Tesla cars, model S and X, have maximum ranges of 300 miles per charge. That is, charge the car overnight, and the next day drive for up-to 300 miles without stopping for a drop of petrol. This range even at the lower end of the spectrum depending on model and driving can be 200 miles.
I sometimes look around at all the cars on the road, as I drive my own petrol car, and can’t help thinking that these fossil fuel guzzling, environment destroying cars are technologies of a bygone era. A bygone era that is still hanging on to humanity.
The other day I saw a Range Rover Vogue driving in front of me that was approximately a 2006 model. It sounded heavy, very loud, its owner had obviously not taken full care of it. It is what fossil fuelled cars have become, loud, heavy and a pain to maintain . In a way, the state of cars today reminds me of the vehicles in the film Children of Men, such as the old citroen driven by Michael Caine or the Renault by Clive Owen. The film showed a future, in the year 2027, where society, amongst other things, had come to a standstill and the rate of change that we see today had stopped; so the people in this society had to do with old technology and old cars. They were dirty, broken and only just kept together through, what was portrayed in the film, as DIY repairs.
Above, the cars in the 2006 film Children of Men
Well society, thankfully, has not come to a standstill and change is all around us. One of those changes will be electric cars. With the driving range that companies such as Tesla have been able to achieve, long distance driving has become a possibility. One of the further reasons why long-distance travel can become a success is due to the super-charging spots which the company has strategically located throughout the world. Today, with a Tesla car, you could drive the entire distance between the East and West coast of the USA, a trip of over 2,700 miles. You can drive from London to Rome, a trip of over 1,100 miles and still not need a drop of fuel. The charging efficiency and times and even full driving range of the cars can be better and with the advances of battery technologies and the opening up of Tesla’s Giga factory, the ranges and speed of charging will improve over the years. Elon Musk himself, founder of Tesla, believes that even today they could produce a car with a 400 mile range. Only that the whole boot of the model S would have to be packed with batteries. But as batteries become more efficient, longer ranges are only around the corner.
Above, locations of Tesla Supercharger locations in the USA and Western Europe
There are other competitors such as Chevrolet’s Bolt model which has a claimed range of 200 miles. Also the Nissan Leaf has been relatively successful for smaller inner-city trips as it has a range of approximately 84 – 100 miles but no other electric car has stirred the imagination as have these Teslas.
These electric cars, most notably the Tesla model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt are the future of driving. The newly announced Model 3 will have a starting price of approximately $35,000 when it comes out sometime in 2017. This price is much less than the model S’s starting price of over $70,000 and makes the car more affordable. Furthermore, electric cars do not need oil changes and relatively require much less maintenance which drives the running costs further down.
Suddenly fossil fuelled cars are at risk of becoming irrelevant. Just as like how we left the horse and cart, there will come a time that we will leave cars that rely on fossil fuels to run. Yes some people will miss the sound and feel of the engine in a car, but this will be just like how our earlier ancestors missed the feeling of having a horse and cart.
A traditional horse and cart. Black and white image for extra affect :p
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