Elon Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla , has categorically denied any plans to recall the company’s flagship Model S electric sedan. This comes as numerous reports of the Model S’ fires came to light. News of multiple Tesla Model S fires have been reported to date, and an official investigation into the matter is yet to be undertaken.
That said, U.S. regulators are yet to confirm any form of investigation into the Model S fires. If the government regulator does find a fault, we could be looking at a potential recall of select models. However, Tesla boss does not think a formal investigation should be required and that Tesla cars are way safer than any other fossil fuel-powered automobile.
Musk was quick to attack those media channels that, according to Elon Musk, had blown the whole thing out of proportion. "Reaction to the fires reported by some media are extremely inaccurate and unreasonable," he added. Since, the first report of the fires, Tesla stocks have plummeted by 22 percent, sparking fears among investors.
The NHTSA is in constant contact with the authorities investigating the accidents. The agency had earlier chosen not to investigate into the fires when the first incident came to light.
With the Fisker offices all boarded up and awaiting a final sale to some random foreign country, who are we to turn to for high-end vehicle fires? Well, since Tesla has been everything that Fisker has not since, well, forever, who better to step into the automobile-flambé role than Fisker’s one time competitor that wasn’t really a competitor, but still was — or however the two used to spin that whole deal...
Yup, what you see in the video above is a Tesla Model S doing its best Fisker Karma impression, and we must say that it’s doing a mighty fine job indeed. Reports from Tesla claim that this Model S struck metal debris on the roadway and the debris caused damage to the battery pack. The driver continued on his merry way, despite the vehicle’s warning systems telling him to pull over and shut the vehicle off. The end result is the expensive BBQ you see above.
Mental note to all Tesla Model S owners; this is not a 2002 Cavalier where the check engine light is safe to ignore and easily blocked out by a few inches of electrical tape. This is a high-tech electric car with enough juice to make Texas’ electric chair blush in envy. When it says "pull over," you just may want to listen to it.
Fortunately, the driver wasn’t physically hurt, but we’re sure his wallet will feel the pain when it comes insurance premium time. Unfortunately for Tesla, its stock didn’t take too kindly to the flaming Model S, as it dropped 6 percent on Wednesday and continued to fall as of noon on Thursday. It is on a slight upswing for now, but this just goes to show just how badly one driver’s negligence can harshly impact a company.
We’ll keep you updated.
Click past the jump to read more on the Tesla Model S.
They took the electric sedan to the folks at Surrey Rolling Road Ltd., and put the Model S to the horsepower test. The resulting 428.2 horsepower is rather impressive, considering Tesla only rates it at 416 horsepower. This also makes us wonder what the other testers did wrong to lead to the Model S pumping out drastically less power.
This amount of power is enough to make the new Tesla S Performance into a super-fast electric sedan that can sprint from to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 130 mph. All of this while putting off zero emissions — not bad at all.
Tesla just keeps on rolling out new programs that make electric cars a real possibility for the majority of daily commuters. First came the introduction of the up-to-300-mile Tesla Model S, which was a revolution in EV technology in itself. Then came the release of the Supercharger network, which is free on any Model S with an 85 kWh battery – a $2,000 option on any Model S with a 60 kWh battery.
Sure, the Supercharger network is still small, but Tesla promises to have 98 percent of the U.S. covered by 2015 and enough to enable coast-to-coast driving in the winter of 2013. You can actually see a cool interactive map on the Tesla site. However, we’re not here to plug the website; we’re here to tell you that Tesla has again revolutionized the EV world with its pack-swap option at Supercharger stations.
This gives Model S owners the ability to choose waiting 20-plus minutes for their Model S to recharge and pay nothing or pay a fee and have their Model S’ battery pack swapped for a fully charged one. You’re likely thinking that these battery packs are so complex that it has to take hours to replace. But that’s not the case at all.
Thanks to Tesla using automation and a drive-over system, you can pull up to a station and drive over a small pit – similar to a quick oil-change place – and an automated system removes the discharged battery and replaces it with a fully charged one in just 90 seconds.
With Elon Musk being as flamboyant as he is – and rightfully so – he challenged the fastest gas pump in Los Angeles to a duel. Well, Tesla managed to swap out two Model S batteries before the gas pump could fill up an empty tank.
So it’s your choice: free or fast? We are just concerned with exactly how much this “fee” is for the pack swap. We bet it’ll run about the same price as a tank of gas: $50. Unfortunately, there is no ETA for the roll out of this program.
Click past the jump to read more about the Supercharger stations
If we told you that an electric car outpaced BMW , Mercedes and Audi to start of the year, you would likely be making sure you haven’t figured out time travel by mistake. Well, folks, this is no glimpse into the future; it’s reality (sort of).
During the initial three months of 2013, the Tesla Model S actually managed to beat BMW, Mercedes and Audi in total registrations in the U.S. for similar models. The S-Class saw 3,077 registrations, the BMW 7 Series had 2,338 registrations and Audi pulled up the rear with 1,462 A8 deliveries. In the same amount of time, the Model S saw 4,750 new registrations, beating all three of the German giants.
Sure, the Model S is a totally different kind of car that is prone to seeing sudden spikes in registrations and it lacks the internal competition between models that Bimmer, Benz and Audi all have. Additionally, buyers get a hefty $7,500 tax credit just for buying the model S. But, the Model S is severely handcuffed by its limited sales avenues, thanks to weird laws in most states that prohibit direct builder-to-buyer sale and Tesla refusing to sell independent franchises.
Another handcuff to consider is the fact that the Model S is an electric car that can easily leave you stranded, should you run out of charge.
Despite the fact that this new information only covers the first few months of the year and is likely skewed by other factors, the pure fact that the Model S can hang with the big boys in sale is a promising sign for Tesla and all electric vehicles.
Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S
A few months ago, Elon Musk announced Tesla’s intention to develop an optional package that would put Tesla Model S on same level as the McLaren MP4-12C . Quite an interesting decision, but it finally came to life – sort of – with the announcement of a new "Plus" package priced at an extra $6,500.
The new package can only be ordered with the 85-kWh Performance version of the Model S and, according to Tesla, it improves "performance, comfort and efficiency."
The package will add revised suspension dampers and bushings, updated stabilizer bars and tires. The rear tires are 20 mm (0.78 inches) wider and staggered for improved acceleration on low-grip surfaces. Range improves 6 to 12 miles with 21-inch wheels.
Alongside to the new Plus package, Tesla also plans to offer a Plus Retrofit package for current Model S owners. It will be available this summer and will cost $13,500. According to the first details, this new package will "provide the enthusiast driver with a more responsive car and added cornering grip while maintaining excellent ride quality."
Click past the jump to read more about the standard Tesla Model S.
Have you ever noticed that the most impressive tests aren’t being made by the automaker itself? For example, Tesla never published enough information to show us what a truly amazing car the Model S Performance is. The folks over at DragTimes.com, however, put it to an extreme test at the Palm Beach International Raceway.
The result was pretty astounding, as it ran the quarter-mile in just 12.371 seconds at a speed of 110.84 mph, making the quickest production electric vehicle in the quarter-mile. The result was booked by the National Electric Drag Racing Association (NEDRA), so this is as official as it gets. Additionally, DragTimes.com clocked the model S from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds – 0.5 seconds faster than Tesla’s published time.
To add a little flavor to the mix, the above video shows said model S laying the beat-down on a Dodge Viper. Sure, the person driving the Viper likely needs to go back to racing school to learn how to correctly launch from the starting tree, but it still beat a Viper...
The Model S put to test was equipped with a special set of 21-inch wheels that weigh more than the standard 19-inch rims offered by Tesla, making the results doubly impressive. Under the hood, the electric car has an AC induction motor that delivers a total of 416 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.
As a reminder, DragTimes is the same site that put the Tesla Model S Performance on the dyno and obtained a pretty monstrous 388 horsepower at the rear wheels.
Is not every day that you have the chance to see an electric car tested on a dyno machine, but the guys over Dragtimes were the first ones to have the Tesla Model S Performance tested on dyno – as far as we know.
The end result is a pretty monstrous 388 horsepower at the rear wheels. The factory-stated horsepower is 416 horsepower, meaning this beast only loses 28 horsepower through its drivetrain. That’s a mighty astounding number considering the 2013 Viper GTS loses 80 horsepower through its drivetrain. That’s a 12.5-percent loss for the viper versus a 6-percent loss for the Tesla – mighty fine work, Tesla. Then again, Tesla has the advantage of having a direct-drive system and no traditional transmission to gobble up horsepower on the way to the wheels.
The Performance model is offered exclusively with the larger capacity 85 kWh battery and is priced at $87,400 or $79,900 if you deduct the $7,500 federal tax credit.
It’s no big news that most electric engines have immense torque to compensate for meager horsepower. And we all know that the Tesla Model S has enough torque and power to burn those rear tires. Jay Leno did a burnout once and he was surprised. But, with the PR guy sitting shotgun, he never really could unleash it like Ken Block would do in a Ford Mustang. So, we never really could see how capable an EV was in performing a simple yet spectacular stunt.
That was until Road and Track got a hold of a Model S and started torturing it like a prisoner of war. The car was hurling chunks and leaving masses of smoke from its tire in its wake, which to any motorhead would look quite fascinating. And thanks to the 600 Nm of constant peak torque, the Model S will vaporize its rear tires without breaking a sweat.
One intriguing aspect of this burnout is the noise. While a Ford Mustang would have to be screaming at the top of its voice, the Tesla Model S doesn’t even open its mouth. Even with the volume at maximum, you can only hear the tires screaming for mercy and the faint hum of the electric motor.
If this is what the future of EVs looks like, then bring it on...
Currently, prices for theTesla Model S range from $57,400 to $77,400 — $49,900 to $69,900, if you add the $7,500 federal tax credit. However, we are all well aware of the fact that the Model S is being sold at, or even possibly well below, the cost to build it. This means that it is only a matter of time before a price hike is in order.
Tesla has now lifted the veil of silence on this topic and announced that there will be a price increase in the near future. Surprise! Well, not really, since the rumors have been floating around about a price increase for a while. There is no information on just how much of an increase we are looking at, but we would guess that it will be significant. It may even push the upper end of the Model S toward the base price of the Fisker Karma . One bit of information that Tesla let us in on is that some features that are now standard equipment will later become option packages, which means that we will not only see a price hike, but also a decrease in standard features.
This price increase will not apply to the existing reservations. Those customers who have placed a reservation will receive an email from Tesla where they will be advice to finish their configuration and order within a "fair, predefined time frame."
For those of you who do not remember, the Model S has a variety of battery and motor choices. Depending on the version, the Model S can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in in 4.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 126 mph.
Full details on the price increase will be announced in the next two to three weeks.