Tesla Roadster world tour heads for hallowed grounds of Nikola Tesla

In Budapest, physicist invented the motor that inspired world’s only electric sports car., April 20, 2010

BUDAPEST, Hungary – A round-the-world tour by a Tesla Roadster will wind through southeastern Europe this week, the most historically significant leg of the 37,000-kilometer journey.

On April 13, the car will arrive in Budapest, where Nikola Tesla came up with the design for his revolutionary alternating-current induction motor in 1882, during a feverish hallucination along the banks of the Danube River. The Tesla Roadster – the only electric car for sale in Europe or North America -- uses an AC induction motor descended from the scientist’s original vision. Tesla Motors unveiled the Roadster in 2006, which UNESCO declared the Year of Nikola Tesla in celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth.

For the first time, Silicon Valley-based carmaker Tesla Motors will pay homage to its namesake, hosting a VIP celebration and prospective customer test drives April 15-16 at the TAG Heuer Boutique in Budapest.

“Nikola held more than 700 patents and remains an inspiration to me personally and to many entrepreneurs and inventors – both in Silicon Valley and around the world,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “Without his vision and brilliance, our car wouldn't be possible. If he were alive today, I’m sure Nikola Tesla would be a very happy Roadster customer and a passionate advocate of electric vehicles.”

Roadster uses existing infrastructure

Budapest is the fourth stop in the eight-month “Odyssey of Pioneers,” the first round-the-world tour by a zero-emission GT car. The voyage, sponsored by Tesla Motors and Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer, includes displays, owner appreciation gatherings, and VIP events in 15 cities and more than 150 towns on three continents. The tour will conclude in Paris in October. 

Throughout  Slovenia, Hungary and numerous other countries en route, the Roadster is recharging from conventional outlets using existing infrastructure. Tesla’s driver, Luke McClure, has charged from standard outlets at hotels, a solar panel array and even at a barn in rural Switzerland, demonstrating the versatility and ease of charging. Fans can watch Luke online and follow his travels through Facebook and Twitter.

All Teslas can be refueled from conventional electrical outlets, enabling owners to charge in the peace and security of their garages, at hotels, charging stations, parking lots or nearly anyplace with electricity. The Roadster’s charger is on board, so owners simply plug in the car – similar to an iPhone, no special equipment required. In addition, the Roadster is the only sports car whose owners refuel with renewable energy such as solar, hydro and wind power.
About Tesla

Tesla is the world’s only automaker selling highway-capable electric vehicles – the only company whose uncompromising cars equally emphasize design, performance and efficiency. With a relentless focus on customer service, Tesla sells cars directly to clients, both online and out of showrooms and galleries in London, Munich, Monaco, California’s Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, Colorado, New York, Seattle, Chicago and South Florida. Tesla has delivered more than 1,000 cars to customers in at least 23 countries worldwide. Advertising Age magazine recently named Tesla one of the year’s "hottest brands."