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The day that I gave the founder of Tesla a ride in my Lotus Elise in return for a ride in his T-Zero


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Supporting Member
Thanks Adrian - you and I met at Rob Dietsch's shop when he had the original donor Elise that Tesla used. I too am English, I too had an Elise (a 2005 though, not the original). I too moved on to a variety of Tesla's. Unfortunately I sold the Elise, which I regret.

Thanks for this memory - those early days in that area was pretty amazing. I used to ride along Canada road, where Tesla used to give test drives of the Roadster, so I saw many of them.


Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2011
Sunnyvale, CA
Nice writeup, Adrian! I was unaware of that story.

I, too, played a small role in the forming of Tesla Motors. Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning and I all worked at Packet Design before Martin and Marc left to found Tesla. Before they left I gave Martin a ride in my GM EV1 in the last week or two before I had to give it back to GM at the end of the lease. We also talked about his spreadsheet analyzing all the candidate methods of powering transportation that led to the conclusion that the battery EV was superior. He mentioned that analysis in the CNBC video.

I introduced Martin to Tom Gage, then president of AC Propulsion, via email and in a meetup with the three of us at Tom's house just around the block from my home. That blossomed into Martin's investment in AC Propulsion and the development of the Li-ion battery pack for the tzero that Martin was driving in Adrian's story.
I gave Martin a ride in my GM EV1

Steve, thanks for giving me a ride in your EV1 and commenting on how it was powered by your rooftop solar. That made a lasting impression and later motivated me to get a Model S and rooftop solar too.

Your thoughts also gave me the idea for my license plate SUN 2 DRV.

So thanks, you've made a difference.

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