Tesla Roadster will be THE status symbol of 2008

carf1small.jpgTesla Motors this week began the much-delayed production of its all-electric Tesla Roadster. With only 300 due to roll off the assembly line this year, itâ''s sure to be THE status symbol of 2008. And Tesla-spotting soon to become Silicon Valley sport.

The best-kept secret in town? The Tesla list, that is, who is due to receive their pre-ordered Tesla when. Some 900 people are on that list so far; not all will get their cars this year. Tesla and Chairman Elon Musk will get vehicle number one; founder and CEO Martin Ebhard is in line for number two. The New York Times reported that George Clooney is number eight, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Hummer driver, is number ten. Silicon Valley gossip blog Valleywag says San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is also one of the first in line.

It wasnâ''t so long ago that the Prius was the defining purchase for someone looking for geek chic. But the Prius quickly became the car of the geek masses. The Tesla, with its $100,000 price roughly five times that of a Prius, is not likely to become commonplace so quickly.

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