A car with enough power to go from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 3.9 seconds, plus luxury features like internet connection, defrosting windscreen wipers and a heated steering wheel.
It sounds like something from a science-fiction movie, but it’s actually the latest in electric car technology.
“Tesla has certainly disrupted the electric car market, if not the entire manufacturing industry, with their range of luxury sports cars,” said RAA Senior Manager Mobility and Automotive Policy Mark Borlace.
“We haven’t seen a huge uptake of electric cars in Australia, mainly due to a lack of infrastructure and range anxiety. But the Tesla is showing itself to have a few fans in South Australia.
“Obviously these cars aren’t in everyone’s price range, but they’re certainly getting people talking about what else might be possible in the car manufacturing industry in the future.”
Exact sales figures are unclear, but it’s thought about 200 Tesla vehicles have been sold in Australia.
They range in price from $106,900 to $148,000 plus on-road costs, and there’s another $25,000 of optional extras to pick from.
“In terms of what powers this vehicle, it runs on twin electric motors with 165kw in the front, and 350kw in the rear motor,” said Mr Borlace.
“When it comes to style, there isn’t anything about these cars that suggest they’re electric powered, with the ability to easily sit alongside any sports car.
“And it’s more than met all the safety requirements, including a 5-star ANCAP rating, and there are even reports that you could stack four cars on top and the roof wouldn’t cave.”
The base model can reach around 400km before it needs to be charged, while the mid-range model can get to 500km.
“So the range of these cars is similar to a fossil fuelled vehicle, but of course the more often you press the throttle to more energy that’s required to take the Tesla up to top speed,” said Mr Borlace.
“Who knows if we see more cars like these being built, the petrol stations of today could diminish and instead be replaced by the same power stations that keep our homes and businesses running.”