24 Hours in Tesla...
24 hours behind the wheel of the "standard" Tesla.
For many people, Tesla is the brand associated with Electric Cars. Their CEO, Elon Musk, is almost, if not as famous as the brand itself. Musk has somewhat of a cult following worldwide, and it's no surprise considering the ideas he comes up with. I had the pleasure of spending 24 hours with the Model S 75d.
Immediately after getting behind the wheel, you feel like you are driving something premium, as it does with Mercedes, Audi and BMW. Tesla has gone for a minimalistic style cabin, doing away with buttons (apart from two very small ones) and using a giant pad style touchscreen that controls pretty much everything. This touchscreen really sets it out from the crowd. No other manufacturer has taken this approach, but I'd put money on them following suit in the very near future.
Being the pioneers of pure Electric vehicles, Tesla has to be at the top of the game, especially at the retail price point they are aiming at. The 75D may be the entry-level Model S (and the smallest in terms of battery power and range) but it certainly doesn't feel like your £60,000 odd could go much further. The Range on a full charge is somewhere between a healthy 200-250 miles, which is still way above other electric models such as the BMW i3 and new Nissan Leaf, but with a huge boot, space for 5 full size adults and performance on another level. The 75D is capable of a stupidly quick 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds, and that's not even classed as a performance model. For me, however, there is another reason why Tesla are out on their own. Driving is effortless. After a good hours driving on a mix of country roads and dual carriage ways, I arrived at my destination feeling like i'd been chauffeured.
Physically charging the Tesla is streaks ahead of other models. Most public charging networks require the use of a mobile app or pre-registered card in order to activate the station, charging you and the car. This may not sound like too much hassle, but organising a trip to find that you don't have the required app or credit in your account just delays the process and makes it much more cumbersome. Tesla have their own network of "superchargers" dotted all over the UK and Europe that charge the car rapidly, bu also automatically communicate with the car, meaning it is simply plug and charge. it couldn't be easier. Until recently, this was a free service from Tesla, meaning you could feasibly drive across the UK and Europe without it costing a penny to refuel. Tesla have now limited the amount of free charges for new vehicles, but even at cost, it's still by far the easiest way of charging outside of the home.
Working for a hire company for over 13 years, I've been blessed with driving lots of new vehicles, over the years, but nothing has left a mark on me like the Tesla's. The quirky Model X is a design marvel, if not a tad over the top, but at over £30,000 more expensive than a Model S 75D, It's hard to see why you would spend your money on it. Driving a Tesla is something that everyone should do at least once. It's truly a unique experience, and one that can be had for as little as £150 a day.