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tesla5.jpgTesla , the Silicon Valley company producing an all-electric sportscar with big-name backers including the Google co-founders, has pushed back its delivery schedule, saying the cars won’t hit the market until first quarter 2008.

Originally, Tesla said the Roadster would be ready by the end of this year. Darryl Siry, vice president of sales, marketing and service, said the delay results from a decision to do additional durability and reliability testing. “A car is an extremely complicated system of mechanical things, controlled by electronic things and managed by computer software,” he said. “It’s no one big issue that’s not resolved.”

On the good side, Tesla says it will ensure a travel range of 245 miles (EPA combined cycle) on a single charge, which is just short from the original 250 mile goal, but more than the “over 200 mile” qualification the company had made in March. The car has become heavier, with the addition of extra equipment to fulfill safety regulations, but apparently it hasn’t impacted the car’s performance and range significantly. Siry also confirmed with VentureBeat that the car will still go from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds, meeting to its original pledge.

All in all, this is good news. The release schedule for the end of this year had always been aggressive in our view. If they can hold to first quarter next year, we’re assuming most pre-ordering customers should be ok with that.

Finally, the company it is closing its reservation list at 600 orders. It is starting a waiting list, Siry said, because the slip to 2008 means the company should first decide when it will start it 2009 model before taking new orders.

The announcement comes a month after the company announced a change in CEO. (scroll down)


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