Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous Review

St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

Ordering & Delivery

The order process was ridiculously smooth. You go on the website, configure the car and put down your deposit. You then upload your documents electronically and get a named person to talk to about your order.

There are no dealers and there is no haggling. You order direct for a set price.

I custom ordered my car so delivery took three months. I had waited for the new facelift Model S, like I guess a bunch of other people, so that may have caused a slightly extended delivery time.

Running cost

Having an electric car means you get some benefits from the government and local authorities…

  • Plug-in car grant (£4,500 off the purchase price)
  • No London congestion charge (£11.50/day)
  • No vehicle excise duty (UK car tax, about £200/yr for my previous car, but can be £2000/yr)
  • No charge for Lambeth borough parking permit (previously about £150/yr)

In total, over 13,000 miles I’ve paid £12.06 in fuel costs. I reckon the same distance in my old car would have cost nearly £3,000 in petrol.

Whilst I don’t do this, for comparison charging the car to full from empty at home using the average UK electricity price of 14p per kWh would cost a little over £12.

Scottish Highlands

Performance

It moves. Really moves. With the ‘Ludicrous’ mode turned on it’ll hit 60mph from standing in about 2.8 seconds. That’s a crazy low number, but doesn’t prepare you for the shock of doing it for the first time — your vision goes grey at the edges as, I guess, blood is removed from the front of your face. All of this effortlessly, with no engine roar.

L’Île-Rousse (L’Ìsula), Corsica

Interior & Build

The Model S is Tesla’s first stab at building a full car from scratch, and it shows.

The boot is enormous and the frunk is useful.

I find the seats, although comfortable, a little high — presumably because of the battery under the whole car. There is plenty of room in the back seats, and no big bump in the middle of the floor for the transmission.

Range

The Tesla set ‘typical’ range on the car is about 250mi, but my record is over 320mi, which I got by driving smoothly at around 70mph on a UK motorway.

Trip meters at the end of a drive to Corsica from London and back

Charging

Supercharging in Ghent, Belgium with friends
And supercharging in Newport Pagnell, UK all alone
  • Standard plug — 4–6mph
  • Street charger — somewhere between 7 and 22mph, sometimes higher
  • Destination charger — between 7mph and 32mph
  • Supercharger —up to 320mph
European Superchargers (current in red, upcoming in grey as of July 2017)

It’s fair to say that I wouldn’t have bought an electric car if this network didn’t exist, and why Tesla is currently the only electric car I could buy and use practically.

Street charging in Manchester, UK and mobile apps screenshot at the same time
Destination charging in Arras, France with mobile app screenshot a little later
Charging on a ferry
Ubitricity charging near my house in Lambeth, London
My first Ubitricity charge details

Autopilot

On a motorway, the car can basically drive itself — combination of radar and camera are available to take over. This works incredibly well, and is often improved via software updates.

Entertainment

The car is connected via 4G and WiFi and has a massive 17" touchscreen, plus Spotify and TuneIn clients baked in. The DAB radio is good too. The impressive unified search that allows you to find music, artists or programmes across the multiple audio mediums the car supports works great.

Stolen

At 2am one night the car was stolen from outside my house. I’ll spare you the details of how I messed up, but it’s fair to say it was my fault as I’d left one of the keys inside it.

Tow to the charger

Summary

This car is the best thing I’ve ever bought.

Update

Here’s my two-year review…

Canalside in Amsterdam

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Jason Cartwright

Jason Cartwright

I build things. Run a food bank charity. Green energy fanboy, sometime investor, sometime coder.