In the mid-1830’s, a British inventor by the name of Robert Anderson invented the first electric vehicle in the form of a carriage with rails as conductors. It was a crude contraption that did nothing more than inspire additional patents in the following decade.
Over a century after the electric rail carriage, William G. Cobb demonstrated the very first solar powered car under the production of General Motors. It was aptly named the “Sunmobile,” but was more of a novelty product for the Powerama Auto Show.
However, today electric cars (and hybrids) are seen all over and have a stigma of completely lacking in power and excitement. On the other hand, a few companies have dedicated their lives to breaking that stereotype and have created some cars even more powerful than the muscle cars of the 1960’s.
Tesla has been rolling out powerful 100% electric vehicles since their debut in 2003 when Tesla Motors was founded by Elon Musk and JB Straubel; among others. They started with powerful, but expensive, cars with incredible top speed and acceleration that blew their audience away. Their newest creation, the Model 3, is due out this month and here’s what we know.
The Look and Feel
Upon first glance, the Tesla Model 3 looks like a completely unfinished concept car thanks to the absence of the grill which has been a staple of vehicular design for over a century. But this is completely on purpose, to give the car a “smooth” look; quite literally.
The door handles are near invisible if you are looking at its sleek doors from any angle but dead-on. The rest of the side of the vehicle is just as sleek thanks to the 18 or 19 inch wheels, aerodynamic hood, and gorgeous diamond-shaped emblem on the front quarter panel.
The overall body is sleek and futuristic, yet extremely unassuming which makes it look attainable. This paired with its affordable $35,000 sticker price helps the latest Tesla enter into mainstream markets; 400,000 customers are already on board.
Inside the Model 3, there are no artistic mahogany accents or any unnecessary shelves. Instead, the new Tesla’s seats and doors are a simple pattern of black and white with a few simple controls. To the right of your steering wheel is a large tablet that acts as a command center for the pilot.
Inside is where the magic happens
The Model 3 is a mediocre drivers dream thanks to its eight cameras and twelve sensors that help to see just about everything that surrounds the vehicle so turning your head while parking is no longer necessary.
The dozen sensors do much more than simply warn you about dangers or slam on the breaks for you. According to Tesla, the sensors will contribute to an “autopilot” feature that can change lanes and even exit the expressway for you; this feature will cost an additional $5,000.
Most electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf can only go slightly over 100 miles on a charge, but the Model 3 can go a whopping 215 miles which is enough to go to work, home, and out to dinner with the family..
You’re probably thinking that with a long supply of power, there would come a weakened drive-train, but the new Tesla can do 0-60 in under six seconds which is a full second faster than the Chevy Bolt.
Sadly, only 30 people will get this car on its release date of July 28th, but 1,500 more will release in September. If you want one, you’ll have to wait until December when Tesla will start releasing at least 20,000 per month.