Tesla has been in the news a lot lately, so I’m sure you've all probably heard something about it, but, if not, here’s a quick recap: They recently released the public beta for their “autopilot” program, which is basically cruise control on steroids. It allows the driver to release both the wheel and the pedals, effectively allowing the car to drive itself. From a technological standpoint, this is a huge advancement in computer learning, as the cars aggregate data from every situation, and self improve in real time. The program is currently only available on the interstates of America, however, so it will be some time before that feature is available in Canada.
As to the quality ofthe car itself, the Telsa Model S is the oft rated number 1, against both other electric vehicles(EVs), and mass produced cars in general. It has a 354 km range, the best of any electric car, and has been rated the safest car ever. Not only that, but its acceleration is equivalent to that of many supercars(0-60 in 2.6 seconds). Right now, the Model S retails for around $100 000, depending a small amount on features, and is considered a “luxury car,” which could, and will, change soon, if Elon Musk, the founder and CEO, sticks with his current business plan. Here is a link to a clickbatey article with some more interesting stats, for those interested in the financial and automotive side:
But enough of that; this is an environmental blog. Now that we've established that the Model S is the best EV on the market, it seems only prudent to ensure that electric cars are all they are cracked up to be. In other words, are electric cars really better for the environment, and more feasible than gas? I will specifically be focusing on the Tesla, as I want to give electric cars the best chance to succeed.
There are a few major hurdles for EVs to tackle before they become mainstream, especially up here in Canada. Our cold weather can be a big problem for EVs, its range is limited, and there are a lot of concerns about how efficient the car really is. Let’s dive in… in the next post.