Okay, I admit I’m a little overwhelmed.
I just spent two days driving a Tesla Model S, I covered 204.8 miles and used a total of 76.4 kWh to do so.
First off, the range. With an 84 kWh battery it's just not something you think about. I plugged it in when I was at home merely to get shots of the car plugged in. It certainly didn't need it.
Hence in the readout above, taken when I delivered the car back to Tesla, you can see under Trip Meters that I hadn't used anything like 84 kWh.
The car is very big, has breathtaking performance, road holding, comfort, speed range and all the other OMFG inducing swishness you may have heard reported previously.
I had one moment of anxiety during the drive, not range anxiety, but ‘where is the windscreen washer button’ anxiety.
A wonderful Tesla representative called Mark Tapscott had gone through all the controls with me at the Tesla service centre, the washer button was the one we forgot.
I found it and all was fine.
The screen washers are awesome by the way, multiple jets all along the enormous windscreen making vision optically perfect in milliseconds.
But what is truly breathtaking is the maturity of the technology.
It isn’t like driving some kind of experimental vehicle in early development, it’s like driving the tenth generation model of something that first appeared in the 1950’s. Everything is refined, functional and easy to use.
However this car was just a dream just 5 short years ago.
I saw a mock up of the Model S in Tesla’s original headquarters in Menlo Park, Silicon Valley about 3 years ago.
They only started making them in mass numbers last year and yet everything about the car is refined, slick and very high end.
‘I think I’d feel embarrassed driving around in this.’ Said my daughter as we negotiated the back roads of Acton. ‘It’s so big and luxurious, it’s sort of showing off.’
Of course she’s correct, this is without question a car for rich people, the sort of people who currently buy a Range Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, Maserati or flash BMW.
But imagine the difference;
If you saw some rich person zoosh past you in a Model S instead of driving cars with the highest CO2 output, the lowest MPG and the highest choking particulate emissions we have ever created I for one would bow down and thank them.
They will, as is their duty, be supporting innovation, new, more sustainable technology and before long, smaller, cheaper versions of this type of car.
Counter to that, if, in a years time you see some ignorant, selfish, tax fiddling banker/gambler driving a ridiculously enormous, inefficient 3 ton gas guzzling lump of luxury steel and leather, we have every right to look down on them as part of the problem, not even attempting to create a solution.
Oh yes, and one more thing, the acceleration is arse removing. Terrifying, awesome, spectacular and not for the feint hearted.
I will be posting a full review of this remarkable car on Fully Charged soon.