Tesla 2014 experience

To change gears (figuratively) from photography to auto technology.  I recently had the opportunity to test drive the Tesla Model S vehicle. Many of you have already heard about this extraordinary piece of auto technology.  I came across the Tesla a few months ago at one of their Los Angeles showrooms. I walked in and it was bustling with all types of folks. From families to individuals who wanted to see and or  learn more about the vehicle. I can’t even use the word “car” when describing the Tesla. The term comes across as something ordinary, nothing special. This IS a unique vehicle from it’s design to how it drives. I won’t go into a long narrative about the Tesla as there are many articles out there describing it at greater detail.

What I can share  is the “experience” of driving a Tesla vehicle.  After 25 +years of driving gas-powered cars from my 280 ZX to CJ7 V8 jeep, experiencing an electric vehicle was surreal and took a little bit of adjusting. Keep in mind the “brain” of an electric car is all computerized and running through software. There was a moment where you feel like the car is driving on it’s own, but the software for the Tesla customizes your experience based on use. It can drive on a “eco” mode which is the most energy efficient setting or a “sport” type mode which I believe is more along the lines of a “sunday day” feel. This will give you more power but will use more energy. The handling is the smoothest I’ve ever felt and the acceleration was quite surreal. Like Star Trek warp speed ahead acceleration! The one thing that completely sold me on the Tesla’s performance was the zen-like comfortable feel of driving the Model S. And what I mean by this is that the body experiences a pulling back and a center of gravity movement that could cause less stress on the body when driving the Tesla. The reason being is that the Tesla has rear wheel drive, and the power train (where the pull of energy is coming from) is located at the rear of the vehicle. Unlike gas powered cars where the engine and most of the weight of the vehicle pulls the driver  forward causing fatigue and strain on the body. It makes sense when you think about it! We hear people talking about the discomforts of driving long distances and the stop/go motion of traffic. It does take it’s toll over time. But to experience the feeling of being in center gravity with hardly any strain to the body was incredible. I know you may think how could I experience this after a test drive? Well, you have to take my word for it! I’m a very body minded person and feel changes easily. Overall this is a vehicle that I would highly endorse in a heartbeat, financially permitting!

This will be the 2nd time I’ve test driven an electric vehicle. The first was the Nissan Leaf. This interest in electric vehicles came  after a friend gave me a ride in his new Leaf. When I test drove the Leaf I was amazed at how smooth it drove and the pick up was quick. The ratio 0-60 (I think) in under 7 seconds while the Tesla Model S rides 0-60 in about 5.5 seconds. The Tesla Performance S is 0-60 in 4.5 seconds! The performance between the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf is obvious. The only similarity is that they are both electric designed vehicles. The mileage use and features differentiate these models as the Tesla Model S is a sporty sedan with high end package features from surround sound options to different battery sizes (60-85kwh) which will effect your mileage charge. The Tesla Model S price is understandably high starting at about mid $70K for the basic model. The Nissan Leaf basic model is priced to about $29K but with the electric vehicle tax credit (varied by certain states) you can receive close to $10K in tax breaks on new electric/hybrid purchases.

With electric and hybrid vehicles being seen more on the road these days, I can only hope that peoples awareness for these vehicles will grow to being more energy efficient in their lifestyle. Granted there are still (corporate minded) politics involved with anything that’s “green and natural” for the environment. I think Tesla will be the  example of how a independent company embraces new technology to make a historic impact within the automotive industry.

On that note, I leave you with this video showing how the the Tesla Models are “robotically” produced. I’m blown away! Would love to get feedback on this topic of electric vehicles and anything related to green technology.

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