It’s Electrifyin’!

Tesla Pic 1

Tesla has broken the mould of the electric car. Whilst others offer compact but somewhat speed and range deficient vehicles, Tesla pushes the boundaries.

Now I’m not talking about hybrids, this is pure Electronic Vehicles or EV’s.

Two other major sellers

BMW i3: Wheels Car of the Year (COTY) in 2014. Wheels crowned the Leyland P76 COTY in 1973 so maybe not such a great claim to fame.

The i3 brochure, (BMW Australia, 2016) claims a range of 340km’s, 150km/hr top speed and 0-100km/hr in 7.25 seconds, not awesome but presumably better than the Nissan Leaf. Nissan’s brochure makes no such claims. In fact it makes no reference to performance other than stating the maximum power of the electric motor. There is a nice picture of the fancy two tier display with 40km/hr proudly top centre.


Sadly, the word speed appears 8 times in their brochure, one is in the picture above and 4 are in this little warning on page 14.

“Don’t speed. More speed means more drag. Theoretically, air resistance is proportional to the square of speed, so the faster the speed, the more energy is used.” (Nissan Australia, 2016)

Nissan claims a maximum range of 170km’s, so long as you don’t speed I guess.

Perhaps BMW and Nissan believe the market for EV’s is the conservative type who wants to travel relatively short distances.

Tesla doesn’t and has established their brand by delivering a stylish EV with stunning performance and greater range than any other on the market. The model S actually delivers greater range than many petrol vehicles on one tank of fuel.

A more “traditional” approach

Unlike the BMW* and Nissan**, Tesla offers variations of the Model S. The 70D, is their all-rounder, 90D offers a maximum range of 557Km’s or the P90D with a maximum speed of 250km/h and 0-100 in 3.3 seconds (Tesla Australia, 2016)

*BMW offers a range extender. A 2 cylinder petrol motor powering a generator which kind of makes it a hybrid.

** Nissan offers red or black

Ludicrous acceleration

Those old enough to remember the picture below will appreciate the recent drag between a QANTAS 737-800 V’s Tesla Model S P90D as a similar demonstration of performance.


Photo: Wheels Magazine

Tesla P90D Ludicrous Mode upgrade; 0-100 is 0.3 seconds faster for $15K.


A bargain compared to Porsche, whose 911 Turbo S upgrade is $75,323 for 0.1 second. (Porsche Australia, 2016)

World leading EV brand

Tesla has quickly achieved world leading sales in EV’s since entering the motoring industry in mid-2012.

Global Unit SalesGross global sales





Figures based on global sales 2015 of the 3 comparison EV’s calculated using selling price in AUD (Cobb, 2016)

Celebrity endorsement

In a world polarised by social media and the Paparazzi, celebrity endorsement can come pretty easy. Read about Triangl Bikinis success in this arena.

A list of “17 Celebrities That Love Elon Musk’s Tesla” (Mellino, 2015) starts with Cameron Diaz, she knows cars. Me, I could leave it at that. Jay Leno is another, he knows cars too. The former “Tonight Show” host is the owner of in excess of 150 cars and motorcycles. (Zhang, 2014)

In this review Jay enthuses “Range is not really an issue, the problem of the electric car has been solved”

A New Horizon

Tesla’s Model S is not for everyone and not because it’s an EV.

Tesla realise this and have “launched” two new models. The Model X, an SUV, available mid-2016.

The biggest impact has been the release of the Model 3 with an entry price of USD$35K. The Model 3 sacrifices some performance in speed and range but nothing in style. Leveraging the aspirational appeal of the Model S, Tesla has received “close to” 400,000 pre-orders (Crothers, 2016) for the Model 3, available late 2017.

Putting that into context, the Nissan Leaf launched in December 2012 surpassed 200,000 units in December 2015. (Cobb, 2015)

It’s Electrifyin’, sang Danny about Sandy, how many will be singing about Tesla now?

Kevin Robe

Student ID: 212386109


BMW Australia, 2016. BMW Australia. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 11 April 2016].

Cobb, J., 2015. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 18 April 2016].

Cobb, J., 2016. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 08 April 2015].

Crothers, B., 2016. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 18 April 2016].

Mellino, C., 2015. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 08 April 2016].

Nissan Australia, 2016. Nissan Australia. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 11 April 2016].

Porsche Australia, 2016. Porsche Australia. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 10 April 2016].

Tesla Australia, 2016. Tesla Australia. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 08 April 2016].

Zhang, B., 2014. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 10 April 2016].


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