As a petrolhead, it is hard to swallow the truth that our breed is a dinosaurian one. Its only a matter of a few decades before the internal combustion engine will be completely extinct as the mainstream mode of transport. The inevitable truth is a depressing one. But amidst the large clouds of carbon dioxide and other dirty gasses, there is a big ray of hope that cars like Tesla Model 3 bring.
Call it irony or just plain coincidence, but the birth of this new revolution in automotive history has placed itself exactly within a century’s gap. It was the year 1908 when Ford launched the Model T, the world’s first mass-produced petrol-powered car. And exactly 100 years from then, Tesla launched its first electric car, the Roadster in 2008. While the roadster was more of a eco-friendly-rich-man toy, it had proven it point in showing the future of the automotive world. It started a trend where manufacturers started taking electric mobility a bit seriously, as it was clearly scalable, sustainable and eventually had a hope to overcome their internal combustion counterparts. For Tesla, the Roadster was a testbed with which they could understand the basics of a how to make a great car. Based on the chassis of the Lotus Elise, one of the best handling cars ever made, Tesla started with the right base to understand what makes a car nut tick, minus the engine of course. And over the years, Tesla’s learnings on how to make a great car has trickled down to more mainstream models like the mighty P90D with its supercar-equalling acceleration.
Yesterday, Tesla announced the fourth instalment in their onslaught towards making electric vehicles more mainstream with the Tesla Model 3. A hatchback that yet again promises to pack in quite a punch. With a price tag of $35,000 (€30,700) and more scope for price reduction after government incentives, the mainstream electric car for the masses has finally arrived. And it’s not a horrid eco-box on wheels too. The motor that can deliver 0-60mph (0-96kmph) acceleration in less than 6 seconds and has a range of 215 miles (346km). The Model 3 would charge fast too, thanks to Supercharging that enables 50% charge in almost the same time as one takes to order and drink a cup of coffee. And as battery technology evolves, those charging times will only get shorter. So maybe in the coming few years, we might get to compare them a teenager’s beer chugging speeds.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the Tesla Model 3 will be available in India, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Ireland apart their current USA and Europe availability when the deliveries begin in 2017. And this is the news that matters the most. While till today, most of the electric car makers have kept their efforts relatively local, Musk will be making his offering a global one. And why not. In the media launch Musk had a great point. His idea of the ideal situation is to be able to use a Tesla wherever there is electricity. With this aim of global expansion, Musk also promises that the Tesla Supercharger stations would be deployed in all the countries that have been mentioned making the Model 3 a cheaper-to-run and actual viable option for short as well as long distance travel.
The Tesla Model S then presents a very new prospective to how we can see the petrol-powered world ahead from here. When Ford brought out the Model T, fuel had to be burned despite the fact that you enjoyed it or not. But today we live in a different world where there are options like the Model 3 which assure a environmentally clean solution for those who simply want to get from Place A to Place B. As i said at the start of this story, us petrolheads are a dying and small breed in the overture of the global automotive cloud. The Tesla Model 3 is the first step in bringing a global balance to the appropriate use of 20th century’s most precious commodities. As the world gets away from petrol to slowly open up the ever-concerning and absolutely necessary environmental clog, maybe the gasoline breed will one day have their last hurrah with that last drop of fuel that is absolutely, deservingly theirs. Images – Tesla