Recently, I was lucky enough to go for a drive in a Tesla Model S. At this time, Tesla doesn’t arrange test drives in the Kamloops area. However, Tesla does offer test drives in Calgary and Vancouver(or any other large city.) For more information on a test drive, please click here. Fortunately for me, I connected with a local Tesla Model S owner and he offered to take me out on a ride. If you are looking to buy a Tesla Model S or Model X, you can get free unlimited Supercharging AND $1,400 off your purchase! All you have to do is click here: ts.la/brock8103
Disclaimer: So before reading any further, you should know that I am not a “car guy.” I am not attempting to write a professional car review. I’m only writing my impressions of the car. If you want something by professionals, check out MotorTrend’s review.
My Top 10 Tesla Model S Highlights
The model featured above is the Tesla Model S 85D.
- Acceleration – The P100D does 0-60 miles per hour in 2.28 seconds. I drove the 85D as shown above and it does 0-100 km/hr in 4.3 seconds. I’ve never been in a car that can accelerate that fast. It’s scary to think that the P100D model would make the 85D seem slow by comparison. Yowzah!
- Acceleration – Part A – Tesla uses an electric motor that provides instant torque. There is no lag when you push the accelerator unlike a conventional vehicle. The result is instant acceleration which mathematically equals awesomeness.
- Acceleration – Part B – Traction control happens at the motor level, and the computer keeps the wheels from spinning. For example, if you had the driver’s side wheels on regular pavement, and the passenger side wheels on a gravel shoulder, the wheels still would not spin. Why? Because the computer finds the limit of traction and maximizes acceleration. Result? Additional awesomeness.
- Autopilot and Accident Prediction – This might actually be my favorite feature of the car. In short, the vehicle can essentially drive itself. While the driver, always has control of the car, the car can sense impending danger through its various sensors and radar and will alert the driver to something that doesn’t seem right. Check out the video posted below.
- Range – The model featured in the pictures above is about 2 years old and already has 63,000 km on it. When it was brand new, the owner told me it could go 435 km on a full charge, he now estimates that the range to be 430 km.
- Very Little Maintenance – Unlike a conventional car, Teslas’ require far less maintenance, i.e. oil changes, tune-ups, belt replacements, etc. Why? Simply put, there are typically 2000 moving parts in a conventional engine and there are 20 in a typical electric vehicle. There is also the fact that in a electric vehicle, you don’t have parts(pistons/rods) constantly bashing into themselves. In an electric vehicle you simple have smooth rotational movements.
- Regenerative Braking – In a regular car, when you remove your foot from the accelerator, most cars will simply cruise and slowly come to a stop. Tesla, on the other hand, will slow down much quicker because of regenerative braking. While you can turn this feature off, most Tesla owners leave it on because the resistance generated actually regenerates power back into the battery. Another side benefit of this feature is that brakes do not wear out as quickly in comparison to regular cars. Wild!
- No emissions – Since the vehicle is 100% electric, you have no exhaust. In British Columbia, 99% of electricity is generated by renewable hydropower. So not only will our air be cleaner, but the “fuel” is created in British Columbia, AND will never run out. Talk about, buying local and keeping your money in the community. I love it!
- Safe Design – Teslas also rate highly in terms of safety. The front of the car does not house an engine. In fact, the Tesla has an extra luggage compartment. The front storage space also acts as a crumple zone, helping to absorb the energy from any impact to the front.
- Low “fuel” Electricity Costs – Currently, BC Hydro charges residential customers $.0858/kWh. Many Tesla Model S’s have an 85 kWh battery pack with an EPA-rated range of 426 km. Using these figures, it costs $7.29 to fully charge the battery. This works out to $1.71 to drive 100 km.
Compare this “fuel” cost to a 2017 Honda Accord Automatic V6, which gets 30 MPG (7.84 L/100 km) combined mileage as rated by the EPA. Currently, gas at the Kamloops Costco costs $1.06/Litre. Therefore to drive 100 km, the Honda will cost $8.31. If you have a 60-litre tank Honda, you should theoretically be able to drive 765 km, costing you $63.60. To go the same distance in a Tesla would cost $13.08 in electricity. $13.08 sounds better to me than $63.60.
Disadvantages of the Tesla
- Price – Currently, the Tesla Model S costs over $100,000 CDN. The good news is that later this year, the Model Three will be released and is expected to cost $48,000 CDN at current exchange rates. This price is before government incentives, but I imagine that the Model Three will still be in the $50,000 CDN ballpark. Overall, the Model Three should still be very competitive in comparison to other vehicles like the Honda Accord, or Toyota Camry. At the same time, it’s really hard to compare a Tesla as it has features that other cars do not have, like Autopilot.
- Range and refueling time – Currently, Tesla has a range of just over half the distance of a regular car. It also takes longer to refuel. At a SuperCharger, with a nearly empty battery, you can usually get a 60% charge in about 30 minutes. The technology with these cars is always improving and so I’m sure we will see many technological advances extending the range of the car as time goes on.
Overall, I love the Tesla. In fact, after driving the Tesla I can truly understand Ferris Bueller…
The Tesla is just such a massive leap compared to what is now out there. To me, it’s much like going from a flip phone to a smartphone. Yes, the battery in the flip phone might last a week and costs much less, but the smartphone does sooooooo much more! Have you ever seen anyone use a smartphone and then go back to using a flip phone? Would you go back? I don’t think so. Bang bang!
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