Let’s talk about the new Tesla Model S Plaid and how it eradicates all our stupid stigmas against electric vehicles. In fact, I can boldly claim that this newest Tesla is the Ferrari of EVs, and will probably stay that way within this decade.
See, Ferraris was, and probably still is, the default bedroom poster of our childhood – and rightfully so. They’re quick. They’re fast. They ooze with sex appeal and incredible performance numbers worthy of the “super” moniker.
But we’re now at the crossroads of the future where EVs aren’t limited to golf carts and sedate village roamers anymore. Heck, even the relatively humble Nissan LEAF can outrun compact hatchbacks within its class. That’s technology for you.
As for Teslas, the California-made luxury EVs are cut out to match even the greatest sports cars. I’ve seen a healthy number of races to believe that, but they are more than just that. Take a look at the Model S Plaid and how it’s the complete opposite of what we used to know about electrified vehicles.
EVs are slow
The Tesla Model S, even before its newest Plaid configuration, is a fast machine. But that has been amplified to a whole new level. The Plaid version, which has three motors producing a total output of 1,020hp, has a top speed of 200 miles per hour (322 kilometers per hour). That’s apparently doable with the equipment you get when you buy one, as long as the latest software update from Tesla rolls out in September.
Not only is the Model S Plaid fast, it’s also quick as hell. Tesla claims a 0-97 km/h sprint of 1.99 seconds, but we all know that that’s achievable in optimal environments. However, more recent videos from owners who took delivery of their Model S Plaid show the sports EV blazing from zilch to legal speed limit in under three seconds. The quickest I’ve seen was 2.01 seconds.
In comparison, the quickest Ferrari ever made is the 812 Superfast, which the Italian automaker claims can sprint the same parameters in 2.9 seconds. So is a Model S Plaid quick? Yes, just like a Ferrari – more, even.
Moreover, Tesla claims that the Model S Plaid can also complete a quarter-mile in just 9.23 seconds. The recent customer-owned example was able to do it in 9.24 seconds in real-world testing.
So yes, with all these numbers laid out, good luck calling a Tesla slow.
EVs are ugly
Looks are subjective, but in a more general sense, EVs aren’t the prettiest vehicles in the planet. Even other Teslas like the Model 3, Model X, and Model Y don’t have emphatic appeals, and I’ve seen a handful of Teslas here in the Philippines and abroad.
But the Model S Plaid begs to differ. It’s slick, has the right proportions worthy to be given a third or even fourth look. The design isn’t Ferrari levels, that’s for sure, but it’s definitely within the ballpark and just as neck-breaking.
EVs are cheap but expensive to maintain
Depending on what era you grew up in, you might think that EVs are cheap, disposable pieces of appliance that are hard to maintain.
The Tesla Model S is quite the opposite. With a price tag that starts north of $131,100 or around P6.5 million, it isn’t a novelty purchase. By the time Teslas become officially available in the Philippines (after taxes and other whatnots), I’d wager they will be priced from P10-20 million or even higher. Again, just like Ferraris.
Maintenance, on the other hand, is a no-brainer. Unlike gasoline cars, Teslas don’t need oil changes, fuel filters, and spark plug replacements. Even their brake pads don’t need frequent changing, thanks to regenerative braking that returns energy to the battery, practically removing wear on brakes.
But what about range and charging?
Probably the biggest misconception that we know about electric vehicles is that charging will be a problem. While that may be true in huge countries like the US, the Philippines is a relatively small country with short-distance driving routes, comparable to Europe.
Then again, if vehicle range is really your issue, the Model S Plaid has an EPA-estimated 560 kilometers of range. In real-world testing conducted by Motor Trend, that goes down to 490 kilometers – not that it’s a huge difference, mind you. To put this in context, a leisurely drive from Makati City to Bicol is around 400 kilometers.
As for charging, the Model S Plaid can get up to 300 kilometers of range within 15 minutes of charging using its Superchargers. Let those numbers sink in.
The new poster child
The Tesla Model S Plaid truly has the recipe to be called a supercar, and that’s without having harmful emissions coming out of a nonexistent tailpipe. At least not directly, but reports have been out claiming that Tesla is working on turning its Supercharging network green by only using sustainable energy.
Unless Ferrari can come up with its own EV within this decade, which we heard it’s planning to, the Model S Plaid will take its place as a coveted sports car that will never run out of fans all over the world.
I won’t be surprised if my two-year-old son will ask for a Tesla Model S Plaid poster for his bedroom in a few years’ time. I’d be glad to oblige when that happens.