective customers may complete loan documents in Tesla's showrooms or online, including electronic signature and customer verification. If required, Tesla customer service can assist with the initial online application for loan approval.

Tesla has showrooms in California and London and is opening U.S. stores in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Miami and Washington DC.

This announcement affects Roadsters in the United States only. Tesla plans to offer financing for the Model S sedan closer to the anticipated start of production in late 2011.