What Are the Different Tesla Models: A Snapshot

Tesla Roadster electric car In Space

I Find Myself Drawn To A Tesla Showroom Like Iron Pulled To A Magnet 


It is a late Friday afternoon in July.  Though the day is filled with glorious sunshine, the above average scorching heat in Nuremberg is a reminder that climate change continues to unveil itself. 

As I leave my meeting to head to the airport, a shop front in the distance catches my attention.  I recognise it instantaneously.  Another exciting Tesla showroom.  Despite the countdown to my flight, I could not help myself from running into the showroom. A delightful brief conversation with the showroom staff was enough to reinforce my view that the Silicon valley ‘start-up’ has been successfully challenging the behemoths of the German auto-industry, in their own backyard.  Way to go Elon!  

Ashvin Suri founder e-zoomed Tesla Showroom
The Tesla Showroom, Nuremberg (Ashvin Suri)

Who Is Elon Musk? Love Him Or Hate Him, History Books Will Applaud In Abundance The Achievement Of  Elon Musk! 


Short answer is: ‘a character’.  This colourful and visionary technological entrepreneur has certainly been making headlines globally.  It is my view that at the end of this century, history books will award Elon Musk the same elevated position, as they have for Henry Ford.  

Elon has successfully challenged and disrupted one of the most rigid and protected industry value chains i.e. the traditional automotive sector value chain.  If that is not enough, he has also inspired a generation of consumers by the immediately recognisable Tesla electric cars.

Elon grew up in South Africa, but immigrated to Canada aged 17.  He then moved to the United States as a university transfer student.  He is a co-founder of Tesla Motors and is currently overseeing matters related to product design, engineering and manufacturing.  

Well most entrepreneurs would have been satisfied with the accomplishment of brand Tesla.  But this is where Elon, once again, stands out. He is also the co-founder, CEO and lead designer of Space X (Space Exploration Technologies).  If you have not come across his antics in regards to space, then you are certainly living on another planet, which is not called Earth. In February 2018, Elon sent one of his EVs as a ‘dummy payload’ into space.  It was a 2008- model Roadster previously used by Elon for commuting to work. 

Of course, Elon is also involved with numerous other projects and I would need an entire book to cover them in detail! 


Brief History Of Tesla


Tesla Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors Inc.) was founded by American engineers, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2003. They named the Palo Alto based company, Tesla, as a tribute to the engineer Nicholas Tesla.  In fact, Elon Musk become involved with the company post the founding of Tesla Motors. He was the lead  investor in the 2004  Series A investment round.   

In 2008, Tesla unveiled its first electric vehicle, the all-electric Roadster.  As they say, the rest is history. 


What Are the Tesla Models?


Tesla has the following battery electric vehicle (BEV) models either in production or in development. 

  • Model S
  • Model 3
  • Model X 
  • Model Y 
  • Roadster 

Currently on sale in the UK are the Model S, Model 3 and Model X.  Though the three models are very different, they do have ‘refinement’ as a common theme.  Even before you have started any one of the all-electric models, you feel a sense of exhilaration.  The minimalistic interiors juxtaposed against the well defined lines of the large display panels, makes it clear that these zero-emission electric cars have been designed and built around the driver.  If that is not enough to get your neighbours envious, the never-ending glass panoramic sunroof certainly will.  

Of course, the ubercool experience of a Tesla does not come cheap.  The all-wheel drive Model X ‘Performance’ variant will set you back over £96,400 even before you have chosen the ‘extra options’.  Bottom-line, showing off the ‘Falcon wing doors’ to your neighbours does come at a price!  

I personally do not mind gawking at the Falcon wing doors, but I rather do it by looking at my neigbours driveway.  I would encourage a potential buyer of any electric car to always be prudent with their entry into the world of zero-emission driving.  One can always upgrade after gaining more ‘real world’ experience of driving an EV.  Tesla cars are no different.  Take a selfie with a Model X but buy the Model 3.  The Model 3 variant ‘Standard Range Plus’ starts at £36,490 and it is certainly value for money compared to the Nissan Leaf e+  Tekna that is priced just under £36,000. 

Of course, there is also the Tesla Model S with a 17 inch touchscreen that controls most of the vehicle functions, to include, the media, navigation, map, sunroof, phone, energy management etc.  The Model S ‘Long Range’ variant starts at £77,200 with an eye-watering WLTP range of 375 miles. 


Tesla Model S: Snapshot 


The Model S is the second most-sold all electric car globally after the ubiquitous Nissan Leaf EV.  The Model S was first introduced in 2012.  Since its launch the green car has achieved significant milestones to include:

  • Best selling plug-in all electric car in 2015 and 2016
  • Top selling new car in Norway in September and December 2013 
  • Top selling new car in Denmark in December 2015 
  • In 2019, Motor Trend Magazine named the Model S as the ultimate car of the year 

Tesla Model S electric car
The All-Electric Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Variants 


Model S Standard Range


  • Starting from: £73,250 
  • 0-60 mph: 4 sec
  • Top speed: 155 mph
  • WLTP range: 280 miles 

Model S Ludicrous Performance 


  • Starting from: £80,733 
  • 0-60 mph: 2.4 sec
  • Top speed: 155  mph
  • NEDC range: 381 miles 

Model S Long Range 


  • Starting from: £82,580 
  • 0-60 mph: 3.7 sec
  • Top speed: 155 mph
  • WLTP range: 375 miles 

Model S Performance 


  • Starting from: £96,140 
  • 0-60 mph: 2.4 sec
  • Top speed: 162 mph
  • WLTP range: 365 miles 

Reviews


  • Top Gear: 8/10 
  • WhatCar?: 4/5
  • Autocar: 4.5/5

Tesla Model 3: Snapshot 


Since its unveiling in 2016, the Model 3 has been making history.  Within a week of opening the booking for the ‘affordable’ Tesla, orders had topped 325,000 units. By August 2017 bookings had reached 455,000 units.    Deliveries to US customers commenced in July 2017. In February 2019, the Model 3 become the best selling plug-in electric car in the US. 

For the UK market, the Model 3 bookings opened in May 2019 with deliveries commencing in June 2019.  

The Model 3 starts from £37,340 including VAT and the plug-in car grant of £3,500 (the target price at the time of unveiling the BEV was £35,000).  The Model 3 was awarded the ‘Auto Express Car of the Year 2019’.  The Model 3 was also awarded the ‘Premium Electric Car of the Year’.  


Tesla Model 3 electric car
Tesla Model 3 EV

Tesla Model 3 Variants


Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus


  • Starting from: £36,490 
  • 0-60 mph: 5.3 sec
  • Top Speed: 140 mph 
  • WLTP Range: 254 miles 

Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD


  • Starting from: £45,490 
  • 0-60 mph: 4.4 sec 
  • Top Speed: 145 mph 
  • WLTP Range: 348 miles 

Tesla Model 3 Performance


  • Starting from: £49,140 
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 sec
  • Top speed: 162 mph 
  • WLTP Range: 329 miles 

Reviews


  • Top Gear: 8/10 
  • WhatCar?: 4/5
  • Autocar: 4/5

Tesla Model X: Snapshot 


The Model X prototype was unveiled in 2012.  The mid sized all-electric SUV with its Falcon wing doors has certainly contributed to Tesla’s cache.  The Model X was designed from the Model S platform and still retains much in common with the Model S.  The Model X deliveries commenced in late 2015.  Like other Tesla electric cars, the Model X has also claimed its fair share of awards.  In 2017, Forbes named the SUV the ‘Best Vehicle of the Year’.  In the same year the Model X was also awarded the ‘Top Green Vehicle’ by the American Automobile Association.    


Tesla Model X electric SUV
All-Electric Model X SUV

Tesla Model X Variants


Tesla Model X Long Range 


  • Starting from: £82,200 
  • 0-60 mph: 4.4 sec
  • Top Speed: 155 mph 
  • WLTP Range: 315 miles 

Tesla Model X Performance


  • Starting from: £96,400 
  • 0-60 mph: 2.7 sec
  • Top Speed: 155 mph 
  • WLTP Range: 300 miles 

Reviews


  • Top Gear: 8/10 
  • WhatCar?: 4/5
  • Autocar: 4/5


Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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