A Global Superstar In The World Of Electric Cars, Becoming The Best-Selling Electric Car On The Planet, Surpassing The Very Successful All-Electric Nissan Leaf. But This Is Only The Start For This Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV). Expect Many More Noteworthy Achievements To Come As The Automotive Company, Tesla Inc., Executes Its Global Ambitions!
If there is one positive from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the reduced levels of pollution in our cities, towns and villages across India. Many cities in northern India has experienced improved air quality during the lockdown. For example, in Punjab, visibility has been clear enough to see the handsome Himalayan range, for the first time in decades. For those of us based in the National Capital Region (NCR), the increase in air quality has not been any less dramatic.
Though many factors contribute to increasing air quality, a reduction in tailpipe pollution from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, is key in reducing air pollution. We have all seen over the past few decades an increase in vehicular traffic in our cities, to a point, that traffic jams are 24/7 and so is the layer of pollution.
Though Tesla, the U.S. based electric car manufacturer is already a household name in many western countries, in India, the name is hardly known. Of course, we in India are very familiar with other major international automotive companies that operate in India, from the ubiquitous South Korea based Hyundai to the Germany based Mercedes-Benz.
However, within a decade, automotive electric vehicle manufactures like Tesla Inc, will no doubt also become household names. Moreover, Elon Musk, the high profile founder of companies from automotive to space exploration will also become well known in India. Though Mr. Musk has communicated an interest in entering the Indian market, there is no specific timeframe for entry into one of the fastest growing automotive market in India. A lack of EV charging infrastructure coupled with the high import duties have not helped in encouraging Tesla to enter India in the immediate future. In any case, we hope this will change, as we in India embrace the future of zero tailpipe emission electric driving.
Tesla has already developed successfully a number of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) to include the all-electric Tesla Model X and the Tesla Model S. The Tesla Model 3, its newest entrant has already achieved significant success in global markets as the best selling electric car to beat even the best-selling Nissan Leaf green car (the Nissan Leaf achieved global sales of 450,000 units by December 2019. By March 2020, Tesla has sold over 525,000 units of the Model 3). Other electric vehicles (EVs) the company is developing include the all-electric Tesla Cybertruck and the all-electric Tesla Model Y.
Tesla Model 3
- Despite the success of the California based automotive manufacturer with the Tesla Model X and Tesla Model S, pricing and affordability continued to persist as key factors in slowing the mass-adoption of Tesla electric vehicles. The Model 3 was conceived to primarily deal with ‘affordability’ head-on.
- The model 3 was unveiled in 2016, with limited production in 2017. In 2018, the company increased series production of the all-electric four door sedan with total deliveries crossing 100,000 by October 2018. Deliveries in Europe commenced in 2019, with the United Kingdom receiving the right-hand Tesla Model 3 in June 2019.
- The Tesla Model 3 won the UK Car of the Year 2020 award in early 2020. The Model 3 was also crowned the prestigious WhatCar? Car of the Year 2020 (best large electric). Other awards won include the Insurance Institute For Safety top award, the Safety Pick+. You can expect the Model 3 to continue to accumulate more awards as it scales production and entry into new markets across the globe.
- The Tesla Model 3 is available in three variants, the Model 3 Standard Range Plus (rear-wheel drive), the Model 3 Long Range (AWD) and the Model 3 Performance (AWD). The Model 3 Long Range has proved the most popular thus far, and is priced in-between the entry level Standard Range Plus and the highest specification Performance variant.
- The Model 3 Standard Range plus has the lowest zero-emission driving range at 395 km (WLTP), the Model 3 Long Range has a zero-emission range of 560 km (WLTP) and the Model 3 Performance variant has a zero-emission electric driving range of 530 km. To put this in perspective, we could travel from Delhi to the famed Taj Mahal (Agra) 466 km in either the Long Range or Performance model without having to re-charge the EV battery. Now that is an impressive range! Both the Long Range and the Performace variants are all-wheel drive electric vehicles with two independent motors.
- As expected, the Performance variant is the fastest with a top speed of 260 km/h followed by the Long Range (233 km/h) with the slowest the Standard Range Plus (225 km/h). As is the case with most electric cars, acceleration is impressive and the Tesla Model 3 does not disappoint. The EV can achieve 0 to 96.56 km per hour in 3.2 seconds. Faster than you can take a sip of your Darjeeling tea! In any case given the speed limits and traffic congestion on our roads in India, we do not need to really worry about top speed or acceleration!
- The EV has a vehicle warranty of 4 years or 50,000 miles (80,467 km), whichever comes first and a 8 year EV battery warranty or 1,00,000 miles (1,60,000 km), whichever comes first.
- Pricing for the India market will not be known for sometime to come. However, given the import duties, the Tesla Model 3 would not be viewed as an ‘affordable EV’, as its positioning in western markets. In the UK the Tesla Model 3 starts at £40,490 (Rs 40 Lacs). Of course, for the Indian market the pricing will be substantially higher, when the electric vehicle finally reaches our shores.
Battery And Range
- Battery capacity: 60-70 kWh
- Battery type: lithium-ion
- Range: 395-560 km (WLTP)
- Capable of recharging up to 210 km in 15 minutes
Power & Performance
- 0-96 km/h: 3.2 seconds (Performance variant)
- Top speed: 260 km/h
- Max Power: 40 bhp
- Torque: 105 Nm