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Is Tesla leading the charge of the electric cars?

Tesla: Car of the future?

Date: 13-10-2014
Author: Sam Totham

Elon Musk has contributed a huge amount to global technology advancement in relation to his tender 43 years of age. His two most recognisable exploits, PayPal and Tesla Motors, currently top the charts for their respective fields and Tesla Motors is even helping other companies invest in their free to use technology patents (as well as providing him with a tidy rainy day fund).

The first car provided by Tesla Motors, the Tesla Roadster, came on sale in 2008 and proceeded to set a number of new records.

First all-electric highway capable vehicle in serial production in the USA. First production electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells and first all-electric production car to reach a range of more than 200 miles in one charge.

Of course, there have been a multitude of other electric vehicles provided by other car manufacturers, but none of these has had the same success or following as the Roadster. Some of these alternatives include:

  • Nissan Leaf
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Ford Focus Electric

Now usually there is one name, for better or worse, that surfaces in any conversation about more environmentally healthy cars… “Prius”
However, full electric cars should not be lumped together with part/full hybrid automobiles (like the Toyota Prius). Hybrid technology was the harbinger of the more developed full-electric battery powered cars and so hopefully companies like Tesla can avoid the downfalls that tripped hybrid technology.

Model S

Tesla’s current baby, the Model S, is a five door, full sized sedan that came on sale in July 2012. It has the leading range of any electric car on the market, currently reaching 265 miles with one full charge.
The most recent announcement by Musk however, lets the cat out the of the bag on two new Tesla models, the Model D and Model X.

Model D

The Model D seems to be essentially similar to the five door Model S but… MORE. In every sense of the word. The new car boasts more acceleration, with the dual motor engine allowing 0-60 in 3.2 seconds! However, Tesla has also upped the ante in terms of safety features as well.
While the Model S was already one of the safest cars not just on the electric market but anywhere, the new offering has even more technology to make you a safer driver:

  • Radar that will help the car see through snow and fog.
  • 360-degree ultrasonic sonar system
  • Image recognition camera that can understand and respond to street signs, traffic lights and even pedestrians
  • A real time GPS system, that links to the rest of the car’s sensors

This all results in a car that can (apparently) adjust speed, lane position, braking and even pull into your driveway all independently. Combined with its low emissions and surprisingly sleek aesthetics it seems too good to be believed.
It is also the first Tesla car to incorporate the new Dual Motor All-Wheel drive, the inclusion of the second motor adds more power and road traction in bad weather and in everyday conditions, as well as adding an extra 10-15 miles on to the maximum range.

Read more information in this article.

Model X

Model X

The Model X will be available for sale autumn 2015 and boasts similar features to the Model S but with the addition of blending SUV with minivan features as well. Resulting in more seating, more power and the slightly dramatic Falcon Wings (they’re doors) apparently giving much easier access to the second and third row of seats.

Watch Elon Musk relase the Model X.

All this information is amazing Elon… Until you reach the section concerning price…
The standard Model S hovered around the benchmark $70,000 (around £44,000) and so we can expect both the X and D Models to exceed this, not even taking into consideration any optional extras that you may want to add.
Unfortunately, the resale value of the Model S is staying consistently high, and so even buying a preowned model will set you back a good $40,000 (around £25,000).

So in conclusion, Tesla cars are amazing, if you can afford one… Luckily, Musk is aware of this hurdle and apparently hopes that the new generation of Teslas, available for sale around 2017, will be on sale for around $35,000 (about £21,000) which is not unreachable with a decent financing scheme. Lastly, with Tesla also publishing all their patents free of charge for any willing company or backyard shed tinkerer, then hopefully electric power technology will advance at an exponential rate, benefitting everyone.

Read more about Tesla on their website and in this Mashable article.

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