Nissan Man meets his Tesla terminator
While clocking up the test miles on my new Nissan Leaf and polishing my eco-creds, not to mention placing the teeniest, daintiest carbon footprint I can muster, I called in to see big-brother Tesla. All this electric motor stuff has fair gone to my head and I now sniff out volts at every junction.
This Tesla is something else; it's a sort of a cross between a Mercedes S-Class and a Bentley running on batteries, not to mention steroids if the performance figures are to be believed. Definitely it is the most luxurious eco barouche I have yet entered. I was impressed with the air of luxury and space. And I was hugely inspired by the 250-mile-plus range. That takes electric cars into a whole new league and puts the 85-mile umbilical of most electric cars to shame.
Of course, if you build an electric car this big there is bound to be lots more room for batteries. More batteries equal more range. Yet range, of course, is the Achilles' heel of all EVs. Things can only get better, I suspect, as staying power increases and the charging infrastructure improves. Steps are certainly being taken to ease the path of the electronic motorist and many of the public charing points are free. Imagine, free fuel, drive for nothing as long as you emit zero.
Tesla's Elton Musk is even now installing a network of exclusive charging stations along Britain's motorways, the modern equivalent of the 18th century's post houses where you changed your horses while having a glass or two of porter and a meat pie. Unfortunately, Mr. Musk isn't going to allow owners of lower breeds, such as the humble Nissan, to approach his dispensers with their Mennekes cables in hand. Pity.
But this Tesla is one cool carriage. Where else could I read Macfilos full-page on a car's media entertainment screen? This puts a whole new slant on the concept of the drive-in cinema. With the Tesla it drives in with you. I just love all the electronics, as long as they remain reliable.
Re-donning my eco hat, my little Nissan Leaf, which is luxurious in its own way, is a fine example of state-of-the-art electric vehicles as they exist today. It is more likely to remain mainstream and to attract multiple converts than the £57,000-plus Tesla which is clearly aimed at the luxury end of the voltocracy.