The Tesla Model S Electric Saloon: The Complete Guide For India

Tesla Model S Electric Saloon

India Electric Vehicle (EV) Market


India, like many other countries, is well positioned to benefit from the shift to zero-tailpipe emission electric driving. Road transportation is a major contributor to air pollution (over 30%), choking our towns, cities and villages across India. Diesel vehicles, in particular, diesel trucks and diesel buses, are significant sources for tailpipe emissions. But given the rise in the standard of living, since liberalisation, the demand for privately owned passenger cars has increased at an unprecedented pace, further worsening the air quality. India has more than 3 crores (30 million) cars releasing tailpipe emissions on its roads!

Though we have seen some improvements in air quality during the ongoing pandemic (as a result of lower vehicle traffic), India’s shift to electric driving will be key in achieving long-term higher air quality. Of course, apart from EVs, the continued development of green and renewable energy infrastructure will be key in achieving lower long-term air pollution. India has already demonstrated global leadership in regards to large-scale solar and wind projects! Hopefully, India will replicate the success with zero-emission electric vehicles.

Despite recent announcements and support from local and national government agencies in India, the EV market is still at a nascent stage, well, at least in terms of electric cars and electric vans. Two-wheel electric scooters and three-wheel electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) have demonstrated a strong uptake, and India is poised to become a global leader in electric scooters and electric rickshaws (e-tuk). In fact, the ubiquitous e-rickshaw commands an impressive 83% of the Indian electric vehicle market. India currently has over 15 lakhs (1.5 million) e-rickshaws, with each EV playing a role in reducing tailpipe emissions on our roads in India.

Sales of passenger electric cars is still at an early stage. In FY2021, though the market witnessed a growth of nearly 110% from the previous year, the absolute volume of cars sold was only 5,905 electric cars. Currently there are less that 15 pure electric car models available on sale in India.

Tata Motors, the biggest automotive manufacturer in India has launched the Tata Nexon electric SUV. Mahindra Electric, another leading Indian automotive manufacturer, has also launched a number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), to include, the Mahindra eVerito electric car, Mahindra eSupro electric van and Mahindra e2o Plus compact electric car. International manufacturers, like UK based MG Motors, have also launched the MG ZS electric SUV in India. Also available are the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE SUV and the Hyundai Kona electric SUV.

For those keen on an overview of the types of electric vehicles (EVs), simply scroll down to the end of the article.


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


The Tesla Model S Electric Saloon


Tesla Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors Inc.) was founded by American engineers, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2003. They named the Palo Alto based company, Tesla, as a tribute to the engineer Nikola Tesla.  In fact, Elon Musk (Co-Founder, Tesla) become involved with the company post the founding of Tesla Motors. He was the lead  investor in the 2004  Series A investment round.

The Model S was at one time, the second most-sold plug-in electric car globally, after the ubiquitous Nissan Leaf EV.  The Model S was first introduced in 2012. Since its launch, the Tesla green car has achieved significant milestones to include:

  • Best selling plug-in all-electric car in 2015 and 2016
  • Top selling new car in Norway in September and December 2013 
  • Top selling new car in Denmark in December 2015 
  • In 2019, Motor Trend Magazine named the Model S as the ultimate car of the year 

As of 2021, the pure electric saloon is available in three variants: the Long Range, Plaid and Plaid +. Though Mr. Musk has announced his intentions to sell Tesla electric cars in India, as of now, these EVs are not available in India.     

Tesla Model S electric car India
The All-Electric Tesla Model S Saloon (credit:Tesla)

At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Saloon
Engine:Electric
Available In India:No

Trims (3 Options)
Long Range
Plaid
Plaid +

PROSCONS
Excellent EV range and access to Supercharger networkExpensive. Cheaper pure electric alternatives available
Powerful and fast electric performanceBuild quality issues
Excellent interior space and technologyFull Self-Driving option not cheap (£6,800)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in two battery size (95 kWh and 120 kWh). The 120 kWh is available on the Plaid +
Charging:250 kW rapid charging standard (Supercharge up to 175 miles in 15 mins). On-board charger 16.5 kW AC
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 120,000 miles

Dimensions
Height (mm):1445
Width (mm):1964
Length (mm):4970
Wheelbase (mm):2960

Tesla Model S Long Range
EV Battery Capacity:95 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):412 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):N/A
Charging:250 kW Rapid Charging (on-board charger: 16.5 kW AC)
Top Speed:155 mph
0-60 mph:3.1 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):398
Max Power (hp):670
Torque (Nm):N/A
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Driving Modes:N/A
Weight (kg):2,069
Colours:5

Tesla Model S Plaid
EV Battery Capacity:95 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):390 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):N/A
Charging:250 kW Rapid Charging (on-board charger: 16.5 kW AC)
Top Speed:200 mph
0-60 mph:1.99 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):760
Max Power (hp):1020
Torque (Nm):N/A
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Driving Modes:N/A
Weight (kg):2,162
Colours:5

Tesla Model S electric car India
The All-Electric Tesla Model S Saloon (credit:Tesla)

Tesla Model S electric car India
The All-Electric Tesla Model S Saloon (credit:Tesla)

Tesla Model S electric car India
The All-Electric Tesla Model S Saloon (credit:Tesla)

Tesla Model s electric SUV India
The All-Electric Tesla Model S Saloon (credit:Tesla)

Types Of Electric Vehicles (EVs)


Electric vehicle” is an umbrella term, and a broad one at that. There are a number of different types of electric vehicles (EVs), each with its distinct characteristics and advantages. These include:

  • BEVs: Battery-electric vehicles (pure electric)
  • PHEVs: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) combined)
  • MHEVs: Mild hybrid electric vehicles (internal combustion engine (gasoline or diesel) along with regenerative braking)
  • FCEVs: Fuel cell electric vehicle (electric with hydrogen as fuel)

The above “types” are powered either entirely or partially by electric energy and have different environmental impacts.


Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs)


Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), also known as pure electric vehicles, are powered entirely by electricity (i.e. the vehicle does not have a conventional internal combustion engine). BEVs have zero-tailpipe emissions and help improve local air quality.

BEVs are also very economical to drive. A BEV can cost as little as Rs 50 per 100 kilometres to drive. Examples of best-selling EVs include, the all-electric Tesla Model 3 and the all-electric Renault Zoe. A BEV is charged by plugging in the electric vehicle to a dedicated electric car charging station (home or public charging stations). BEVs are well suited for those living in towns, cities and urban centres. Of course, battery-electric vehicles are also suitable for those living in rural settings.


Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)


Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) differ from battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), in that, PHEVs use both a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric engine for propulsion. Plug-in hybrid vehicles combine the advantages of electric driving and internal combustion engine driving.

On shorter distances, the PHEV uses the electric mode to drive emission-free, using the on-board EV battery and regenerative braking. For longer distances, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles switches to using the internal combustion engine. With a PHEV, the vehicle can cost as little Rs 50 per 100 kilometres to drive on e-mode, without any tailpipe pollution, and also be driven long-distances, without the fear of range anxiety! Most PHEVs have an EV battery of up to 15 kWh and can achieve a zero-emission electric range of up to 50 kilometres. No wonder PHEVs are fast becoming popular globally, with much potential or India. Like a BEV, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is charged by using an external power source (EV charging point) for charging.

PHEVs are suitable for those that drive long-distances on a regular basis but want to lower the negative environmental impact from tailpipe pollution. PHEVs are also suitable for those individuals and families that are seeking to save money by taking advantage of electric driving. The Volvo XC40 PHEV and the Volkswagen Golf 8 are good examples of PHEVs.


Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEVs)


Mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEVs) are a limited form of electric driving. These vehicles also use hybrid technologies (electric driving and internal combustion engine), but the EV battery is much smaller than a BEV or PHEV. Moreover, in a mild hybrid, the EV battery cannot be charged via an external source (i.e. EV charging station). In a MHEV, the battery is charged by capturing the energy released during braking, a process known as regenerative braking. MHEVs have lower tailpipe emissions, and are more economical to own, run and maintain than petrol and diesel cars. MHEVs are a better option than a petrol or diesel car, but not as good an option as a BEV or PHEV. Mild hybrids are well suited for those living in regions with limited charging infrastructure. Again, MHEVs have great potential in India, given the limited public EV charging infrastructure.

The Toyota Prius is a good example of a mild hybrid electric vehicle.


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) also called hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, have a fuel cell stack that uses hydrogen to generate the electricity needed to power the electric vehicle. The fuel cell generates electricity and pure water vapour that can escape via the tailpipe. It is capable of generating electricity as long as there is a steady supply of hydrogen. Fuel cell electric vehicles can be refuelled with hydrogen at purpose built filling stations. Filling an FEC takes no more than five minutes.

FCEVs have a range of about 500 kilometers or more between refueling. Today, the only and major limitation is the very limited hydrogen refuelling station network globally. The Toyota Mirai FCEV is a good example of this type of EV.


We encourage you to sign up to the e-zoomed newsletter on the home page. A great way to keep in touch with the latest developments in the Indian and global electric vehicle market. Also do follow us on the ‘e-zoomed India’ social media channels to include Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook (links on the e-zoomed India home page).



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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