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Electric cars aren’t the future of the motoring industry, they’re already here and you’ve got one! What is it about the Tesla Model S that appealed most to you?
Everything really; I had a test drive of the Model S in Madrid in 2013 and loved the quietness, refinement, intuitiveness, acceleration, the driver assistance features and its looks. Also, the convenience to be able to recharge at home and have a full battery every morning instead of queuing up at the petrol station was a big appeal.
Before Tesla officially came to the UAE, most of us early adopters purchased our cars from abroad and had them shipped here. When I ordered my car online, I asked it to be delivered in Norway and then flew there with my son, took delivery of it and drove it there for a week before handing it over to the shipping agent for the trip to the UAE. It arrived in six weeks and the registration process was fairly straightforward as the RTA had the car in the system already.
Ah, you were one of the lucky ones…
So I hear! Some people who imported their cars earlier had issues with getting them registered as Tesla was not in the RTA’s records and some officers were asking owners for details such as engine size and the number of cylinders!
This and the Model X are very fast and even have a Ludicrous mode when most sportscars are making do with a Sports mode; how much fun is this car to drive?
Launching it in Ludicrous mode cannot be described in words. It needs to be experienced. Now that test drives are available in the UAE, I suggest everyone go and try one. It is like launching from an aircraft carrier.
The electric motors provide from 380 up to 760 horsepower and it can sprint from 0-100kph in under 2.5 seconds — that’s faster than a LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and a Bugatti Veyron. And I use mine daily — you wouldn’t be comfortable doing that with those.
I’ve been following Tesla and Elon Musk since the company’s humble beginnings and now to be able to own one of these cars makes me feel proud. The car gets a lot of attention, and comments that are always positive. People in the UAE love fast cars, and they love technology. So, Tesla should be very successful here.
It has a lot going for it, but people always mention the range of EVs. Have you ever run out of juice?
It takes a lot of ignorance to actually run out of charge. The car has a very precise battery estimation and gives an accurate estimate of how long you can drive it.
The first thing people ask me is how long it takes to recharge it and how far can I drive with a full battery. When I tell them that it takes four hours to recharge, they are initially stunned as they think it’s too long. But when I tell them that you actually don’t wait for the charge, but the car is charging when you sleep, and it’s fully charged when you wake up (I compare it to having a petrol station at home and having full tank every morning), that completely changes their perception. It’s like revelation. The charging process is as seamless as plugging in your phone before you go to bed. Exactly the same. I plug it in when I get home in the evening, and I leave with a full battery in the morning.
Tesla cars vary in battery size, number of electric motors and power. The battery sizes range from 60kwh to 100kwh; the 60kwh battery provides 320km of range, while the 100kwh battery provides range of over 550km on a single charge.
And ever since you have had it, it’s been smooth sailing right?
I have not experienced any problems with my Tesla; EVs do not require an annual service, there’s no oil change, no filters, no belts, chains and other moving parts that require regular replacement. Even the brakes last much longer than on a regular car (over 250,000km due to the regenerative braking that uses the electric motor to slow down
How does it feel when you drive a car with a combustion engine now?
It feels like I have stepped back in time. The engine noise, vibration, burning smell of petrol — it is so last century. You basically lose the desire for other cars, be it supercars, luxury cars or anything else after driving an EV like this.
Also, Tesla is constantly improving, and I always want to get the new version as soon as possible — so it’s not good for your bank account! Tesla drivers, myself included, tend to be tech geeks and love the entire package that the brand offers — technology, performance and design.
Come on then, what’s your favourite Tesla?
The Model X P100D. I can’t think of any other brand that matches it in terms of acceleration, intuitiveness and technology.