Blog > Test Driving the Tesla Model S Electric Saloon!
Test Driving the Tesla Model S Electric Saloon!
Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers in Silicon Valley who wanted to prove that electric cars could be better than petrol-powered cars. With instant torque, incredible power, and zero emissions, Tesla's products would be cars without compromise. Each new generation would be increasingly affordable, helping the company work towards its mission: to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable transport.
In 2012, Tesla launched Model S, the world's first premium electric saloon. Build from the ground up to be 100 percent electric, Model S has redefined the very concept of a four-door car. With room for seven passengers and more than 64 cubic feet of storage, Model S provides the comfort and utility of a family saloon while achieving the acceleration of a sports car: 0 to 60 in about five seconds. The Tesla Model S has become a smashing success, blowing away the automotive industry with the highest ever consumer reports rating of a 99/100, and the highest safety rating in history from the US national highway safety administration.
Here's what Matt Roper (Founder of GreenBuying.co.uk) had to say about his recent Tesla driving experience!
When I was recently invited to test drive the Tesla Model S, I jumped at the chance. In case you don't know, Tesla have created THE most beautiful looking premium electric saloon car in the world. It looks like a cross between an Aston Martin and Jaguar and has zero emissions so I'm bound to be interested!
So out I went with Jonathan from the Tesla store (they don't call them dealerships) at Weybridge in Surrey for a 20 minute spin. The inside of the car is so luxurious, complete with large sat nav screen, very comfy leather upholstery, and a seat warmer which worked too well! The big surprise was when I started the engine - there wasn't an engine to start! Simply one movement of a switch tells the car to go forwards, and a movement in the opposite direction tells the car to go backwards. No gears, completely automatic. And when we started moving, there was no noise at all. No engine, remember.
The journey seemed to last a minute but what a great ride it was. Because the car is relatively wide and has a low centre of gravity, the car felt really solid and yet I was very aware that if I put my foot down (which I couldn't do in Surrey rush hour traffic), I would reach 60 miles per hour in just 2.7 seconds (i.e. in ludicrous mode -Tesla speak for very fast!).
I would have been very tempted to buy the vehicle there and then, if it wasn't for the fact that the retail price of the Model S starts at approx. £52,000. With all the bells and whistles the top of the range model costs £117,000. Fortunately Tesla are due to launch their Project X SUV vehicle within a few months and a less expensive electric saloon car so watch this space. Price point aside, the advantage of this vehicle when compared to other electric vehicles on the road is that the minimum range before having to re-charge the batteries is 200 miles, and the car can reach more than 250 miles without needing to be re-charged. The range is greater thanks to there being more battery space under the vehicle when compared to other vehicles. Plus the servicing costs are less (no need to change oil filters or spark plugs) and no road tax or London congestion charge. From an eco perspective, my only major question mark would be the environmental impact of the battery manufacturing and disposal process. And of course the charging of the car will require electricity which itself will typically have been sourced from the national grid, so not from renewables.
However, we should admire Tesla for their determination to create innovative vehicles which break the mould. The founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, has made the Tesla's patents open for all vehicle manufacturers to use, as Tesla's key mission is to advance the cause of sustainable transport. I can't wait to see what comes next, from Tesla and from the many other manufacturers who are now racing to create the next generation of eco vehicles. - Matt Roper (Founder of GreenBuying.co.uk)
by H Burton | 2 February 2016