The transition from fuel vehicles to electric ones is becoming increasingly popular, also because of the Paris agreement regarding limiting greenhouse gases. Many benefits come with an electric car, but do they balance the drawbacks?
Being more environmentally friendly was the main goal of my family when purchasing a Tesla Model S 75D. An all-wheel drive with dual engine, luxury and comfort, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, autonomous driving and much more. After 6 months of driving, I think I’m able to make a very good picture of the Tesla Model S 75D, presented in 2016.
You do not have to miss out on luxury. The flagship model is comparable to the BMW 5 or the Audi A6 series. The 17-inch display in the driver’s compartment has Internet access, thanks to the LTE card, and serves as a control center for multimedia, and comfort and other vehicle settings. From a concert like sound using DAB+ and Spotify to the memory function in the driver’s seat, the Tesla seems to offer everything that luxury fanatics desire.
The autopilot is equipped with ultrasonic sensors and cameras, and promises a safer driving. However, you have to keep in mind that this is just a driving assistant and in case of accidents, the insurance does not cover you if you used autopilot. Experience has shown that autonomous driving is definitely a highlight for stop-and-go driving in traffic jams, as well as for parking.
Even distance-wise, the model S75D competes with petrol or diesel powered vehicles. The E-glider manages 380 km and thanks to its superchargers, it can be recharged for 200 km in just 30 minutes during a coffee break. Of course, the range is also dependent on individual driving behavior and the weather conditions. As the supercharger network has expanded in recent years, longer travel routes no longer pose a problem. A big plus is definitely the use of renewable electricity for the supercharger.
Until today, TESLA has installed 1229 supercharger stations with 9623 chargers worldwide. In Europe 400 supercharger stations have been installed with 3200 chargers. For Europe the electricity comes only from wind and solar sources. This is a cut down of 92 Million liters of fossil fuel resulting in a reduction of 200.000 tons of CO2.
A significant drawback is the production of lithium-ion batteries. The extraction of that natural resource requires a lot of energy and chemically destroys the environment. Moreover, the production of the battery emits a substantial amount of CO2, which consequently also negatively affects the environment.
Another significant disadvantage is the high price point of the car. Most of the people can not afford to spend almost 80.000€. To be fair, there are some advantages to save money compared to fuel cars. For a period of 10 years there is no or little tax and only a little preventive maintenance is required. In addition, the charging on TESLA’s superchargers is free for all Model S purchased before May 2018.
Finally, the Model S’s maintenance track record is very bad. Researchers have found, that this car is the most maintenance intensive in its segment. However, we didn’t experience this ourselves. If a problem occurs or the next service is scheduled, the car informs the owner of it all by itself.
We drive almost 45.000 km per year. We purchased the car to contribute to saving the environment by driving the next generation of zero emission cars. We charge the car with our own generated solar panel (PV) energy and utilize the renewable energy of Tesla’s superchargers. For people who travel such an amount of km per year the Tesla Model S is definitely recommended as a sustainable product to purchase.
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