About two years ago, I got to spend a day with a Tesla Roadster Sport, a day that reaffirmed my faith in the future of the automobile.
Knowing that one day the Earth will run dry of crude oil and we will need to look at other propulsion methods to keep moving, there is certainly a future in electric cars. But they need to work and have to offer a range that would suit the needs of the demanding public.
The drive in the Roadster Sport proved that electric cars do work and have a decent range, plus it was extremely fun to drive. With charge stations getting appointed along many routes in the future, charging an electric car won’t be a problem either.
However, while the Roadster was a good starting point, it was too expensive and only had a limited appeal. What Tesla needs is a car they can sell at a lower price point and one that can carry a family.
They are hoping to accomplish that with their new Model S. This vehicle, which will go on sale in America from June 22nd, and in Canada by September, is a four-door family sedan that can seat either five, or seven with the optional jump seat. It is the size of an Audi A7 roughly, but unlike the A7, the Model S will be fully electric.
So unlike the Chevrolet Volt which is a plug-in hybrid, the Model S is strictly an electric car. This allowed its engineers to design a car specifically to run its electric drive-train. Plus, since it doesn’t have a gas engine, it is not carrying the weight of the gas engine and a fuel-tank when running on electric. This improves this cars range significantly.
Tesla will offer three different sizes of battery packs for the Model S, and the range of the car will vary accordingly. Base 40 kWh battery will give you a 270-km range, the 60 kWh battery has a 390-km range and the 85 kWh battery has a 500-km range. The car can be fully charged with a 220-volt plug in under five-hours, which is impressive.
There are no driving impressions available for this car yet, because no one outside the company has driven one. But a “Beta Prototype” (which is 90% accurate to what the production model will be like) has made an appearance at Sherway Gardens Mall in Etobicoke (near Toronto). This vehicle is there to create interest for when the car actually goes on sale.
I have to say, the car looks quite stunning in the flesh and certainly worth checking out. If you’re in the area, drop by the mall, the Model S is on display at the Sears Court of the mall until May 27th.
I hope in the near future, I’ll be able to give you my full review of this innovative new vehicle, which is expected to be priced in Canada from $60,000.