Electric roadster maker making money

Tesla turns profit in July for the first time, after shipping a record 109 vehicles.

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By Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com contributing writer

tesla_roadster.03.jpg
Tesla Roadster
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Tesla Motors turned profitable for the first time in July, when the electric car manufacturer shipped a record 109 vehicles, the company said Friday.

A surge in sales and reduced manufacturing costs of Tesla's Roadster 2 sports car helped boost the company to $1 million in earnings and $20 million in revenue.

"There is strong demand for a car that is unique in offering high performance with a clean conscience," said Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, in a prepared statement. "Customers know that in buying the Roadster they are helping fund development of our mass market electric cars."

The Roadster has a range of about 244 miles per charge -- the first production electric vehicle to cross the 200-mile mark, according to the press release.

The Roadster is the only highway-capable electric vehicle for sale in North America or Europe, and the company says it is faster than a Porsche and twice as energy-efficient as a Toyota Prius.

In June, privately owned Tesla borrowed $465 million from the Department of Energy to fund development of an all-electric sedan called the Model S -- slated to sell for $49,900, or about half the price of the Roadster.

Tesla has also partnered with Daimler to develop an electric version of mini vehicles called Smart cars. The company said it plans to launch a test fleet of 1,000 electric Smart cars in late 2009.  To top of page

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