Reflections of a Model S Owner

For the past few years, I have been lucky enough to own a car which has met my requirements: suitable for the family, convenient for a daily work commute, safe and also enjoyable to drive. With my hobby of racing sports cars, I also prefer a car that handles well and can deliver performance characteristics. Hitherto, I held the impression that electric cars were functionally basic, low range, slow and with very short battery life making them expensive to own and run.

Range Anxiety..? Not with Model S

From the day, we took delivery of Model S, we have not suffered from any such thing as range anxiety. On most days we drive less than the 260 “real world miles” range of the car, and whenever we leave home the “tank” is full from an overnight charge. We rarely visit any other charging point.

Charging is so easy.

The fastest way to charge is at Tesla’s own superchargers and more are being installed around Europe making long journeys very convenient. In the 20 minutes we might stop for a comfort break and to pick up a cup of coffee, we put 100 more miles into the battery; stopping for an hour for a quick lunch and the car can be fully charged from empty.

Long journeys are far more restful than our past experience. The absence of the constant noise buffeting which we were used to with a traditional Internal Combustion Engine car (ICE) makes us much less tired. Any slight loss of time compared with driving an ICE is quickly made up on arrival by being fresher and more effective.

We have done long trips of up to 600 miles easily in a single day. If we do ever need them, there are so many third party chargers, mostly currently free to use, that topping up rarely takes any thought.

Is the car perfect? Not quite: the satnav features are basic (but effective); the audio system is also basic; the service network is adjusting to the high level of new car deliveries which can cause delays (though it must be said that the service quality is excellent); and the rollout of Superchargers will need continued focus to reflect the cars on the road.

However unlike other cars, Tesla is regularly rolling out free over the air updates, providing new functionality, improved performance and removing bugs. It is all very convenient as no dealer visit is needed.

I will never buy another ICE

There are so many more aspects of Model S that I just love. The performance and handling are exemplary and road holding is outstanding. The autopilot system does a great job on motorways and allow the driver to monitor more what is going on around and look out for potential hazards; it is basically an assistant with multiple sets of eyes functioning simultaneously and does not tire. It is invaluable.

The Model S is a simply fabulous car. The good news is that all the weaknesses are minor in comparison to the strengths, and all within Tesla’s own control to make improvements to our current cars.

When I think about our Model S, I know that the world has moved on and I will never buy another internal combustion engine.

[private footnote – except for racing!]

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