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Tesla S will let you drive across England with one stop


Tesla S
Tesla S

Tesla will start selling its high-end electric cars in the UK from next month, with the Tesla S capable of travelling 300 miles on a single charge.

The £70,000 Model S Performance Plus will be the first right-hand-drive Tesla car to be sold here in the UK.

Besides its sporty looks and accompanying performance (0-62mph in 4.2 seconds), the Tesla S’s most impressive feat is that it can travel 300 miles on a single charge.

However, the Tesla S can still travel an estimated 130 miles on a 20 minute partial charge, which means that you’ll be able to drive the length of England with a single brief recharge stop.

That’s in stark contrast to most other electric cars available in Britain, which tend to be limited to a range of around 100 miles. They also generally require an overnight charge to reach full capacity.

Tesla is installing a number of supercharging stations around England. There’ll be recharge points in Dover, Bristol, the M25, and north along the M1.

Tesla S drivers will be able to use these recharge stations for free, while other users will be able to pay a one-off fee for unlimited usage.

It’s hoped that Tesla’s arrival in the UK will kick-start the electric car business in a country where only 1,547 electric vehicles were registered during the first four months of the year.

The UK government appointing Tesla founder Elon Musk (who also co-founded PayPal) as an electric car tsar last year in a bid to turn more Brits electric.

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Via: Telegraph


May 20, 2014, 10:57 am

No, not 'the length of England with a single stop'. The width, maybe. However, I can drive the length of England with no stops. I have a petrol car.


May 20, 2014, 12:48 pm

Far far too expensive to be pratical


May 20, 2014, 12:49 pm

The article reads "You’ll be able to drive the length of England with a single brief recharge stop", referring to the full 300 mile range, followed by a brief recharge, giving another 130 miles. England is approximately 400 miles in length.

I think the ide of the article isn't to sell the product to potential customers who actually drive up and down the length of England all day, but to give an idea of what a 300 mile range is, and the fact that to most people it is more than adequate.

Your petrol car sound very impressive, however you are on a tech forum, and this in undoubtedly a future tech, and is already much cheaper to fuel than your petrol car. Which is impressive.


May 20, 2014, 12:51 pm

It's aimed at the exec/sports market, where it compares very favourably to other cars on the market. It's not supposed to replace your Focus or Astra.

Tesla are supposedly releasing something in the $30k range soon.


May 20, 2014, 1:06 pm

England is only 400 miles long if you fly. I believe this will use the roads, which are considerably in excess of 500 miles.
And electric cars aren't 'future tech', they are 'stopgap tech' till something more practical comes along.


May 20, 2014, 1:31 pm

I had a feeling you may reply commenting on the length of England versus the distance to drive the length of England. I just knew somehow...

And that was why I wrote my second paragraph. You should read it some time.

You could, quite plausibly, argue that all tech is stop-gap tech though, couldn't you? Sure something better will come along. Like hover boards or something, but we're not there yet, are we? We are at electric motors and batteries for storing that electric. That's where we are, and that's what works best given out current infrastructure.
The reality is battery powered cars are here and they are getting bigger. There is nothing else remotely close to doing what electric motors, like the Tesla, are already proving.
And compared to your petrol car you are so proud of, it certainly is future tech.


May 20, 2014, 2:42 pm

There are plenty of cars sold in this price range.

That said, considering it is an EV, it is much cheaper than the sticker price suggests due to savings on gas and maintenance.

Afterwards the Gen 3 car will come which will be affordable for everyone buying a new car.


May 20, 2014, 2:45 pm

Even at 500 miles you would be able to do it with 1 stop.

And electric cars are future tech. The current batteries used might be a stopgap for a decade or 2 but overall electric cars are the future.

Ruth Rrose

May 20, 2014, 3:31 pm

Big questions before one spends 70k.
Battery deterioration against thousands of miles driven? We need a graph.
Expected useful battery life before replacement battery pack is needed?
Cost of replacement battery pack? (to ensure viable second hand value).
What is the Motor technology?
Does it h\ve sieries wound DC motors for start and accelleration with recharge dyno capacity on decelleration?. Are these combined to be taken over by phase control shunt wound motors for cruising efficiently at higher speeds?
There appears to be no solar panels built into the roof for some self-charging while moving and parked.
Home parking needs to be on a driveway or garage for regular charging.
People who spend this money on a car often stay away in hotels or visit places where charging is not possible. We don't spend 70K to go supermarket shopping.

Methinks this is a welcome car but still only half way to what we should expect in the future.

Nicola Smith

May 20, 2014, 4:41 pm

No, not future tech, more blind alley, unfortunately.
Protest, kick and scream, stick that bottom lip out as far as you want - those are still the facts.

Dj Urabus

May 20, 2014, 8:08 pm

I have had the model s now as my only car for the approx. last year in Norway.
From my experience the battery deterioration is non existent for the first year. I still have exactly the same amount of miles available as when I first got the car. I have driven it for more than 20000 miles.
Battrypack replacement will cost a lot today, but expect better packs for a lower price in the future. you will also get money back on the trade in, as it holds considerable value.
The car costs a lot upfront, but is cheap to run. Put all of the costs per year and compare it to a ICE car.

Alan Dean Foster

May 20, 2014, 11:12 pm

Battery pack is warranted for 8 years or 200,000 km on the 60kw version, unlimited km on the 85k. One user with 90,000 miles on his model S reports considerably less than 10% loss of range.
Many hotels, RV parks, etc. in U.S. have charging facilities quite suitable for the Tesla. All it takes is an adapter for the local 220/240v plug.


May 21, 2014, 3:53 pm

What really are the "facts"? No matter how you look at it, right now straight electric drive with no need for liquid fuel is the most efficient means of transportation--though the overall range of a BEV right now is not sufficient for some. I said "SOME", not "all". For roughly 99% of people who currently drive, a 65KW Model 'S' Tesla is more than enough vehicle for their daily purposes and for most of those, potentially enough for their weekly purposes. Not everybody drives 200 miles per day while a 40-mile-per-day average is common--at least in the U.S. I expect it's a lot less in the UK where rail is still the dominant means of transport over any distance (meaning over 100 miles).

No, the issue is that we are running out of liquid fuel and to be quite blunt driving electric in the UK is far more easily balanced by the fuel cost for petrol. Fuel costs in the UK are roughly double those in the US when taxes are included. That means the Tesla can drive that 500-mile length of the island for about 1/10th the cost of petrol for the same run.


May 21, 2014, 3:57 pm

James May would love it because it offers decent performance, a comfortable ride and simply costs less to operate over time.
Jeremy Clarkson would hate it because he can't hoon it forever around the Top Gear test track because he would suck the batteries dry inside of an hour.
Richard Hammond would probably like it except for the fact that it's bigger than what he typically drives, though its electric performance would definitely be appealing.

Nicola Smith

May 21, 2014, 4:36 pm

Conveniently forgetting, cost of car in this equation, I don't have to tell you the numbers don't add up - amount of sales tells us that.


May 21, 2014, 4:51 pm

NOT, "conveniently forgetting cost of car in this equation." Considering the fuel economy and price of some of the UK's more luxurious cars, a Tesla would pay for itself in savings in less than 10 years, and we all know how many Rolls Royces, Bentleys and other high-end cars are in use. The Model S is not intended for the Focus or Astra driver, as pointed out by another commenter. A car for them is coming within the next 3-4 years.

In my own case, given the amount of miles I used to commute on a daily basis (120 round trip), a Model S would have easily paid for itself in that time or less right here in the US.

What you seem to forget is that not only do you save money on gas, but also on maintenance--the Tesla does not need oil changes every few thousand miles. Other regular checkups and fluid changes are also eliminated--as are things like belts and spark plugs. A lot of cost you tend to simply absorb without thinking about them are gone--making the Tesla far more economical than mere fuel costs consider.

Nicola Smith

May 22, 2014, 6:07 am

OK, I'll buy that side of the argument, if you (or anyone) can tell me life of batteries, cost to change batteries. Also brakes, re-charge air-con, all still there.
But finally, the proof of the pudding, surely are in the numbers being sold, that's not inertia, more common sense.


May 22, 2014, 1:30 pm

What we know for certain is that Tesla guarantees the batteries for 8 years. This means they expect that to be the MINIMUM life of a battery pack. Since so far none of the Model S sedans has been on the road for more than about 18 months and that no Model S owner has commented on noticeably reduced capacity, this seems more than realistic. But, as you say, that can change.

Tesla has also initiated a battery quick-swap technology that can replace the batteries while you sit in the car--in less than 2 minutes. Granted, the cost of such a quick-swap would equate to buying roughly 16 gallons of gas (petrol), the need to perform such a swap would be minimal unless you simply cannot afford to take the time to charge normally using a Supercharger station. The question thus arises as to whether your time is worth more than $50US/hour.

While some see this battery swap concept as a one-shot, 'you must swap back on return trip or have Tesla ship it and install it on-site' added expense, I see it as a much easier way for Tesla itself to maintain the battery packs and recycle them at a minimal cost to both themselves and the customer. The battery swap station can recondition and recharge the battery pack automatically and even set aside weak batteries for recycling while good packs can be swapped onto the next vehicle opting for the swap. Since the whole system is automated and communicates with Tesla's home office, the condition of every battery pack in circulation can be monitored and controlled. Tesla has even offered to set up banks of worn batteries that still have more than half their charge life remaining as energy storage systems for emergency shelters.

In other words, while we don't know for certain, battery exchange costs could be minimal while any one pack may last 10 years or more depending on the usage habits of the driver.

As for braking, the probability stands that you would get double to triple the mileage out of any set of brake pads and rotors because the car uses regenerative braking to help extend battery life as you drive. Since a good driver can already get between 50K-80K miles out of a set of pads in everyday driving, the odds are such a service may only be necessary once or twice in the life of the vehicle. Air conditioning? That's already a minimal cost since you should only need a coolant recharge once every 5-7 years if that often. So far with a vehicle assembled in '07 I have yet to need my AC recharged and it still blows as cold as it did brand new.

Yes, I do agree there will always be costs involved with owning a vehicle--any vehicle--but by being all-electric, the Tesla and others have an ongoing advantage over gasoline or diesel-engined vehicles that goes beyond JUST the fuel. Engine maintenance is completely eliminated while other systems benefit from lighter overall use and more stable operating voltages. Thus, those operating costs are reduced significantly over the life of the vehicle.

Nicola Smith

May 22, 2014, 7:16 pm

You put up a good and reasoned argument, mucker.
And yet, why do I remain on the fence? I guess it's because I still don't feel we're there yet in terms of energy density for battery technology, and I think it's a blind alley, a stopgap if you will, until something better comes along. what's better? if I knew that I'd be buying shares in nanocells, hydrogen, supercapacitors or whatever the hell happens to get invented/refined next. But battery cars? - no.


May 23, 2014, 4:07 pm

I'm not going to argue the first part of your rebuttal--though research will continue to improve battery energy density. On the other hand, I don't consider it a "blind alley", but rather just another step into the future. The simple fact that somebody has created a battery-electric vehicle that can achieve well over 200 miles on a single charge is a notable advance on energy technology for mobile purposes.

What technology will replace the conventional internal combustion engine? Nobody knows... yet. However, there's a difference between your 'blind alley' and progressive advancement. By definition, a blind alley is a dead end--no path for advancement. However, any technology that takes us away from petrochemical fuel will have to adopt electricity in one form or another, whether that be through a fuel-cell generation system or even micro-reactors using Thorium or Fusion technologies. As a species, we can't afford to shift agriculture over to fuel production and expect to feed ourselves at the same time. Already we've seen a huge increase in food costs due to a significant percentage of farming going to alcohol production and not to making flour or feeding meat animals. No, battery electric is just a step on the trail, not a dead end.

Nicola Smith

May 23, 2014, 6:39 pm

Ok Mac, I concede on all your points, because I agree with you, except on the battery technology.....whether lithium ion, lithium polymer etc - we're just not there in terms of energy density, but also in charging infrastructure in the UK. In Canada (Alberta) there are little charging points outside everyone's door, granted they are used for oil heaters for bottom of engine block in winter, but you get the idea. Nothing like that here, and no political will to facilitate. If a new higher density energy source comes along (at the right price) - fine let's all jump in. But my point still stands, technology as it is NOW, is just not good enough. And, I say again, this is why the numbers sold are tiny, in comparison to normal ICE, normal peeps ain't going for it, and for one reason, as stated earlier, it's just not good enough/ price point too high. Even the car manufacturers think so, which is why EV's are dropping off their radar.


May 24, 2014, 1:28 pm

The real point is that no one car is, nor ever will be, perfect for everyone. Ninety-nine percent of your complaints are echoes of the turn of the 20th Century--when cars were only just riding the wagon trails and the dirty streets of the cities. Fuel was bought in buckets, not pumped directly into the tank. They had their issues to the point that even in the Great Depression of the 1930s, enterprising kids would, "Start your car for a nickel, mister?" (-- Andy Granetelli, They Call Me Mister 500)

So, you want to believe that battery technology has stalled--that there's no way it can improve. You're so stuck on the present that you won't see it's only a matter of time that all cars will be electric, one way or another. But that's ok; that won't be for at least 30 years, I'm sure. Meanwhile, third-world countries that simply don't have a nationwide electric infrastructure will have to rely on whatever fuel sources they can find.

Battery electric won't meet all needs for a long, long time; but it can already handle 90% of the consumers' transportation needs.

Nicola Smith

May 24, 2014, 5:39 pm

Ok, I'm 99% wrong, but by god, that one per cent must be important, as it's stopping 99% of people from buying the damn things, either that or we don't share your evangelical faith. I apologise for all consumers stupidity.


May 24, 2014, 9:53 pm

All I'm trying to do is open your mind to the possibilities; you can't go through life closing your mind to the world around you. I don't deny that any vehicle choice is up to the individual, but insisting that a technology simply can't progress is like saying, "Nobody will ever exceed the speed of sound". Or maybe you'd prefer, "If God meant us to fly, he'd given us wings." Well, God gave us wings--he gave us the ability to think and copy his wing design and make that copy work for us. To insist that battery technology simply cannot do something just puts a limit on a limitless potential.

Why aren't 99% of people buying Teslas right now? Let's start with the simple fact that Tesla only produced some 20,000 units last year. On the other hand, every one they produced was sold/leased right away. There are already thousands of orders open for the Tesla crossover model, currently called Model 'X'. For any brand to consistently sell as many as they can make, the model MUST be pretty popular.

Rather than apologizing for 'stupidity', rather look at the possibilities--prepare for the future. Unless you're already on your death bed, a lot will happen before you die.

Nicola Smith

May 25, 2014, 6:37 am

Again, we're conveniently forgetting the price. Will say that the bmw i8 intrigues me, which is a hybrid (as you probably know) but, again, needs that infernal combustion engine to give it the range, power etc.. Still given price is similar(ish) - between tesla and i8, I know where i'd drop my deposit.

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