Telsa Model S – The New Must Have Oakville Car?

A Tesla Motors showroom is unlike any other automaker’s. The lone Canadian outlet is on the ground floor at Yorkdale Mall across from the Apple Store. It’s a small sliver of space with a clean and minimalist design, the focus resting squarely on the red Model S in the store’s centre.

The Model S is Tesla’s latest offering, a much anticipated luxury sedan running entirely on electric charge. Unveiled in 2009, the car started shipping late last year.

Grimsby resident J. Stevenson first saw the Model S at the 2010 Canadian International Autoshow while looking for a car for his son. Having driven hybrids since 2005, the idea of a fully usable, all season electric vehicle was quite appealing to him.

After leasing Tesla’s smaller Roadster sports car, Stevenson quickly put his name on the waiting list for the Model S. Fifth on the list, Stevenson waited nearly three years for the car, which arrived at his home shortly after Christmas last year.

“Driving electric is absolutely exhilarating,” he said, “from a performance standpoint, as far as being guilt free. It’s about as guilt free as you can get, short of putting solar panels on your roof.”

model-sWith the Model S, Tesla is promising “zero emissions, zero compromises.” Certainly they have the numbers to back that up. Featuring an 85 kWh battery, the top-of-the-line Model S Performance can reach 97 km per hour in just 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 209 km per hour – quite a leap from other electric vehicles . Under ideal conditions, the car has en estimated range of 480 km on a single charge.

“The acceleration ranges from outstanding to breathtaking depending on the vehicle,” Stevenson said. “People with performance cars who I’ve taken for a ride in a Tesla just can’t believe the amount of torque,” Stevenson added later.

To be sure, the Model S is a luxury car. It performs like one, and, of course is priced like one. The Performance Edition starts at $104,170, before an $8,500 tax credit from the Ontario government. The entry model runs close to $79, 000.

To accompany its line of electric vehicles, Tesla is also starting to roll out a network of Supercharger charging stations across North America. The first Canadian Supercharger is slated to open sometime this summer, likely between Toronto and Montreal, Stevenson believes.

The Supercharger Stations allow for long road trips which otherwise would be impossible. According to Tesla, the free to use stations will recharge half your battery in half an hour.

Currently, the stations are located only in California and the Northeast United States – between Boston and New York City. Tesla hopes to have around 150 built by 2015.  So is the Tesla the new must have Oakville car?


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