If you think that Tesla Motors is an automobile manufacturer of high-performance electric cars you are only partially correct. Tesla is much, much more than that – it is a Revolution; a Game Changer – and it is systematically changing the entire landscape of the automobile industry.
Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling electric cars to mass market as soon as possible. The company is growing at an exponential rate and it is achieving its mission not only by setting new standards for premium performance cars, but by building a world-wide infrastructure that will support the electric vehicle.
I find Tesla to be a fascinating company and as a shareholder, I was curious to experience, first-hand, what Motor Trend named as its Car of the Year. So Friday, I took a ride to the Short Hills Mall and test drove the Model S. And it was everything that that it promised to be.
There is a quote on the Tesla website that reads:
“it’s performance that won us over. The crazy speed builds silently and then pulls back the edges of your face. It had all of us endangering our licenses.”
The Tesla employee that accompanied me can attest to this, as she asked me to slow down at least three times during the test drive. The car handles beautifully and responds with utmost precision in both speed and handling.
The technology behind the Tesla is a work of genius and that genius is Founder, Chairman, Product Architect and CEO, Elon Musk. This technology is proprietary to Tesla held under lock and key by Elon himself. It is this technology that allows a battery pack comprised of 7000 batteries to power the car hundreds of miles between charges. It is this technology that compartmentalizes the batteries into 16 modules protected by internal firewalls creating a combustibility rate of 10 times less than a gasoline engine.
When buying a Tesla, you need to shift your entire mindset because there is nothing conventional about it.
Tesla has no dealerships, instead it has stores where you can test drive the vehicle – by appointment only. Tesla keeps no inventory. Each car is designed by you through their website. The benefits of not having inventory is that it keeps costs of the car as low possible. And because there is no inventory, new technology can be implemented as soon as it is developed. No more waiting until next year’s model to unveil enhancements.
But the greatest mind-shift is the concept of the electric car. To facilitate the charge a 220 outlet would need to be installed at your home – a simple modification which any electrician could handle. Cost per charge is about $12 to your electric bill, but the Model S can run approximately 265 miles on one single charge.
While on the road you can recharge your Tesla at a supercharger station. Currently there are 49 stations – 3 in CT and one in NY at JFK Airport – not terribly convenient for Monmouth County residents. But plans for aggressive expansion are in place.
These supercharging stations allow you to recharge your Tesla and in about 30 minutes the car will reach about 80% charge. The cost to recharge at these supercharger stations is free as Tesla uses solar power to generate electricity that it then sells back to the electric company in order to allow the free electricity at the charging station.
Supercharger Expansion Plan
North America Today 2015
Tesla charging stations today-2015
The cost of the model S that I designed is just over $102K. New Jersey residents don’t pay any sales tax on the Tesla and you receive a $7,500 dollar-for-dollar tax credit. But imagine never having to spend another dollar gas again? Imagine never having to spend money on maintenance again? It’s almost incomprehensible, but because the Tesla only has one moving part, the rotor, the only cost you are expected to incur is on tires. Now that is revolutionary.