As documented in the soon-to-be-released Revenge of the Electric Car movie by Chris Paine, Tesla has faced enormous challenges to break into the automotive marketplace. But now, to prove their Model S electric sedan is more than vaporware, Tesla has released its "Beta" Model S for test drives and recorded the reveal in HD video for your ogling pleasure. CEO Elon Musk explained that Tesla didn't aim to make the Model S the best electric sedan, but the best sedan available anywhere. Lofty goal. How did they do?
Well, first of all this car hails from Silicon Valley, so priority is put on the electronics. This nets new Tesla owners a 17-inch vertically oriented display screen with a full web browser, Google Voice Search-linked music finder, global satellite radio, and a high-quality sound system. Compare this to the miniscule radio and HVAC system with 20-year-old-looking knobs in the Tesla Roadster, and you can see just what kind of a threat this start-up is to established car makers. These guys learn quickly, and they aim to do a mind-blowingly good job whenever possible.
As you can see in the amusing but slightly awkward demonstration, the Tesla Model S can fit 7 people (maybe 8 in a pinch) with its optional third-row seats, and also aims to ace its crash tests in every category while improving handling over gas-engined sports cars that have to deal with body roll caused by a heavy engine above the axles. Musk’s point in his reveal speech was to convey that the electric car isn’t just slightly better than a gas-powered car but can actually trump it in every way because of the high-powered battery that allows the car up to 300 miles of battery range and enough power to run the display screen for 6 months, the low center of gravity and stiff battery pan at the floor that improves handling and side-crash safety, the empty hood that lengthens the crumple zone for improved frontal collision safety, and so on and so forth. People at the drive event declared that acceleration was similar to the incredibly fun Roadster.
Could Tesla really have created a fossil fuel killer in the Model S? Well, we still have to wait for them to produce these en masse which presents its own challenges, but Tesla aimed to prove they were capable of creating an desirable electric car, and they have done so with this event. If they can keep it priced near the projected $50,000 after federal tax credits and develop a full range of models, Tesla may just usher in the era of the electric car.
Via AutoBlog Green