One of the weirdest sensations is when you come to a stop at a set of lights or an intersection. There’s almost complete silence, as though the engine has stalled, with only the clicking of the indicator interrupting the hush.
Another thing you do notice, though, are the looks from interested onlookers. Some are just admiring what is a small, sexy sports car. But others recognise it as an electric car.”
This is that Tesla electric car, isn’t it?” asked one bystander. Others are happy just to take photos but it garners interest.
Perhaps most interesting is the Tesla can be driven similar distances to a petrol car, with a claimed range of almost 400 kilometres.
A screen near the driver’s knee displays how much energy is left in the batteries and how long till the next recharge.
That’s as simple as plugging an extension cord into a power point, although charging times can be extensive.
Depending on the voltage and amps of the outlet, you’re looking at 31???2 to 16 hours. It’s hardly conducive to a drive around Australia. Then again, that’s not what the Tesla is about. And for most people’s driving, it would be just fine.
AT A GLANCE
PRICE US $109,000 ($164,600)
MOTOR 375-volt AC induction air-cooled electric motor with variable frequency drive BATTERIES Lithium-ion with 6831 microprocessor-controlled cells
BATTERY LIFE Five years or 160,000km (estimated 5000 charge cycles)
POWER 185kW at 5000-8000rpm
TORQUE 375Nm at 0-4500rpm 0-100km/h 4 seconds
TOP SPEED 201km/h
NOW FOR THE TESLA SEDAN