My Date With a Tesla

When the email came, reading, “Do you want to take a Tesla for the day?” my first thought was, “does anyone ever say no?”

But there it was: A soon-to-be on-sale Model S sedan. All black, all electric, all the hopes of the electric vehicle market riding on (and in) its smooth leather interior.

You probably already know what the Model S looks like, but here’s how it rides: Terrific. It’s a sports sedan, after all, that (in the top of the line model I got to try) will cost you about $110,000. It’s as comfortable, fast, tight, and exotic as any- thing else on the road today. But before you decide between the Tesla and that BMW, Audi, Jaguar, or Porsche, remember this: The Model S never has to get gas.

Think about that. As fast as anything you could want. You’ll get stares everywhere you go. The gi- ant iPad-like screen on the dashboard is awesome. And you’ll never get gas again. In fact, the top of the line mode will let you go more than 300 miles between charges.

The electric engine is as smooth as anything out there. In fact, because electric energy is always ready to go, your acceleration is instant in the Tesla. Not a gradual ramping up; you hit the pedal, and you’re off. It’s a cool feeling.

Now, admittedly, the Model S is not for most of us. It’s too expensive. I loved the day I spent with it, and getting back into my little hybrid hatchback afterwards was a little heartbreaking. But that goes for all performance cars in that price range. They’ll always be great, but far too expensive.

What the Model S promises is a future for elec- tric cars. Not just rare sports cars for well-heeled drivers, but for families everywhere. If you’re like me, you love cars, you love technology, but you also love the idea of a future without gas stations.

It’s coming. Fast.

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About The Author

Scott Budman
is an Emmy award-winning reporter, covering business and technology for NBC Bay Area News. He is also the host of the weekly NBC show, “TechNow,” and can be heard doing business updates every afternoon on KNBR radio. You can find Scott on Twitter: @scottbudman