The Tesla Model S is classified as a full-size electric 5-door luxury liftback which is manufactured by Tesla Motors. Production of this vehicle started in June of 2012 and sales for it have grown steadily, especially in Norway as well as California. This vehicle scored a 5.0 NHTSA safety rating, the highest possible score for this test. The Model S Performance model comes with an 85 kW h battery pack which has a 265 mile range, beating out the Tesla Roadster for lead electric car in this market. The energy consumption of this vehicle has been rated at 237.5 W h per kilometer for a combined fuel economy of 89 miles per gallon.
International sales of the Tesla Model S reached 25,000 in December of 2013 and it became the very first electric car to surpass the monthly new car sales ranking in any country, leading the way in Norway twice in September and again in December of 2013. The Model S has won a number of awards, including the 2013 World Green Car of the year and Motor Trend Car of the Year as well as Automobile Magazine’s 2013 Car of the Year.
The style of the Model S is the direct result of Franz von Holzhausen, who used to work for Mazda North American Operations. This car was given the codename “White Star” during the research and development phase before production started. Tesla Motor announced in February of 2008 that they were planning to make a range-extended version of the Model S available to the public. This version would include a gasoline engine to effectively extend its overall driving range, but it was removed in later revisions. Production of this vehicle was carried out in the NUMMI assembly plant, located in Fremont, California, and it is now known as the Tesla Factory.
The 2012 model Tesla S has a 416 horsepower engine which is capable of 443 pound-feet of torque and comes with a rear-mounted electric motor. The base model of this vehicle uses a 362 horsepower engine with 325 pound-feet of torque and a 440 N m motor. There is a 60 kW h battery in this vehicle which has been rated to deliver 250 miles, and the 85 kW h battery was rated for 320 miles, assuming a constant speed of 55 mph. The 60 kW h battery pack model has a range of 208 miles and the 85 kW h battery has a range of 265.
The charger which the Model S uses accepts either 120 or 240-volt sources at up to 10 kW. There is also an optional upgrade which costs $2,700 and supports 20 kW charging from a 100 amp wall-mounted charger. The charging port on this vehicle is located behind the left rear taillight and is surrounded by LED lights that begin to blink increasingly rapidly as the battery gets closer to a full charge. Charging times for the Model S vary depending on the level of charge the battery has.
The first delivery of the Model S in the United States took place on June 1, 2012 and deliveries for retail customers began on June 22. The first 1,000 production units to be sold were Signature and Signature Performance limited edition models which used an 85 kW h battery pack. There were approximately 2,650 units sold for 2012 in North America. This vehicle has experienced an incredible amount of popularity with consumers since it was first launched, primarily because of its innovative and eco-friendly design. With the numerous awards this vehicle has won, it is no wonder that it is one of Tesla’s top-selling models.