Tesla Motors, which just announced that it had earned a profit in the last quarter, has now earned kudos from Consumer Reports magazine. According to CR, the Tesla Model S, an all electric sedan, is the best car it has tested since 2007. In that year, the Lexus LS 460L held the lofty position. The magazine awarded the Tesla a score of 99 out of 100. It beat every other car tested, in every category. No plug-in electric vehicle has ever achieved such high grades.
Consumer Reports praised the Tesla Model S, a car that costs $89,650, for its technological innovations, saying, in a statement, “It accelerates, handles and brakes like a sports car, it has the ride and quietness of a luxury car and is far more energy efficient than the best hybrid cars.”
Powered by an 85 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery, the Tesla Model S accelerates from 0–60 mph in 5.6 seconds, comparable to a sports car, and it handles like one too, comparable, the magazine says, to a Porsche sports car.
Comparisons to other high-end cars included the interior, which the magazine said was beautifully crafted and “calls to mind an Audi.”
The car is practical as well as good looking. It can travel 483 kilometres at a speed of 88 km/h, more than twice the range typical of electric cars.
And, despite its high cost, it does save on gas: CR says it achieved the equivalent of 135 kilometres per US gallon of gas. It costs just $9 to fully charge the battery, which is comparable to paying $1.20 for a gallon of gas. The magazine did find fault with the long charging time required.
Tesla’s profitability is somewhat surprising. It earned $11 million in the first quarter, the first profit it has earned since launching in 2003. Other electric car makers have not yet been able to achieve this. General Motors admits that it loses money on its Volt. Analysts say Tesla has managed to increase production and reduce production time, so it can deliver more cars faster. The company expects to deliver about 21,000 cars this year. Tesla earns additional revenues by making the electric powertrains used in the electric version of the Toyota RAV4.