Tesla Roadster takes shortcut when it comes to safety


I love technology. And I love cars. So when cool technology is used to build a cool car, such as the Tesla Roadster, I get excited. I've been following the Tesla story for the past couple of years and the idea of an all-electric car and the performance advantages and torque that they get as a result are just impressive. I can't wait to see the first units hit the road - it's supposedly going to happen in Q1 this year and all 2008 production units are sold out.

However, Engadget reports today that the Tesla Roadster will not need to meet the advanced airbag requirements that are now common for gasoline-based vehicles. In Engadget's post Paul Miller writes:

"Apparently when you're saving the planet with an all-electric car, there's no need to kill yourself over safety. The Tesla Roadster has been granted a waiver in regards to advanced air bags by the NHTSA, since the 'public interest is served by encouraging the development of fuel-efficient and alternative-fueled vehicles.' Standard air bags are still included..."

That's a bit of a disappointment, since I don't like to see it when safety needs to take a back-seat, but I guess the reality of creating an electric car company from scratch is that there are some financial and regulatory hurdles in your way.

Let's hope that they will fix this issue for the 2009 model year - they are already taking wait-list reservations...