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On the green scene, no vehicle has more sex appeal than the Tesla Roadster. When the sleek all-electric American sports car (starting price $109,000) hit the U.S. market last year, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Downey Jr., Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Dustin Hoffman and Kelsey Grammer were among the first to snap it up. The car even makes an appearance in Downey’s film, Iron Man.
Last week, the first Tesla showroom opened in LA with a party that drew Quincy Jones, Anna Getty and Daryl Hannah, among others. Hannah, who as of late has devoted much of her time to environmental activism, told me she actually drives an ’83 El Camino that runs on bio-diesel. “But if you insist on buying a new car,” she enthused, “electric is the way to go.” (She even made this video about the Tesla for her blog, dhlovelife.)
At the party, I also talked to Jason Calacanis, the internet entrepeneur who made a fortune off his company Weblogs when he sold it to AOL a couple years ago. (His latest project is a search engine called Mahalo.com.) Calacanis told me he ordered one of the 2008 Teslas in yellow and that he plans to power it up with solar panels installed on top of his garage. “My intention is to be off gas as quick as possible,” he said.