• Tesla electric saloon rolls off factory line

    by  • June 14, 2012 • Motoring News

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    2012 Tesla Model S Exterior

    The Tesla Model S can accelerate from 0-100kph in 5.6 seconds

    It’s always exciting taking delivery of a new car, but how exciting would it be if you were the first person in the world to own a particular model?

    Well, that’s exactly the position Tesla investor Steve Jurvetson found himself in last week, when he cautiously drove his new Tesla Model S out of the factory.

    Tesla Motors is making a splash in electric vehicles. After aiming to end the sterile image of electric cars with the Roadster, it is now going after a more established market with its first premium saloon, the Model S.

    With the Model S, Tesla has the executive market in it sights, hoping to turn premium drivers to electric vehicles.

    With a top speed of 190kph, acceleration of 0-100kph in 5.6 seconds, and an expected range of 480km it seems capable enough.

    It does have a hefty price tag, however, in the US$50k-100k range, but some back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest a Tesla can cut your fuel price nearly in half.

    2012 Tesla Roadster Exterior

    The Roadster was Tesla’s attempt to make electric cars interesting

    An 85kWh battery pack has an advertised range of 480km, which is 17kWh per 100km. So, 17kWh at a price of €0.22 means the Tesla costs €3.74 per 100km to drive.

    Compare that with a similar executive car with a diesel engine, running at 4.7l/100km at a price of €1.56 per litre of diesel and you’re looking at €7.33 per 100km.

    The Tesla can give its fossil fuel competitors a run for their money, but the question remains whether it can convince potential buyers to go electric?

    A range of 480km per charge makes it suitable for long trips, but the 45-minute charging time and a general lack of charging infrastructure remain unattractive.

    On the other hand, the electric grid is everywhere and if vehicles like the Model S catch on we could soon be private charging points being offered at restaurants or cinemas.

    With a range of close to 500km, only time will tell whether this is a breakthrough moment for the electric vehicle. However, with Tesla motors founder Elon Musk recently seeing his company SpaceX complete the first private mission to the International Space Station, there is little that can stop him.

    Deliveries on this side of the water begin in 2013 and orders are now being taken through its UK dealerships.

    Visit www.teslamotors.com for further information.