An Irish American is in the driver's seat of a new $100,000 electric car.

Diarmuid O'Connell is a key executive at Tesla Motors, which powered into New York this week to showcase their $109,000 flagship car.

With a slogan of "burn rubber, not gasoline," the company is trying to re-ignite passion for an American car. An eco-friendly car!

Tesla, unlike the Big Three car makers which are based in Detroit, is based in Silicon Valley.

As you would imagine, they're no ordinary auto manufacturer.

Shunning the supercharged V8s typical in American cars in favor of environmentally friendly electric engines, Tesla want to make tomorrow's roads greener.

The company was named after the great physicist and pioneer of the electrical age Nicola Tesla and wants to end the reign of the noisy and dirty internal combustion engine.

To succeed in that vision, they need a group of hard-working and inspired leaders.

One such leader is O'Connell, the vice president of business development and a top member of the Irish Technology Leadership Group in Silicon Valley.

O'Connell is well placed to lead Tesla as a powerhouse of the US automotive industry.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a few lucky drivers in Manhattan were chosen to test drive the Roadster at the grand opening of Tesla's newest dealership in Chelsea.

The electric motor pushes out 248 horsepower and can accelerate from 0-60mph in a shade under 4 seconds, reaching a limited max of 125mph.

On a single 3½ hour charge the car will supposedly reach 244 miles, and only cost $0.02 per mile to run.

All of this comes at a steep price. The Roadster starts at $109,000, putting it out of reach of most Americans.

However, Tesla promises a sub $30,000 model to be introduced by 2013, and by then we will have started to see a real boost in interest in “eco-cars.”