12 May Musk’s EV inspiration, an original ‘tZero’ burned in a destructive fire along with several Tesla Roadsters
May 12, 2017 | by Iqtidar Ali
‘tZero’ EV (photo gallery below) that inspired the creation of ‘Tesla Roadster’ burned down in a destructive fire last week (May 05) in North Phoenix at the Gruber Motor Company building. Several Tesla Roadsters were also burned along with a Dodge Viper.
The burnt tZero was #2 of the only 3 ever built. Elon Musk and team at the time converted the tZero system from lead-acid batteries to Lithium-ion cells to boost investor confidence in electric vehicles. AZCentral released a video of the fire that occurred around 5:00 pm.
Pete Gruber the CEO of Gruber Motor Company who is a big fan of the Tesla Roadster released a few pictures of the before and after of the fire occurrence through his flickr account.
Although the cause of the fire is still unknown but surely was not due to the Li-ion batteries as some news/media outlets are proposing but an investigation is underway. The number of vehicles burned is also not known at this time. We can see that employees were having a lunch and good times just hours before the fire broke and burnt down a major part of the EV history i.e. the ‘tZero‘ by AC Propulsion Systems.
We have found some historic pictures of a meetup of EV enthusiasts of “EV1 Club”, held at Dolby Labs in San Francisco in 2002. The same ‘tZero’ #2 was the center of attention at the meeting and a 49 mile pure electric drive. (pictures by EVNut.com, more pics and details)