At the recent Wonderware WonderWorld conference, Tesla Motors founder Martin Eberhard shared his vision for creating the world’s first sexy electric car. As Eberhard demonstrated via his multimedia presentation, electric cars have long been seen by many as “glorified golf carts”.

Eberhard showed a series of slides that contrasted electric cars surrounded by geeks to gas-powered vehicles draped with lovely bodies. His message was clear: superior technology will not be enough to sell electric cars to the general public. Electric cars must instead also appeal to our hopes, dreams and aspirations. 

For many of us, these aspirations include a sports car that turns heads of the opposite sex. Hence Eberhard’s decision to create the Tesla Motors Roadster, a car that can go from 0-60 mph in four seconds while looking every bit the $100,000 that it cost.

The two-seater Roadster may not be practical for many, but Eberhard’s dream car is now in production and it has inspired virtually all of the world’s major auto makers to follow suit with electric cars of their own. Typical is GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz, who said of Tesla Motors, “If some Silicon Valley start-up can solve this equation, no one is going to tell me anymore that it’s (the electric car) unfeasible.”

Eberhard always knew that he wanted to make an environmentally friendly sports car, but the fuel source was in question. Electricity won out over competitors because it is more efficient in terms of natural resource consumption, because it has the least carbon footprint, and because it is the most flexible in terms of fuel sources.