Tag Archive | "Model S"

Tesla Take A Trip


Although sales of electric cars continue to tick over, they are not exactly setting the world on fire. This is largely because of the well-known range issue. Clearly, the motor manufacturers don’t give up that easily and research and development presumably continues unabated as they seek solutions.

This hasn’t stopped Tesla from making sure its customer base in the USA is well catered for. As time has gone on the company has been quietly establishing a network of Supercharger points. Supercharging enables Tesla Model S drivers to travel long distances, for free and indefinitely. Right now the network covers California and Nevada in the West and the Washington DC to the Boston area in the East.

Since going live in October last year Tesla reckon that an estimated one million miles of happy eco-friendly travel have been driven by Tesla owners. The Superchargers effectively enable city to city travel. The driver can motor for about three hours then stop at the dedicated points, take a half hour break from driving and enjoy coffee and a snack whilst his car is rapid-charged. Then it’s back on the road and best of all – it’s completely free and will be for the life of his or her ownership of the car. That’s customer service.

Now there is to be an accelerated roll-out of stations and Tesla owners can expect there to be a tripling of halts by the end of June, including many more in California and at other destinations around the whole of the Northern Continent. The scale is ambitious. It is expected that within six months the Tesla Supercharger Network will connect most of the metro areas in the USA and Canada. They say that it will ultimately be possible to travel from LA to NYC stopping only at Tesla points without spending any money at all on fuel.

Improving the network is one thing but the Tesla Company are not stopping there. They are also working to improve the technology behind the charging system to dramatically reduce charging times for the Model-S. Early trials have achieved a fifty percent cut from the early original times. The new technology is testing right now and should be available to customers this Summer meaning a twenty minute charge equating to up to three hours of driving.

They say that what happens in America eventually makes its way over here in due course. Well, there isn’t much sign of a workable charging network appearing any time soon so just remember what they’ve achieved over there when you next fill up with liquid gold at an immense cost.

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Tesla Perseverance Might Pay Off


Here we go again. Another electric car that is said to move the technology forward by another couple of notches. It’s from the American manufacturer Tesla who have, to be fair, persevered with electricity – even when most car makers worldwide are showing EV sales that are flatter than the West Siberian Plain – and are producing a new vehicle which goes on sale over the pond this year. The really irritating thing is that they might just have cracked the basic problem – a bit.

As ever, it’s range anxiety that puts British buyers off. That and the prices. Nevertheless, Tesla in America have received 13000 advance orders for their new Model S premium four door saloon. In the USA the asking price is expected to be priced from around $85000 (depending on the model) which in real money is about £54000, although you can bet your life that in the UK we will actually pay the dollar equivalent in pounds when the time comes.

The Model S is marketed to rival the BMW 5 Series or the Mercedes E-Class so it’s no shrinking violet. It certainly looks the part – it is a very nice design. The platform is laid out like a skateboard with a flat lithium-ion battery under the floor. In the top-of-the-range model this powers the 416bhp electric motor between the rear wheels.

Tesla reckon that this car will go for an impressive 300 miles between charges and shoots it to 60mph in a mere 4.4 seconds. It is probable though that those two figures aren’t really compatible and it is be expected that to achieve 300 miles will require some frugal driving without lights or air-con. We’ll see.

Because there is no proper engine there is masses of boot space front and rear. The principal feature inside is the massive 17-inch tablet style computer in the dash which drivers can use for the popular media functions as well as some car controls. There are few switches.

Early testers report that this physically big car handles well thanks to its low-slung ride on air suspension. The only drawback seems to be the amount of lateral grip provided by the seats. Apparently they could do with more bolstering when cornering. This oversight is probably because the Americans don’t really understand the concept of corners.

The overall impression is so far pretty favourable. To cater for all tastes the company will be produce a less powerful model that will have a more restricted range but it’s likely that the top version will be the one to buy. Does this car finally raise the EV bar or is it another false dawn of hope? No doubt all will become clear in the next couple of years.

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