This is a Tesla Model S. It's an electric car.
A useable one at that.
Every time someone sees one they say how wonderful it is.
And how it's the future.
The model S and Tesla is the brainchild of Elon Musk, the guy behind PayPal and SpaceX, a sort of intergalactic delivery service for the International Space Station.
Now he's using his not inconsiderable wealth to do what you'd hope every rich businessman would do, build awesome cars and go to space.
In that respect, he's a little bit like Tony Stark.
Even named his company after Nikola Tesla, the chap who came up with alternating current and revolutionized our lives.
Guess which fuel it works with exclusively?
Tesla was an underappreciated genius who discovered plenty of things long before they were officially invented.
Things like X-ray, radio, radar.
The model S is the company's second car, the first being the Roadster, a Lotus Elise based open-top that could go-around 100 miles on a charge and top 60 miles an hour in under four seconds.
It was a gateway car.
The Roadster was something of a rolling shop front for Tesla.
It was a fast, desirable, useable car that showed the world [UNKNOWN] didn't have to be boring.
They weren't cheap, though, about a hundred thousand pounds over here.
But, every bit of that money and investment cash didn't go into people's pocket.
It went into creating the next product, the Model S. The people that bought them weren't just customers, either.
They were also development drivers.
That's something I really admire about Tesla and companies like it.
It doesn't do things the same way as the rest of the automotive industry.
It takes a more Silicon Valley approach to see what's missing, in this case, in EV.
Develop the first iteration.
Watch people buy it.
Listen to their complaints.
And fix them for the next one.
Oh, and find ways to make the product better anyway.
That's why there are three versions of the Roadsters.
And that's why the model S was so good straight out of the box.
The model S moves in 2012 the world went a little bit mad.
It took a while to find it's way to Britain, but once it did the press loved it.
You see a few kicking about London but where you really see them is in places like.
California and the Netherlands, where being green really matters.
But, EV shouldn't be all about green cred, no.
EVs need to do everything a normal car does and a little bit more besides.
A lot of people are worried about range anxiety.
Nissan Gleason says these roads are only.
Really do about a hundred miles to a charge.
And when you say it out loud that doesn't sound very promising.
But when you remember that the average commute's only 40 miles, it's not so bad.
Either way, it's a fear the s goes a very long way to allay.
There are 3 varieties of the model S; the 60, 85, and 85 performance.
I always worry with alternative fuel cars that you lose something by adding power train, or in this case subtracting internal combustion engine, but here, you don't.
The motor is so powerful.
The torque is just mind-blowing.
And it is instant, you put your foot down and bang your gone.
The throttle progression is beautiful, it's seemless.
It's so easy to use, easier than a normal car.
Because you don't have to learn where the sweet spot is on the throttle or anything like that.
You just modulate your foot very gently and if you want a bit more speed.
Put it down a bit.
If you want a bit less lift it off and then.
The brake regen, the energy regen will give you a little bit of power back.
Can get quite aggressive that regen.
So once you get used to it.
Not too bad.
Now this thing has in theory 320 miles of range.
I've been driving around a bit.
And I'm not worried about it running out.
The readout is very reliable.
And if you are worried.
Currently in London, there are five free Tesla super charger points, and what's really smart about that is that Tesla hasn't put them anywhere silly.
They've put them in places where you wouldn't mind stopping, for say half an hour if you need to recharge it up to 80%, or just over an hour if you want to charge it to a hundred percent.
There's also a network of these things running right up the country, so you can drive from London to Edinburgh in an electric car, yes.
Easy still requires planning to go great distances.
But it's not as big a problem as it used to be.
There is one downside that is quite disappointing.
It's the ride comfort.
It feels quite harsh for a car like this.
You'd expect it to be just a little bit more comfortably.
But you do feel pretty much every lump and bump.
In the road, and that is gonna come along with noise as well.
There are disadvantages to having a quiet car that has an enormous bank of batteries sat in its belly.
I want to talk a little bit about the interior.
especially this center console thing.
It's basically a giant i. Pad.
You can browse the web on it, you can hook it up to your house so if Tes needs to send you a software update it'll just do it for you.
Now because of this iPad center console there's no buttons everywhere it's just a big screen.
And it means there's not really much of anything.
There's a big tray down here cuz there's no transmission tunnel and there's loads of space in here.
There's also the option for.
Five plus two seating, you have two extra seats in the back if you have children or friends that you don't particularly like.
It's a very practical car, this, and it's used every advantage it can possibly get from not needing all the regular car tech.
To sum this up, you know what?
It's fast, it feels good.
It looks great.
This is the best example of the breed I've had the privilege of driving.
This thing is incredible.
And it's gonna start something big.
It's also very safe, it's got an impressive five stars in the Euro NCAP test which is pretty good, then there's the cost advantages of using one of these, using Tesla's mass, a model S will cost one thousand seven hundred and two pounds to drive 45 thousand miles in a year, paying up to 13 pence per kilowatt hour, an average car managing.
36.7 mpg at one pound 33 a litre will cost you 7, 414 pounds for the same time and distance.
However, then you look at the car that will save you nearly six K. The one we have is nearly 70,000 pounds but the base one is a ton shy of 50 grand.
A car averaging 36.7 MPG, a Renault Megane Trophy, for example, is 36,000 pounds and offers the same naught to 60 time as the base S.
You'll need to own the Tesla for two and a bit years to make up the price difference in fuel.
The electric car has been around for over a hundred years.
It's been in and then out of vogue numerous times.
But, in the twenty first century, it's here to stay.
The Model S is just the second product from Tesla.
Soon, there's going to be a Model SD.
The "D" stands for dual.
That means it's...
It's got two motors.
And all wheel drive, and more power.
Formally that will be the Model X, which is is the SUV people carrying thing.
It has vulcan doors, which open upwards, which is all kinds of cool.
This just isn't the future of motion, it should be the present too.
We just need an infrastructure to make charging quick and easy, and battery sects to make even the smallest car go thousands of miles.
On a charge giving on [UNKNOWN] time and we'll have it.
The big question is, no matter how good the model S is, do you lose anything by not having a noisy engine or gears to play with.
And yeah, a little bit of aural stimulation and a might of tactility, but other than that, no.
The electric car is here and it works.