2009 Tesla Roadster Photo Credit: Rex Roy

2009 Tesla Roadster Photo Credit: Rex Roy

The little car company that could just keeps on chugging. Yesterday at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Tesla delivered its 700th Roadster and announced it has secured another $82.5 million in funding in its latest round. The naysayers may still say nay, but it's looking more and more like Tesla is pulling it off.

We here at Motor Authority haven't always been so sure of the company's progress. Building cars is, after all, a tough business. Don't think so? You haven't been awake in 2009.

But the future of cars is, according to popular wisdom, electric, and that's where Tesla has hung its hat, breaking ground in the production electric car industry. Sure, there were NEVs and other all-electric vehicles before, but none so attractive, useful or sporting as the Roadster, excepting a couple small ventures by General Motors and Toyota in the 1990s to meet California emissions regs.

So the delivery of the 700th roadster, though a bit of an odd number, is still a milestone, as it edges closer to 1,000. The more important figure of $82.5 million in additional series F funding brings Tesla's total invested amount to $783.5 million. Together with $465 million in government loans, Tesla is making strides toward construction of its full-scale plant where it will build the Model S sedan.

That sedan is an almost impossible bargain as announced at its unveiling, with the all-electric drivetrain providing 300 miles of range for $57,400 less a $7,500 tax credit for a $49,900 effective price. It's a sporty sedan, too, at 5.5-6.0 seconds estimated for the 0-60 mph dash. With such good figures and a pretty face to boot, the Model S could be the whole package.

Of course, the reality of the Model S has yet to materialize, but every time the upstart automaker is challenged, it rises to the occasion, so while we've been skeptical in the past, we're keeping an eye on Tesla for the future.

[Tesla, Tech Crunch]