Tesla Roadster Rolls Through Harvard

On Sunday night, there was a surprise in store for residents of Lowell House. If they happened to look into their small courtyard, they would have seen an electric car that some claim will be the future of transportation: a Tesla Roadster charging as its driver visited her old friend, Lowell tutor Andrew M. Leifer.

The driver, Camille J. Ricketts, communications manager for Tesla Motors, Inc., and Leifer had rigged up a connection to the high-voltage outlets in the Lowell laundry room so that the car could charge overnight. Ricketts was here on the last leg of a press tour that had taken her from New York to Boston.

When we inquired into the presence of this car on campus, Ricketts offered to let us take it for a test drive.

The model we saw was a jet black $128,000 Roadster Sport, number 991. As the car sat on the street outside Adams yesterday afternoon, pedestrians stopped in their tracks to gape it. Amazingly, even this correspondent (at a height of 6’3”) was able to fit comfortably behind the wheel—no small feat for a sports car!  A turn of the key induced not the roar of a Ferrari (as you might expect) but a slight hum. The silence was startling.

Although the engine didn’t rev audibly when we stepped on the gas, the lightest pressure sent the car hurling forward. A remarkable whooshing sound accompanied the acceleration, surprising us with its softness.

Intrigued? Even if you can’t afford a car like this (yet), you could have the opportunity to work for the company that produces it. Because of its growth, Tesla is “aggressively hiring,” Ricketts told us. They are looking for employees in engineering especially, but also in finance, marketing, and customer service.

Photo by Kane Hsieh/The Harvard Crimson.

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