The electric car comes of age

The first right-hand-drive versions of Tesla’s all-electric sports car, the Model S, have finally arrived in the UK, says Luke Madden in AutoExpress. And it’s a very impressive package.

“For a company most people have never even heard of, it’s almost unbelievable that it’s outdone the likes of Nissan with an electric car that’s quick, spacious, luxurious and has a decent range.”

Just climbing into the extraordinary cabin is “an event” – with the electronic key in your pocket, you simply walk up to the door and its handles pop out automatically. Sit in the seat, and you’re ready to go – there’s no start button and no handbrake.

Before setting off, you can plot your route on the central touchscreen, browse the web, or set up the entertainment system.

The main problem is the charging. It takes 24 hours, and a network of refuelling stations – which allow you to charge for free in 30 minutes – won’t arrive here until late in 2014.

It feels strange to experience sports-car performance with no sound from an engine, says Vicky Parrott in What Car. But what performance: you can streak up the road as quickly as in a BMW M5.

“If you thought electric cars were all environmental piety and no fun, the new Tesla Model S is here to prove you wrong… It’s an awesome thing to drive and spend time in.”

Price: £68,700 (for top of the range Performance model)
Engine: 85kWh three-phase AC induction motor
Power: 410bhp. Top speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 4.2 seconds
Range: 311 miles
Carbon emissions: zero

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  • WhyNot

    The really big news on Tesla is that they recently took the whole industry by surprise – deciding to give their patents away under an open-source agenda – stating in their Tesla Blog

    ‘.. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology ..’

    Ground breaking stuff which together with lithium ion should give electric power quite a boost

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