Tesla Speed Tested On Dutch Highways — Constantly!

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Three-quarters of the Netherlands’ ~9,000 Tesla drivers picked up a speeding ticket last year, making it the highest proportion of any car brand. That’s according to 2018 figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch News reported. In addition, nearly 2/3 of plug-in hybrid cars had been fined at least once for speeding.

Clearly, green car drivers are letting themselves be known for speed on the Dutch roads.

It is the first time the CBS has analyzed speeding ticket patterns. Of the 30 best sold car brands in the Netherlands, Audi drivers were next most likely to be fined, followed by BMW drivers and Volvo owners.

The CBS did not have an explanation for the fast driving habits of electric car drivers, but it allowed that the EV driving experience is different and that motorists were probably not aware they were going too fast.

Power consumption at higher speeds seems to not be on the radar (pun intended) for these Tesla drivers. There is less noise under the hood and less restraint.

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Speeding in the Netherlands

Just 28% of gasoline-powered cars and 46% of those which run on diesel were caught speeding during the year. In addition, company car drivers were more likely to speed than those in private cars. Dutch speeding tickets are among the highest in Europe, ranging from €147 ($167) to €337 ($380). Higher fines for speeding (and other offenses) came into force in 2014.

In total, 5.8 million speeding tickets were issued last year, of which almost half were for breaking speed limits in built-up areas.

Speed limit enforcement is extensive on Dutch roads. This includes traffic enforcement cameras in urban areas and radar guns on national roads and motorways. Furthermore, fixed average speed checks are in operation on many motorways.

It’s interesting to note that the speeding fines in the Netherlands are calculated differently from other European countries. The fines are continually increasing for each km/h. The only way to get an exact fine seems to be the speeding fines calculator at Openbaar Ministerie. If you break the limits with 30–40 km/h, your offense goes to the state attorney, who has the authority to withdraw your license. If you break the limit with more than 100%, the police can take your vehicle.

Tesla Model 3 Approved for EU by Netherlands Vehicles Authority

It’s been called a “love letter to the road,” “more like driving a Porsche Boxster than a typical luxury sedan,”  and “conservatively handsome and upscale to an equal measure as its traditional luxury competitors.” Our own CleanTechnica director Zachary Shahan argues that, once the Model 3 price gets cut to $35,000 (the Standard Range option), it will be hard to justify buying another EV model, let alone a gas or diesel car in that price range — especially when taking into account expected gasoline savings and lower long-term maintenance costs.

This week, the Netherlands Vehicles Authority said the Model 3 met requirements for European roads, according to MarketWatch. This was part of the plan for Tesla, which had expected the approval from the regulatory authority on behalf of the EU and had opened online orders for some European countries earlier this month. Tesla 2019 Model 3 sales to Europe are expected to reach 100,000, with the premium Models S and X contributing as well to solid profits.

Deliveries of the Model 3 Long Range version are expected to start in February.

The Tilburg, Netherlands Tesla assembly plant opened in 2013 and served as a gateway for the first Dutch, Belgian, French, and German Model S customers. Tesla has been a big contributor to the positive performance of BEVs in the region ever since. The best-selling EV in 2018 was the Tesla Model S, with the Tesla Model X only a few steps behind.

Model 2018 Sales
Tesla Model S 5,633
Jaguar I-PACE 3,495
Nissan LEAF 3,369
Tesla Model X 2,966
Volkswagen e-Golf 2,242
BMW i3 1,602
Hyundai Ioniq 1,500
Renault Zoe 1,017
Opel Ampera-e 860
Hyundai Kona EV 551

In the Tesla Q3 2018 update to investors, the company noted that the mid-sized premium sedan market in Europe is more than twice as big as the same segment in the US. “This is why we are excited to bring Model 3 to Europe early next year. The reception at the Paris Auto Show as well as the Goodwood Festival of Speed was very strong.”

“(Tesla) sees Europe as a very significant market opportunity given the premium market is twice the size of the U.S. one. (Tesla) believes consumer awareness in Europe has significant headroom to improve and sees Germany as the most likely location for a local production facility,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said in a report, after meeting Tesla officials at a conference in London.

More Tesla Speed

The Model S remains Tesla’s flagship vehicle. The premium electric sedan has more range  — 416–539 kilometres, depending on the version — and 0-100 km/h acceleration in as little as 2.7 seconds.

Even with a weight of 5,400 pounds, the Model X is also super quick, with the 90D registering 4.9 seconds in the 0–60 mph dash.

In entry-level form, the Tesla Model 3 has a range of 220 miles, can accelerate from 0–60 mph in 5.6 seconds, and goes onto a top speed of 130 mph.

Tesla owner and fan Brett Morrison commented for CleanTechnica that “the linear torque really, from the first moment I drove a Model S, won me over. There’s nothing else like it. And how it comes down from rapid acceleration so effortlessly via engine braking — without ever touching the brakes. That’s something else. The car is a beast when it needs to be and a calm comfort within seconds.”

“Buying a car has always been both a left-brain and a right-brain experience. On one hand, we would love to buy that just-out-of-reach dream car, the one that our emotional, creative side would love to have. On the other hand, our rational, logical, sensible mind wants the car to be safe, economical and not too expensive. Tesla has found a way to do both,” says author Daniel Burrus. “It was when I drove the Tesla Model X that I felt like I was driving in the future. After that test drive, my view of the other brands was changed. All the others instantly felt like the past.”

If you’d like to live vicariously and experience some Tesla speed, check out the video below. Erik Strait took a Tesla Model 3 Performance for a few 1/4 mile drag races, and the results were really impressive — racing a Tesla Model X P100DL, Model 3 lost by a difference of only 0.1 second.

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Carolyn Fortuna

Carolyn Fortuna, PhD, is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavey Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla and an owner of a 2022 Tesla Model Y as well as a 2017 Chevy Bolt. Please follow Carolyn on Substack: https://carolynfortuna.substack.com/.

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