Posts

Netflix and YouTube coming soon to Tesla cars

Netflix and YouTube coming soon to Tesla

Tesla owners will soon have the ability to stream Netflix movies and watch YouTube videos when parked.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the streaming service could arrive within weeks, and certainly “not more than a few months”.  

Musk likened the development to a drive-in movie experience, tweeting it “has an amazingly immersive cinematic feel due to the comfy seats and surround sound audio”.

For now, the streaming will operate when the Tesla is stationary, but Musk hinted that you’ll be able to use Netflix and YouTube on the move when regulators approve Tesla’s full self-driving feature.

Some reports suggest that this could become a reality in some jurisdictions by the end of 2020.

Netflix and chill

Netflix coming to Tesla

There’s no doubt that Tesla’s tablet-style infotainment display will provide a terrific platform for streaming movies and watching videos. Catching up on the latest ‘must-see’ mini-series will be a good way to pass the time while you’re waiting at the Supercharger.

But watching a movie while stationary is a world away from doing it on the move, even with Autopilot engaged. In May, a preliminary report into a fatal accident found that Autopilot had been engaged 10 seconds before the crash.

For its part, Tesla said that it was the only part of the journey that Autopilot had been activated.

“Tesla drivers have logged more than one billion miles with Autopilot engaged, and our data shows that, when used properly by an attentive driver who is prepared to take control at all times, drivers supported by Autopilot are safer than those operating without assistance,” said Tesla in a statement.

Tesla Arcade Mode

Last month, the company debuted Tesla Arcade, a feature allowing owners to play Atari classics via the infotainment screen. Tesla introduced the ‘Teslatari’ emulator of classic Atari games last year, with Musk saying that it heralded the company’s venture into in-car gaming.

Gaming, movies, videos and farts – the gap between the home and the car is growing ever narrower.

Tesla Model 3 sets new safety tech benchmark

Tesla Model 3 sets new safety tech benchmark

The Tesla Model 3 electric car has scored 94 percent in the 2019 safety assist test, as Euro NCAP releases the latest crash safety ratings.

A perfect score in the frontal deformable barrier crash test contributed to an impressive set of results, including 96 percent for adult occupant safety, 86 percent for child occupant and 74 percent for vulnerable road users.

The Model 3’s safety assist rating is a new safety benchmark; the previous highest rating in 2019 was the 82 percent scored by the Citroen C5 Aircross, while the Audi Q3 was given an 85 percent rating in 2018.

Tesla Model 3 Euro NCAP test

Lane support, speed assist and autonomous emergency braking were three Model 3 highlights referenced by Euro NCAP.

Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, said: “The Tesla Model 3 achieved one of the highest safety assist scores we have seen to date.

“Its collision avoidance assist system is first class, with its autonomous emergency braking and forward collision warning systems showing high levels of performance.

“Tesla has done a great job of playing the structural benefits of an electric vehicle to its advantage. Impact performance is enhanced by the absence of a mechanical engine and the car’s low centre of gravity.

“The Tesla Model 3 really benefits from its all electric-architecture.”

Related: The history of Euro NCAP crash tests

The Tesla was one of six new cars to be crash tested by Euro NCAP, with the Skoda Scala, Mercedes-Benz B-Class and Mercedes-Benz GLE given five stars for safety.

Skoda’s new Scala hatchback scored an excellent 97 percent for adult occupant safety – the second highest rating of 2019. Scala prices start at £18,585 for the SE, and the five-star rating applies to the entire range.

The same isn’t true of the Kia Ceed and DS 3 Crossback, with both cars receiving a four-star rating – or five with the fitment of an optional safety pack.

‘Tougher and tougher’

Skoda Scala Euro NCAP test

Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said, “It’s great to see cars doing so well.  Our tests get tougher and tougher, and cars continue to perform well, which means that car-buyers are getting an ever-safer range of vehicles to choose from.

“Next year, we up the ante again, with better tests of driver-assistance systems, a completely new frontal crash test and more attention to protection in side crashes. These new tests should help to make the roads safer for everyone.”

You can now get a Tesla iPhone case for £20

Tesla phone case

Tesla’s official Amazon page has put a massive discount on its iPhone cases. You can now dress your iPhone in Tesla hardware for as little as £20 ($25)

The iPhone X Folio Case is normally £27 ($35) but it’s now listed with a £15 discount. Ordinarily, we’d file car-branded phone cases under ‘gimicky overpriced and unrelated merch’ but a Tesla phone case feels appropriate.

We reckon Tesla is the closest thing to an iPhone on wheels, though Honda has come out and said the new Honda e is the iPhone of cars. Either way, a Tesla phone case feels more natural to us than a dodgy aftershave bearing the badge of an Italian supercar… 

Regular iPhone X/8/Plus cases are also down from £27 ($35) to £21 ($27). The Folio iPhone 8 and 8 Plus versions remain at £27 ($35).

Tesla phone case

Tesla also sells a range of other accessories, toys and clothing, as debuted on its Amazon storefront earlier this year. You can get everything from branded mugs to jackets and hats, along with the phone cases.

As we said before, the phone cases feel a little more in keeping with the whole ‘gadget on wheels’ vibe of Tesla. For the young ones, of course, there’s a range of scale-model toy cars too.

Tesla Model 3 long-term review: life with Elon Musk’s make-or-break electric car

Tesla Model 3

This is the first of a series of reports on buying and living with a Tesla Model 3 – the compact all-electric executive car, UK-bound for 2019.

We haven’t been given the car by Tesla. Indeed, Tesla isn’t even aware we’re doing this. It belongs to a friend of Motoring Research who has bought a Model 3 with his own money. Also, he’s located in California, so we haven’t even physically seen it.

We’ll relay his experiences – positive and negative – of buying and running a Model 3. The volume and intensity of the conversation surrounding Elon Musk and Tesla is fairly steep. As such, a no-nonsense running report on this market disruptor seems timely, and hopefully useful.

Tesla Model 3

Our friend was UK-based, but emigrated to the US for work. He had a passing interest in electric cars without ever owning one, so buying brand-new is no small commitment.

Importantly, he’s not a motoring journalist, so can offer a different (dare we say more realistic?) perspective. Don’t expect stories of measuring panel gapsor calling the press office about problems – although the quality of the Model 3 is something we’ll be asking about.

This is a real consumer giving his verdict on his new car. Whatever comes of it, we hope to provide a unique insight into the love-or-loathe world of Tesla via its most important car to date – the Model 3.

Excited to take delivery

Tesla Model 3

The car was ordered on the 10th of September and delivered on the 14th, although we suspect it wasn’t built within those four days. Tesla’s US website site says typical order-to-delivery time is ‘within four weeks’ so it seems he bought an existing car.

Delivery time for the dual-motor all-wheel-drive model was quoted as three months. Our friend was a bit impatient and thus opted for rear-wheel drive. His Model 3 is the long-range version with Sport wheels in Midnight Silver.

On paper, figures for the Model 3 look impressive: a 310-mile range, 5.1 seconds to 60mph and 140mph flat-out. We’ll report back on how it fares in the real world, with a particular emphasis, we expect, on that range figure.

For now, we can confirm the feeling of anxiety upon ordering was fast replaced with excitement, especially when a box with the key inside landed in his possession. First impressions and driving updates will follow soon…

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Update 2: quality woes?

Remembering we’re trying to be impartial and stand aside from internet-wide Tesla hysteria here, the initial news isn’t good. The car arrived – brand new – with a dent in the door. Our friend accepted the car on the condition that it was repaired for free, a courtesy car was provided and that he got a year of free Supercharger access. Remember, the Model 3 doesn’t usually get free juice like the Model S and X do.

Tesla Model 3

On the one hand, you expect a new car to be of a condition and quality that can’t be questioned. On the other, the compensation seems adequate. Our friend says that, other than the dent, quality is absolutely fine. The panels all fit correctly, there’s no peeling rubber, no mismatched interior trim or any other such blunders.

What many decide to forget when ranting about Tesla is that most car manufacturers have experienced and continue to experience quality control issues. Clichés don’t materialise out of thin air – car buyers have decades-long experience of continuous mis-steps in quality from certain manufacturers.

Learning curve

Where you can legitimately critique this car is with regard to something all buyers will face: the learning curve. If the future is now, it shouldn’t be intimidating. Teslas represent the future but they’re also cars we’re being asked to buy now.

In terms of aesthetics, Tesla has nailed this. All of these cars are attractive in very contemporary sense. Generic and sleek rather than edgy and weird. Upmarket rather than prop-reject from a sci-fi film set.

Inside, however, it’s a different story. Yes, it’s very attractive, but almost everything is digitally controlled. How does this work in real life? Our friend needed a few minutes to work out how to roll down the windows and even get the passenger door open. It’s all stuff you get around within minutes. An hour of sitting in it and familiarising yourself goes a long way, as it turns out. Nevertheless, some of the more change-resistant among us might jump in one to try it and be instantly put off.

Some of the futuristic toys are, of course, absolutely superb. Checking on and controlling the car via the Tesla app is a revelation. “I just cooled the inside of my car from 100F to 75F.  Remotely,” our friend brags.

Tesla Model 3

Torquing tough

Where better to give your Tesla its first proper run than Highway One? This is an aspect of the future we’re all happy to get on board with, and our friend was bowled over by the Model 3’s performance. “The torque at 50mph feels like pulling from standstill. It’s exhilarating”. “You’re going to break my neck” was one comment he received from his passenger.

It impresses in the turns, too – a good job given this is touted as a small executive car above all else. “The centre of gravity feels low like you’d expect. Very stable in corners”. That’s the benefit of much of the drivetrain weight sitting comfortably below the door handles.

In terms of braking, our friend was oddly comfortable with the idea of simply letting off the throttle. The Tesla Model 3, like many EVs and hybrids, has regenerative braking. Off-throttle, the motion of the car is translated back into electrical energy via the motors, with a side-effect of the car slowing down.

Home on the range

With a good part of a day spent driving and, shall we say, ‘testing’ the car, you might have expected the range to take a significant hit. Our friend charged the car to 90 percent the day before, with a view to taking it for a good run, after which it went from 90 percent to 66 percent charge. Apparently, the estimations of remaining range hold true, too: a solid 270 miles to a charge. What range anxiety?

Charging is something of another story. Unless you’re Supercharging, you need to commit extended periods of time to juicing up. “The phone app shows the time to charge 90 percent. It arrived with 40 percent charge and will take six hours to refuel,” was one comment.

There’s more to come soon on the day-to-day of running a new Tesla Model 3. We don’t think the honeymoon period will pass for a while yet…

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Update 3: A year in the life

A belated welcome back to our long-term Tesla Model 3 review. We planned semi-regular updates but, truth be told, there wasn’t a lot to report. We concluded our last entry by saying that we suspected the honeymoon period wouldn’t pass for a while yet. Nine months in, and it still hasn’t.

Now the Model 3 is finally available in the UK, so we thought we’d catch up with our American friend. Here are his latest thoughts on life with one.

Tesla Model 3 long term update

Range-extended

Horror stories be damned, our friend’s Model 3 has put in a near-flawless shift over the 5,000 miles he’s driven it so far. Expected range is down from 290 miles to 280 when it’s fully juiced, although he suggests that’s due to his exuberant driving.

What’s more, that’s still 10 miles more than when he bought it, thanks to an over-the-air update that improved range. He’s also had the enjoyable experience of gaining 10 miles of range after a long period of coasting, using the regenerative brakes to pick up power.

The worst issue experienced is a charger that sometimes doesn’t automatically unlatch. All Teslas are supposed to automatically release at the end of the charge cycle. This means he’s had to go through menus in the car to ‘manually’ release the charger. In that process, the flap automatically closes on the adapter.

He’s had a nail in the tyre, too, although that’s no fault of the car. But he was rather shocked with the $400 cost of a replacement.

Tesla Model 3 long term update

California love

Our friend is based in one of the most EV-friendly localities on Earth; California tends to treat electric car drivers quite well. He also has charging facilities at his office.

“I’ve only had to depend on charging infrastructure on two occasions since I bought it. One of those was really just an excuse not to park next to bangers in the Target car park,” (think broken glass, trolleys left next to cars).

As such, the car’s powertrain has almost never made him think twice about taking a journey, save for a few weeks ago: “Last weekend I forgot to charge it – I had 100 miles range left so I didn’t go. But it was more an excuse. A Tesla Supercharger would have sorted me if I’d really wanted to travel.”

“I’ve had my car for about 9 months. In total, I have paid about a quid for charging.”

It’s alright for some…

Tesla Model 3 long term update

Overall, his experience has been overwhelmingly positive, but there are a couple of things that have really stood out:

  • “The instant torque never gets old and the continuous acceleration (no gear changes) from standstill to 70mph is amazing. It still gives me a rush.”
  • “The updates are brilliant. Imagine computer operating systems without updates; that is the car industry at the moment. I’ve received a range upgrade, power upgrade and a two-month trial of autonomous driving. Fun, too, are the games and ‘Easter eggs’. Fart noises that can be played from any speaker, for instance….”
  • “One of the updates resulted in the car cameras always recording, which means if you crash you have video evidence. And if the car is vandalised you get the ******* who did it.

“I think it may have saved me from a crash”

A final anecdote, regarding a near-miss: “So, I’m driving on the motorway and a person changes lanes without warning, dropping into my lane. I was very aware that I didn’t have time to check if there was anyone in the lane below me and the steering went hard and pushed me into the lower lane!”

A nice change in the narrative, then, to see Tesla’s autonomous functions preventing a crash rather than causing one.

Tesla Model 3 long term update

Tesla Model 3: verdict so far

So far, we like what we’re hearing. We’re conscious that our friend is ‘testing’ in a very different environment. If temperature degradation is a worry for us, for example, it surely isn’t in Oakland CA. Nonetheless, the UK certainly has some catching up to do when it comes to infrastructure.

As for the car, it seems like a good ownership experience. Say what you like about Tesla, and about Elon Musk, but some of the ideas he and his cars have introduced are undeniably excellent, making long-standing rivals look a little archaic. It’s caused a fair amount of head-scratching in many car manufacturers’ boardrooms.

As for what Tesla will bring to the party once the car industry has fully caught up, we shall have to see.

The Tesla Model 3 is the UK’s hottest EV to lease

Tesla's Model 3 is the most popular electric car to lease in the UK

As the Tesla Model 3 finally enters the UK market, it’s already making waves. It’s taken the top spot as the most popular electric vehicle to lease.

This is according to Leasing.com, which says the Tesla generated more personal lease enquiries within seven days than premium rivals such as the Jaguar I-Pace and the new Audi e-tron do in a month.

There’s been a 30 percent rise in enquires about EVs in the first five months of 2019, thanks to interest in this new wave of desirable electric-only cars. 

“This is a strong sign that lots of consumers are ready to make the jump to next-generation vehicles and leasing is offering them the ideal opportunity to test the waters,” said Paul Harrison, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Leasing.com.

The Model 3 doesn’t quite take top spot in the league table for vehicles that are at least partially electrified, though. It is beaten by the ‘self-charging hybrid’ Toyota RAV4 hybrid.

However, the Model 3 has featured on the top 10 list for the last year, being the seventh most enquired-about electrified vehicle. This, in spite of the Tesla’s small executive car only just going on sale in the UK in the last month.

Tesla's Model 3 is the most popular electric car to lease in the UK

“The Model 3’s popularity is down to several factors, with cost being one of them,” said Harrison

“Monthly prices for the Model 3 start at around £400 per month, which is almost half the cost of Tesla’s larger models. It also undercuts comparable EVs such as the Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace.

“Obviously the UK is one of the last countries to get the Model 3, and the long waiting period for right-hand drive models no doubt contributed to this huge early surge in interest too.

“It’s early days yet, but if the Model 3’s popularity continues at a comparable pace over the next few months, then Tesla could have delivered its first mass-market electric car.”

Tesla arcade mode goes live in dealers

Tesla Arcade Mode

Tesla has debuted Tesla Arcade, a feature that has blossomed from the gaming ‘Easter egg‘ Teslatari introduced to its cars last year.

The marque teased the feature at the E3 gaming show, saying that a wide roster of games would be coming to its cars. Teslatari already featured Atari classics such as Pole Position and Asteroids.

Now Tesla Arcade is rolling out to customer cars as a full-blown featured app, instead of being hidden away as the Teslatari ‘Easter egg’. The first game is Beach Buggy Racing 2, but more games will follow. Musk claimed that he wants Tesla Arcade to feature games from a variety of publishers.

To promote the feature, Tesla has produced an advertisement with the tagline: “Your next charging session is going to be SO MUCH FUN”. The footage shows a Tesla owner suiting up and getting ready to race on Beach Buggy Racing 2.

You’ll note the vehicle in the game that the driver appears to be racing resembles a Tesla more than it does a beach buggy but we’ll grant Tesla some creative licence…

Interestingly, the ad depicts the use of the wheel for racing actually turning the front wheels. Encouraging ‘dry turning’ is an interesting move to say the least…

From Tesla dealer to arcade

Tesla is also encouraging people to come to its stores to try out the feature. Does that make Tesla’s the first car showrooms to also double as arcades? We like the sound of that. The only question is, will the Tesla semi truck feature a version of Euro Truck Simulator? We can only dream.

“Access the full library of games directly from the vehicle’s touchscreen to play gaming classics like Atari Missile Command and Asteroids,” Tesla says of the update.

“Or experience our newest addition, Beach Buggy Racing 2, a kart racing game where you can careen, blast and launch your way through 22 tracks. Players can recruit new drivers (see if you can find our favourite) and use the steering wheel controls for the most immersive gaming experience.”

Tesla tax shock: Model 3 is NOT road tax free

Tesla Model 3 UK ordering

One of the big sells of electric cars, such as the Tesla Model 3, is the savings you can make over the long term. They’re not as expensive to ‘fill up’ and they’re usually a bit cheaper to maintain.

The government also rewards their zero tailpipe emissions with zero-rate Vehicle Excise Duty road tax. However, that’s surprisingly not the case with the Tesla Model 3, which begins UK deliveries from June 2019…

Although the £3,500 Plug-in Car Grant takes the price of Tesla’s most affordable model down to £38,900, the pre-grant list price of the Tesla Model 3 starts above £40,000.

This, as part of the government’s unpopular 2015 Summer Budget road fund licence changes, makes it liable for a five-year, £310 per-year ‘additional rate’ road tax. It thus effectively more than halves the £3,500 government contribution to the price of the car for long-term Tesla owners.

How can a zero-emission Tesla be taxed?

“But it’s electric. It’s zero-emissions!” we hear you cry. Sadly, the DVLA makes no exceptions for electric cars: they are still hit with the ill-conceived charge.

All new cars (registered on or after 01/04/2017) with a list price over £40,000 have to pay a £310 per-year base rate for five years from after the start of its second licence. To be clear, that’s one year after you buy it new, when the first VED road tax duty is due.

It’s only the first-year licence rate that zero-emission cars are exempt from – the rate that pertains to emissions. The second licence rate pertains to purchase price – namely, the official list price, not any post-grant prices…

A Motoring Research reader told us that Tesla Canada priced the Model 3 to escape such region-specific charges. Unfortunately, the firm was not able to make any adjustments to the UK price of the entry-level Model 3 to escape the five-year VED road tax penalty.

Of course, other premium electric cars such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron are also liable for this five-year charge. But the Tesla Model 3 is billed as a high-volume car, meaning many owners will be surprise the British government is still charging them for going green – particularly when you look at some of the models which will pay less in annual VED…

A BMW 3 Series that’s cheaper to tax than a Tesla?

Tesla tax BMW 3 Series

Ultimately, this means some rivals to the Tesla Model 3, in configurations costing under £40,000, could wind up costing buyers less in road tax.

You’ll have to be specific in your spec to make serious savings, though. In the case of the BMW 3 series, the only model with which you’ll be making significant savings, is the plug-in 330e.

Prices are yet to be confirmed for the new car, which goes on sale in July, but the previous car had an on-the-road price of just over £36,000. That’s under the £40,000 mark. The new car emits just 39g/km of CO2, which makes it tax-free (like the Tesla) from first registration.

Given it’s an ‘alternative-fuel vehicle’, it’ll cost £130 per-year after its second registration. The end result? The 3 Series plug-in hybrid could cost less than half of what a Tesla Model 3 will to tax, providing it stickers for under £40,000…

Tesla Model 3 UK ordering

In fact, any car under £40,000 that produces less than 100g/km of CO2 will be cheaper to tax than the Tesla Model 3. Over a longer term, perhaps. Anything that isn’t a hybrid or zero emissions is chargeable for the first year whereas the Tesla goes free for 12 months.

The entry-level Tesla Model 3 WILL be VED-free

Of course, there is a Tesla that will cost nothing to tax on its way. The genuine ‘entry-level’ car is predicted by Elon Musk to cost around £33,000 when it arrives in the UK. That takes the Model 3 below the magic £40,000 mark, and out of the firing line for that £310 per-year sting.

If you really want to pinch the pennies while zero-emission motoring, wait for that. Or, perhaps, buy a rival such as a Kia e-Niro or Hyundai Kona Electric instead…

Tesla Model 3 on sale in UK: prices from £38,900

Tesla Model 3 UK ordering

The Tesla Model 3 is finally within grasp for UK buyers, as the order books and configurator open for the right-hand drive version of Tesla’s volume seller. With that, also comes the answer to the question everyone’s been asking…

How much is the Tesla Model 3 in the UK?

The Tesla Model 3 will start from £38,900 in the UK. That’s for the Standard Range Plus model, including the £3,500 Plug-in Car Grant (and an £850 delivery charge).

For that, you get 258 miles of (estimated) WLTP-rated range, a top speed of 140mph and a 5.3-second 0-60 mph capability. No word yet on the base model, which Elon Musk reckons will cost £33,000…

Long Range AWD and Performance models will start from £47,900 and £56,900 respectively. That’s right, without the £3,500 electric car grant, the Performance Model 3 is a £60,000 car.

All Model 3s are warrantied for four years up to 50,000 miles. The battery and drive unit is warrantied for 8 years or 100,000 miles in the entry-level car, and 120,000 miles for the Long Range and Performance models.

What do you get for your money?

Tesla Model 3 UK ordering

Note: LHD model pictured, edited to get a feel for RHD

All Model 3s come with Autopilot, which allows partially supervised (hands on the wheel) autonomous driving, with automatic accelerating and braking.

The Standard Range Plus model comes generously equipped out the box, with 12-way adjustable heated seats, a decent audio system and navigation included.

Higher-end models get the Premium Interior Package, satellite view on the navigation, premium 14-speaker audio and in-car internet.

What’s the UK Model 3 performance and range like?

In the Standard Range Plus model, you get 258 miles of (estimated) WLTP-rated range, a top speed of 140mph and a 5.3-second 0-60 mph capability.

Long Range AWD and Performance models will go for 348 and 329 miles respectively, based on an estimated WLTP rating. The Long Range reach 60mph in 4.5 seconds on its way to 145mph, while the Performance is good for 3.2 seconds to 60mph, on the way to a top end of 162mph.

The trade-off in the Performance and Long Range models, is weight. Both are over 200kg heavier than the entry-level car.

How much will a Tesla Model 3 cost to charge?

Tesla Model 3 UK ordering

What you will be paying for, is juice. While the Supercharger network is there for your use in a Model 3, you will be paying for every ‘fill-up’. Model S and X owners get free usage of Tesla’s infamous network of chargers.

So how much is a full charge in a Model 3? Based on Tesla’s calculator, you won’t be out any more than £30 to ‘fill up’ any Model 3.

Tesla’s cost calculator reckons 400 miles of driving would cost £63 in petrol and quotes £29 for the equivalent in electricity. That’s based on an assumed internal combustion MPG figure of 32.7, at £1.14 per litre. Fuel is a bit more expensive these days, too…

What options are available on the Model 3?

The Model 3 has a choice of wheels and colours, but it’s not going to be troubling the Fiat 500 for supremacy in personalisation and customisation.

Larger 19-inch Sport wheels are a £1,450 option for the Standard Range Plus and Long Range AWD cars. Out of the box, you get 18-inch ‘Aero’ wheels, which we happen to be fans of… The Performance gets 20-inch ‘performance’ wheels, obviously.

In terms of paint, midnight silver and deep blue are available for a £950 premium. Multi-coat red and pearl white are a bit pricier, at £1,900.

When can I have one?

Tesla Model 3 UK ordering

Tesla’s site says ‘estimated delivery: June’ at the moment, and first in the queue will be those who placed an early reservation.

Get your orders in quick if you want one, as there’s sure to be a lot of demand. Especially considering how many have had a downpayment outstanding for a couple of years now…

Tesla Model 3 is Europe’s best-selling EV

Tesla Model 3 Europe

“The arrival of the Tesla Model 3 marks the beginning of the long-awaited take off of pure electric cars in the Western hemisphere.” That’s the verdict of JATO, as it releases its latest set of European sales figures.

The Model 3 arrived in Europe in late January – and it’s not yet available in some markets – but the Tesla has had an extraordinary start, cementing itself as Europe’s best-selling EV.

A total of 3,630 Models 3s were registered in the first full month on the market, as the latest Tesla leapfrogged the likes of the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf and BMW i3.

Interestingly, the Model 3 also finished top of JATO’s premium mid-size saloon chart, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. Of course, the novelty factor plays a part in its early success, so it will be interesting to see if it can maintain this early momentum.

Dream of ‘SUV-isation’

Tesla Model 3 Brussels Motor Show

“Its long-term success in the coming months will depend on how fast its European rivals react and bring their own midsize electric cars to the market. We already saw the Polestar 2 in Geneva, but it won’t arrive before 2020,” said JATO’s Felipe Munoz.

“Considering this, the Model 3’s priority will be to compete with the electric SUVs like the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi E-Tron and the upcoming Mercedes EQC. The EV market is not exempt from the ‘SUV-isation’ of the industry.

“Although SUVs are slightly more expensive, the trend now indicates that the hot-selling vehicles in the world are not sedans, but their SUV rivals.”

Europe’s best-selling cars in February 2019

1.Tesla Model 33,630 registrations
2.Renault Zoe2,888 registrations
3.Nissan Leaf2,364 registrations
4.BMW i32,021 registrations
5.Hyundai Kona1,755 registrations
6.Volkswagen e-Golf1,642 registrations
7.Kia e-Niro1,016 registrations
8.Jaguar I-Pace874 registrations
9.Hyundai Ioniq727 registrations
10.Smart Fortwo421 registrations

2019 Tesla Model Y: everything you need to know

Tesla Model Y

The Model Y, Tesla’s fourth model and the car that completes its ‘S3XY’ range, has finally been revealed. Here’s all the info you need.

The Model Y’s styling

Firstly, yes, this is an all-new car. Despite very much resembling the Model 3, the Y is a crossover model that seems to combine a jacked-up Model X crossover shape with the smaller dimensions and styling tropes of the Model 3 saloon.

It’s around 15 percent bigger than the Model 3, but shares as many as 75 percent of its components. The Y makes clear Tesla’s twinning of saloons and crossovers. The Y is to the 3 what the X is to the S.

Inside the Tesla Model Y

It’s more of the same on the inside, too. Save for the slightly more commanding driving position, you’d be hard pressed to get in a Model Y and tell it apart from a Model 3.

The big 15-inch display is a direct lift from the small saloon, and the rest of the cabin looks equally minimalist. The well-known Autopilot system carries over, along with a host of new Tesla features.

An expansive all-glass roof should give the Model Y an airy feeling inside. And what it also has over the Model 3 is seating for seven.

Model Y range and performance

Tesla Model Y

Powertrains carry over from the Model 3, too. There will be a ‘cheap’ lower-range version that’s capable of 230 miles and will cost around £30,000, but that won’t arrive for another two years.

The dual-motor and Performance models are capable of 280 miles, while the rear-wheel-drive long-range model will manage 300 miles. These cars will do 135mph and 130mph, and hit 60mph in 4.8 seconds and 5.5 seconds respectively.

The Performance version is just that: a top speed of 150mph, with 60mph arriving in an impressive 3.5 seconds along the way. While the middling models will cost around £40,000 by our estimation, the Performance will likely be £50,000 or more.

When can I buy one?

This is always the big ‘but’ with Tesla. We see a car, then hear all these figures and promises from Elon Musk. Then we find out just how long it’s going to take. We still don’t have the Model 3 in the UK, more than two years after it was revealed.

What about the Model Y? In theory, it shouldn’t take as long. Given that it shares up to three-quarters of its constitution with the Model 3, the Y should come easier. 

The cars arriving the soonest are the 280-mile Performance and dual-motor models, as well as the 300-mile long-range version. They’re due in the autumn of next year for Americans. The short range model will follow in the spring of 2021. For the UK? We’ll have to wait until 2022 before we can buy a right-hand-drive Model Y.

Do Teslas take too long to reach the UK?

Tesla Model Y

That we have to wait so long for Teslas is a bit of a shame. The Model Y, with its seven seats, more affordable price and (at the moment) impressive range figures could do well here in the UK. It’s the Tesla that perhaps best appeals to us at the moment.

By the time it arrives in 2022, the likes of the all-electric Porsche Macan will already be here, potentially with much better range – if not an affordable price.