Consumer Reports has selected the Tesla Model S as their ‘best overall car’. Their choice is significant, because Consumer Reports reviews are based on scientific tests and they are the largest independent testing entity for consumer products in the world. They specifically try to protect consumers interests and emphasize safety. Winning such an award is no trivial matter and is a strong counterpoint to the press that documented a very small number of car fires involving the Model S after some of the vehicles were driven over road debris that punctured their battery casings.
If Consumer Reports is very impressed by the Model S, it means the vehicle is worthy of admiration. Here is a portion of what they said about the all-electric sedan, ‘The Tesla is brimming with innovation. Its massive, easy-to-use 17-inch touch screen controls most functions. And with its totally keyless operation, full Internet access, and ultra-quiet, zero-emission driving experience, the Tesla is a glimpse into a future where cars and computers coexist in seamless harmony. Its 225-mile driving range and 5-hour charges, using Tesla’s special connector, also make it the easiest, most practical, albeit pricey, electric car to live with. Price as tested: $89,650.’ (Consumer Reports)
It’s sort of amusing that they noted the price because considering how innovative the Model S is and that it is produced by a small, new company one might argue that it is actually reasonably priced. Sure, the first temptation is to compare it with gas-powered sedans like the Accords and Camrys that are so common. The Model S is a brand-new design, however, and all-electric. Obviously, its a niche vehicle, so comparing it with $30,000 gas-powered sedans that have been produced for many years is not fair.
Yes, its disappointing that most of us can’t afford one, but it should be pointed out that the success of the Model S is paving the way for a smaller, more affordable Tesla all-electric car that should be in production within the next several years. In a sense, the buyers of the Model S are helping Tesla expand their future production so people with less money can also eventually get their own Tesla. Those of us that can’t afford a $90,000 car just have to wait longer for the more affordable model.
Tesla’s first production vehicle was the Roadster and that cost about $120,000 it when was first made available to the public, so Tesla is moving in the direction of affordability and will continue to do that until it starts selling its smaller, commuter EV.