The rise & rise of Tesla

Think electric cars and images of the drab Toyota Prius or the Nissan Leaf hover around your mind. Apart from being pricey to own and impractical to drive around, bad aesthetics have significantly contributed to customer indifference towards electric cars, the world over. A few years ago, the Fisker Karma came along and showed us that eco-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean boring. It was undoubtedly a revolutionary car. Everything it used was procured responsibly and it was packed with great looks matched with great performance as well.

Since then, a worthy competitor to the Fisker has emerged. A brand that has had a phenomenal run over the last few years and has caught the imagination of the world like few others.

Tesla was founded in 2003 by Elon Musk, a billionaire with a penchant for beautiful design, and named after inventor Nikola Tesla. This is one of the most successful new car companies today, and is the leader in electric technologies across the world.

Everything used in Tesla cars are ecologically acceptable. Their first car was the Tesla Roadster, which was based on the Lotus Elise. However, only 2500 units of these were built. Their latest offering is the Model S (shown here), and it looks like it could give the Fisker Karma a run for its money. It looks futuristic, with a panoramic sunroof and 19″ wheels. And has a phenomenal stance and road presence that is hard to miss.

Inside, it is all eco-cool. Beautiful, clean design with a massive 17″ LCD display in the center console that makes you actually want to live in here. It has the ability to play any song in the world, regardless of whether you have it or not and has unlimited 3G connectivity for free.

From the outside the Model S has the killer looks of a super sports saloon, but the real deal is under the hood. It uses an 85KWh lithium ion battery placed in the rear of the car and is rear wheel driven. It weighs a lot at 2108 kgs, but with 410 BHP it has enormous firepower which helps it reach 100km/h in just 5.4 seconds. That is supercar performance with zero emissions.

Tesla offers several options for customization and that makes it even more engaging for a buyer. Loyalty for the brand has soared and almost achieved cult status. The Model S is truly a reflection of who you are and the brand has managed to connect with its consumers at an emotional level, which is quite amazing for a new brand.

Tesla is also known as ‘the next Apple’ or ‘the Apple of the automobile industry’. It is cool, innovative, edgy, and has managed to do the impossible – make an electric car that keeps the environment smiling, is great on performance, stunning to look at and massive fun overall. It is considerably cheaper than the Fisker at $62,400 for the base 60KWh version, and $121,800 for the 85KWh version.

In the US, buying a Tesla is a no brainer. This is a deal pregnant with pros and you will really have to convince yourself hard to find any cons. They have rapidly opened up charging stations across Americas, and the numbers are growing as we speak. With a full charge you can achieve about 300 miles at 55 mph with the 85KWh battery supplies and that’s more than good enough to get anywhere. In fact, Model S is the only electric vehicle with enough range and a fast enough charger to make road trips a reality.

Someone in our family who has recently moved back to LA from New Delhi is considering buying one and I just can’t wait to get there for a spin. Maybe even a road trip from coast to coast.

Given a choice will I buy one? Hell yes. When it is available in India, that is.

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