The Tesla Model S
The new all-electric Tesla S sedan is not just the favorite of car magazines, now Consumer Reports calls it the best car theyâ€™ve ever driven, scoring 99 points of 100 and beating out the Lexus LS460 that held the previous record back in 2007. What does this massive battery-powered EV have that no others do?
"It handles like a sports car, it rides like a luxury car, it has the energy efficiency that is twice as good as the best hybrids and is the quietest car weâ€™ve ever tested," said CR tester Gabe Shenhar. "It does so many things so right on so many levels that to us it wasn't a surprise."
Perhaps that's why Tesla Motors has sold more cars during the first quarter of 2013 than luxury German automakers, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, prompting the Palo Alto-based firm to declare its first-ever profit and raise expected sales for 2013 from 20,000 to 21,000.
Shenhar said that Tesla started from scratch. It engineered an electric vehicle around a larger battery that gives it a range of more than 200 miles (265 miles with the upgraded 85 kilowatt/hr lithium-ion battery). All other EVs -- such as the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus, Honda Fit -- can only travel 60 to 80 miles before charging up. The closest competitor is the Toyota Rav 4 EV with a 103 mile range, according to the Department of Energy.
Tesla has also installed its own network of super-fast chargers along the East Coast corridor between Washington and Boston, as well as in California. It gives drivers in these areas the advantage of a 30 minute charge, instead of a six-hour overnight fill up at home.
Consumer Reports magazine said driving a Tesla S "is like crossing into a promising zero-emissions future. ... It's what Marty McFly might have brought back in place of his DeLorean in 'Back to the Future.'"
Publishers disclaimer: I own a Tesla Model S and some Tesla stock. I agree with the thrust of this article. Once you drive a good EV, all other cars seem somehow out of date! Photo shows me at the delivery of my Model S.
Read more at DiscoveryNews.