Plane crash kills Tesla employees

18 Feb 2010

Electric-car manufacturer Tesla suffered a tragedy yesterday as three of its employees were killed in a plane crash in a residential part of East Palo Alto, California, after takeoff in foggy weather.

The twin-engine Cessna 310, bound for Hawthorne Municipal Airport, crashed shortly after takeoff, clipping power lines as it went down.

Chief executive of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, said the identities of the employees were being withheld until family members were notified adding that Tesla is a “small, tightly knit company, and this is a tragic day for us,” as reported in the New York Times.

Tesla Motors has innovated quite a lot in the past few years, working hard to bring the electric car to the average household. Last year, the company introduced the Model S family car that will carry seven people, last for 300 miles per charge and has an onboard charger that will work with any 120V, 240V or 480V outlet (a full charge can be achieved in 45 minutes from a 480V power outlet).

Tesla is already taking orders but the car will not go into production until late 2011.

“The ownership cost of Model S, if you were to lease and then account for the much lower cost of electricity versus gasoline at a likely future cost of US$4 per gallon, is similar to a gasoline car with a sticker price of about US$35,000. I’m positive this car will be the preferred choice of savvy consumers,” Musk said at the time.

By Marie Boran

Photo: A Tesla car