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Electric Tesla is the choice of stars

PUBLISHED: 13:37 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 14:39 14 July 2010

With a top speed of 125mph and fantastic green credentials, the Tesla roadster has made electric cars sexy - more so since its sleek lines have been coveted by the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

With a top speed of 125mph and fantastic green credentials, the Tesla roadster has made electric cars sexy - more so since its sleek lines have been coveted by the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

And if the Hollywood heart-throbs pick up the keys for the £92,000 supercar they will have a little bit of Norfolk in their sun-drenched driveways.

The roadster was assembled at Hethel, the base of iconic supercar brand Lotus, using drivetrain and body components supplied to the factory by Tesla.

It has been test-driven for the first time this week and is being heralded as a breakthrough for the humble electric car, which has been lumbered with a reputation for being distinctly slow and unsexy in the past.

Designers of the Tesla, which can accelerate from zero to 60mph in 3.9 seconds, hope it will appeal to moneyed motorists currently cruising around in Aston Martins, Porsches and Ferraris.

Once charged for three hours, the Tesla can hit the road for 220 miles - enough to drive from Hethel to Bournemouth.

But although it has attracted many admirers eager to take it out for a spin, road safety campaigners are concerned the Roadster's almost silent engine could pose a threat to pedestrians and cyclists who may not be able to hear it approach.

Duncan Vernon, a road safety campaigner with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “Technology is now out there that can boost running noise of these electric cars and we should encourage its use in all new electric models.”

About 1,100 orders have already been received for the car in the US, but only 250 will be shipped to Europe and, of those, 60 have already been snapped up.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon are believed to be keen to get their hands on one, while the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is also understood to have submitted an order.

The Tesla's green credentials follow in the footsteps of the Lotus Exige 270E tri-fuel, which was developed at Hethel as a showcase for new fuel technology.

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