Got my P85 a few weeks ago and the more I drive it the better it gets. VERY excited!
Cars have evolved a lot over the past 30 years. By leaps and bounds. There has been some significant inventions (airbags, ABS, traction control for example), but for the most part, it has been just that: an evolution. Every new model is 10-30% better than the previous one: better performances, better safety, better fuel economy, etc…
Once every so many years, comes a vehicle that just rewrites the rules. A vehicle that packs so many innovations that it just changes the industry. The +Tesla Motors S feels like one of those vehicles.
Three reasons in my opinion:
1- Simplicity. The electric engine and the battery packs integrated in the chassis suddenly make a car dramatically simpler: no engine, no valves, no transmission, no starter motor, no alternator, no oil, no cooling circuit, none of those hundreds of moving parts that make a car so complex and costly to maintain. Here, you have a chassis with the batteries, a motor and a drive train, and that’s pretty much it. Can’t get simpler than that! Curious to see what the maintenance entails beyond tires and brakes :-).
2- the User Interface (UI). This is in my mind the first car where pretty much all functionalities are controlled by a software (through this gigantic screen), instead of buttons. It only takes a few days to realize the benefits of this. First you can make features easier to understand. No need for creative icons to try and explain to the whole world what a button does when you can explain it in plain text on a large screen. Second, you can make things a lot clearer by only showing up features when needed. One example: the home link button to open the garage door. Every car I’ve ever driven has three of those adding to the clutter of buttons on the dashboard or the ceiling panel. Not the Tesla: the Home link automatically shows on your screen as you approach your garage (using the car’s GPS). It is invisible the rest of the time. Brilliant. Last, it allows remote upgrade so all those features can be updated and improved on an on-going basis.
3- Go big or go home. Before the Tesla S, all EVs felt like a compromise. You would buy one mostly for environmental reasons, but you would give out on pretty much all other fronts, and end up driving an ugly car with a low range, and somewhat dull performances. Not the Tesla S. It does not compromise. It looks great, it has amazing performances, an acceptable range and is competitively priced. Rather than mitigating the limitations of the electrical engine by adding a gas engine like hybrid car manufacturers have, and giving you a half-convincing product in the process, +Elon Musk and his team have doubled down on their investment and instead focused on making the product amazing. Go big or go home was probably the motto of the team, and I think they nailed it.
Creating a car company from scratch is a huge challenge already, but coming up with such a great product is amazing. I really hope they make it; they're my kind of car company...