This morning I did a quick visit to Auto-Outlet Helsinki, a premium car dealership located in Vantaa, Finland. They have recently started importing Tesla cars to Finland and currently they are also the only dealership in Finland selling them.
Last summer I was trying to arrange a two day test drive of the Tesla Model S in either Copenhagen or Oslo, and that is still on the list to do – or in Germany, if they have available cars there. But thought I would do a short test drive of one here in Finland, as they had them available now. Today I did not have time to shoot video or even do high quality photos (impossible to keep a white car clean in this rainy weather), but here is at least a first impression with some photos.
Hopefully I can plan in a better test drive next year, because it would be fun to test this car for real. Now I know it is interesting to drive. But I want to know what it is like to live with an electric car as a daily driver – how it is to charge it, what is the realistic range I can do with it with my driving style (which means I want to enjoy the power also, not just do energy-efficient driving… if you have an electric car that has the power of a supercar, you most likely also drive it like you would drive any other supercar…) etc.
The model I drove was the P85, which is also the most sold version of the Model S in Finland. 310 kW (416 hp) @ 5000-8600 rpm, 0-100 km/h in 4,4 seconds… And nearly free to drive. Yes, the purchase price is premium car pricing, although you get a lot of car for the money. Think of the technology, think of the performance… In Finland the P85 is 119.900€ and if you buy it with a leasing contract for a company, you get about 24.000€ back. This is because of energy support from the state = CO2 emissions 0g/km, so 500€ a month for 48 months. The basic 60kWh model is 89.990€ – 24.000€, which means the final price is 65.990€. After you have purchased it, it is incredibly inexpensive to drive – 1,5€ per 100 km. Good investment?!
This car makes so much sense that I do not even know where to start, but after today I personally understand the idea behind Tesla Motors. It is a car that is pretty to look at, always a good start. The P85 is also very fast, when you go pedal to the metal you feel an incredible acceleration power. No engine sounds of course, it is a silent car (some noise from the tyres, and you hear the radio…), but the funny thing is I did not even miss the engine sounds. Not in this car. I drove the A45 AMG before and after, enjoyed the sound heaven with that car. That is what the A45 AMG is for – that is what many other petrol sports car out there are for. To deliver not only the performance and speed, but also the overall feeling which often comes from the sounds. The sounds that give you that huge grin on your face while you are driving – I love it.
However, the Tesla Model S is the smart buy. Extremely smart buy, if you ask me. I could have a garage full of high performance petrol sports car with screaming engines, and then I could have a Tesla Model S as my daily driver. Cheap to drive, beautiful interior, beautiful exterior, incredible cargo volume (898.4L in total, even more with seats down), innovative technology, the future of automotive. Yes, I think Tesla can only grow as a company. Why hybrid if I can have a full electric car that is inexpensive to drive? Why a normal petrol or diesel car if I can have a full electric car and avoid the fuel costs on my daily driver? The only thing the Model S can not replace is the high performance sports cars I would want to own – or some SUV:s / off-road cars. But if I just want a daily driver and could afford something in this price range, most other options suddenly feel stupid.
Never in a million years did I imagine I could have so many good things to say about an electric car. Me, who always says I need the sounds to enjoy the driving, the sounds are my heroin. But this time I am willing to make an exception and say I think this car is fantastic even without them. Because it is so different and so modern.