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Whether you are looking for a new vehicle or a used inventory vehicle from Tesla, ordering a Tesla on the Isle of Man is the same procedure as it is anywhere else on the globe.

I ordered my Model 3 in early May 2020, during the first COVID lockdown. Little did I know at the time how long the lockdown would last. However, I'd had my eye on buying a Tesla for some time and was eager to pull the trigger.

Whether you are looking for a new vehicle or a used inventory vehicle from Tesla, ordering a Tesla on the Isle of Man is the same procedure as it is anywhere else on the globe. Simply go to tesla.com choose your configuration and place your order with a £100 deposit.

There’s no need to talk for hours at a dealership, go through needless negotiations or talk to any pushy car salespeople. It’s simple and the price on the website is the price you pay. The cost savings from not having a sales force are passed directly onto the consumer. You can tell this because a Tesla, specifically the Model 3 in my case, is an incredibly good value for money vehicle when all things are considered (no expensive petrol, no servicing, very few parts to break, monthly updates over the air, autopilot included etc)

The ordering Process

While you’re on the tesla.com website, there are two options, order a new Tesla or one from the inventory.

I followed the custom order option but you can save some money if you can find what you want in the inventory.

Standard Range Plus, Long Range & Performance

Teslas come with a whole bunch of features included as standard, which makes ordering incredibly easy. Once on the custom order page, for the Model 3 you can select between the Standard Range Plus, Long Range or Performance. I went for the Long Range as I feel it has the best of both worlds. Over and above the standard option, you’ll get the premium interior & sound system (which is amazing!). You'll also get around 80 extra miles of range and a much faster 0-60 with the option to further improve this to just 3.7 seconds with the optional acceleration boost post-purchase.

The Performance model is slightly faster than the Long Range with Acceleration Boost with a few changes to the brakes and suspension. I think the Long Range is the best all-round for value but it depends on your day to day requirements and budget of course.

Colour and Wheels

Once you’ve chosen your base model, select your colour and wheels. I’d seen a blue one on the Island and loved it, so I ordered that with the Tesla classic aerodynamic wheels.

For the interior you can choose between black and white. I told you Tesla keeps things simple!

Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self Driving

Finally, you have the important choice of adding Enhanced Autopilot. You get standard Autopilot for free with all modern Teslas. This will drive your car within its lane on the motorway or dual-carriageway, which is great for driving in the UK. While it’s not recommended, Autopilot does work on the Isle of Man. I’m able to travel between Douglas and Peel, often without any interventions, and I can also travel to Castletown or over the mountain most of the way without steering or pedal input too. This is worthy of a separate post but I’d be happy to demo this with anyone interested.

Enhanced Autopilot will overtake cars on the motorway and take your exit as long as you have your destination input to the built-in sat-nav (Navigate on Autopilot)

With Enhanced AutoPilot, you also get Autopark (between two cars), including parallel parking and Summon which is mostly a party trick at this stage but it can be useful to move the car forward via the app when someone parks too close, or to put the car into the garage without sitting inside.

If you’re a believer in Full Self Driving, then you can add this into your order too. I work in IT and I understand the challenges of FSD. However, after talking to people that know people in the FSD software team at Tesla and seeing some of the beta software, I now believe that Full Self Diving is possible and is likely to be available within a year from now.

The FSD price keeps going up as new features are added, so if you believe that the current price is worth it then be sure to order it now to lock in the price. What I can say on this is that once FSD is ready (and the regulators agree) then your car will become a big income generator. Imagine a world where your car will turn into a taxi or delivery vehicle while you are at work. Instead of costing you to keep the car it will turn into an income generator. This is why the value of FSD is estimated to be around $100,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle once it is feature complete.

Perhaps I’m optimistic on this but knowing what I know and after seeing it in action, I do believe it will happen, if not this year then next.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need the FSD option if you want your car to automatically stop at traffic lights and stop signs. This works now, even on the Isle of Man and it’s very good!

Finally, place your order and be greeted with the Hedgehog meme. (You’ll become familiar with all the Tesla jokes soon enough. Yes, all Teslas come with “fart mode”!)

Pre-Delivery Paperwork

Once you’ve placed your order, you'll be contacted depending on what finance option you chose. If you’re leasing or financing the vehicle then you’ll be contacted with steps on how to arrange this. If you’re a cash buyer then you won’t need to pay anything further until a few days before collecting the vehicle.

One thing I recommend is a few days after placing your order, call Tesla and ask them if there is a new inventory vehicle to match your order. I did this and there was an identical vehicle already on it’s way to the UK which I believe had been cancelled. The ships take a while to arrive in to the UK so it’s certainly worth seeing if they can match you to one already on its way. By doing this I was able to take delivery of my car within just 3 weeks rather than the 2 months I was originally quoted.

Tesla's contact numbers are emailed to you after placing your order.

Once the email requesting payment is sent to you, get that out of the way and be sure to call the next day to ensure that it’s all gone through. At the end of each quarter, Tesla are incredibly busy so it’s worth a call to ensure everything is in order.

Tesla will send you links to a few documents and YouTube videos to familiarise you with how to use the car. You’ll need this if you have a contactless delivery during COVID.

Delivery Day

When choosing a delivery day, I’d advise choosing an early morning appointment so that any identified issues can hopefully be resolved the same day. This is important because there are no delivery centres on the Island and an extra day in the UK, if needed, could be an inconvenience.

Due to the COVID restrictions, I was unable to leave the Island to collect my vehicle. Fortunately, my father lives in the UK and he collected the vehicle for me.

If you live within a certain radius, Tesla will drop off your car at your house, however, I opted to collect from the service centre so that if there were any issues, they could be addressed on the day.

My father tells me that the whole experience was contactless. The key card for the car was all he needed to collect from the office as I had already signed for everything online before collecting.

After an inspection of the car, there were zero issues, no panel gaps or obvious paint issues. (Don’t believe everything you read on the forums!) If you do spot issues, be sure to identify them. This is key, especially with no service centre on the island.

Transportation to the Isle of Man

If you can go to the UK to collect your vehicle, you’ll need to book the ferry in the usual way.

If you're getting someone to drive the car onto the ferry for you, you’ll need to contact the freight office of the Steam Packet to book this.

Due to COVID, the staff would not drive the car on, so you’ll need to have someone at the ferry terminal in good time to be able to drive the car onto the ferry.

The Steam Packet request that you keep the windows open and wipe down the interior, leaving the key card on the driver's seat.

By this time you should have the Tesla App downloaded on your phone. Log in with your Tesla email and password. Your car will be there and you’ll be able to track it and open/close the car, windows etc. remotely if requested by the Steam Packet.

Once the ferry gets to the Island, you’ll need to walk onto the boat with a high-vis jacket. The Steam Packet ask that you meet them at the weighbridge, near the check-in booths. Once the ferry is docked, you can walk on and figure out how the fancy door handles work on the Tesla!

Once you’re in the car, put your foot on the brake and push the right stalk down once and you’re set! (This took me 5 embarrassing minutes to work out, even after watching all the YouTube videos about 10 times!)

Post Delivery

Tesla called me a few days later to check that everything was okay. I had a couple of questions about ordering the acceleration boost. You just buy it on the app and the car instantly reboots with the new performance. In typical Tesla fashion, it was very easy to do!

I decided to get the front and impact areas of the vehicle protected with a PPF (Paint Protection Film). I highly recommend this over any ceramic coatings. DC Valeting were great, definitely go and see them if you’re interested in keeping the paint new and super easy to clean.

As there is no Tesla service on the Island, you’ll need to take the car to a UK service centre if you have any warranty issues. The only issue I’ve had is a driver's door seal break but I’m happy to leave that until I can travel to the UK. Be sure to log issues within the app so there is a record.

Given the fuel and servicing savings (yes, Teslas require very little servicing), I gather that shipping the car back to the UK if anything went wrong wasn’t too much of an issue. I’m one year into my Tesla ownership now and I could not be happier! My Model 3 is the best thing I have ever bought for reasons that would take far too long to write here. I’m always showing people the car so please feel free to reach out if you’d like the unofficial “tour” and acceleration demonstration!

For a tour of my Model 3 and to answer any of your questions, please feel free to contact me any time via the contact page.

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I was invited to take a test drive in the new Volkswagen ID.3 that Jacksons have at their dealership here on the island as a demonstration vehicle.  I was greeted by Matthew Jones who had arranged the test drive.

Matthew was very welcoming and after all the paperwork was done to make things legal we both walked out to where the ID.3 was parked.

Introducing The Car

The car is a Volkswagen ID.3 1st Edition in Makena Turquoise.

It has a 58 kWh motor called Pro Performance with manufacturer stats of 263 miles of range & 0-62  mph of 7.3 seconds.

The car was unlocked and Matthew showed me around the car and focused on the driving controls. The car was easy to learn where everything is, it is the first time I have ever driven a car with the gear selector on the right hand side near the steering wheel however the ergonomics felt right.

After getting the climate control adjusted to how I like, I was left with the car to myself. I took a look around and took some photos, then I was ready to start driving.

On The Road

I first decided to head down to the airport so I would have the chance to test how responsive the car is especially on Richmond Hill. I had the car set in comfort mode.

In that mode on that hill from 20mph the car responded quickly up to the 50mph speed limit, I was impressed. The rest of that section was a quiet cruise out to the airport and back. Next was a town test in Douglas & Onchan using the Promenade & Summer Hill, again the car took it in its stride.

Just before leaving Onchan, heading in the Laxey direction, while waiting at Avondale Road traffic lights I found on the onboard computer system a mode called sport so I engaged it. Sport is one of four modes, those being Eco, Comfort, Sport, Individual. Setting off for Whitebridge Hill I noticed a more lively throttle response, I really let the speed drop off first before on the steepest part accelerated up to the speed limit. The response was even quicker in Sport mode, even uphill, than comfort on Richmond Hill. It even pinned me back in the seat. Performance is excellent. I soon put it back into comfort mode for the rest of the day.

I made a visit to the Laxey charging point, not to charge up though as I had plenty of range left but to see how long the charge cable is from the car charging socket to the charging station. Even parking front in and with the charging socket towards the rear of the car on the drivers side the cable was long enough, with a good foot & a half spare. So no stretching the cable needed.

My Parents View

On my way back to Jacksons I decided to pick my parents up as I knew they would be heading into Douglas. My father would sit up front next to myself & my mother behind me.

My father found the car very easy to get in and out of and comfortable to sit in. High praise as my father is awaiting a hip and knee replacement and finds my own car very uncomfortable, especially getting in & out but also not enough leg room.

My mother also liked the car while sat in the back. Positive words so far from both as even my mum has arthritic knees.

We traveled back via Groudle and the car took the rough road very well with a good balance and ride. All too soon after dropping my parents off in town it was back to Jacksons to hand the car back.

My Verdict...

I simply I did not want to hand the car back, I am very impressed by the car as a whole. It is the perfect car for me so I better get saving and hope my lottery numbers come in then I will definitely purchase one.

This is the longest drive I have ever had in an EV. Yes I did drive some Nissan N200E Vans back in 2016 at Portbury Docks near Bristol as a job but that was 1/2 mile max at speeds up to 20mph. So not a good test drive. After handing back the keys to Matthew I asked him some questions and an answer he gave me sums up EVs well here on the island: “All EVs are suitable for the island”.

So that is food for thought, I can see the future for EVs and the ID.3 is very much part of the equation.

More Information

The ID.3 goes from "Life" trim to "Tour", including the 1st Edition that makes 7 trim levels. The price range goes from £32990 - £42290 with the 1st Edition coming in at £38880.

All ID.3’s come with the Pro Performance motor & 58KWh battery, except Tour trim that has a 77KWH battery that  is capable of 0-62 of 7.9 sec & a range of 336 miles that is called Pro S.

At the moment depending on what trim & colour ID.3 you wish to purchase you could get your car pretty quick if one is available. However, if the one you want is a factory order it can take 2 - 3 months for delivery.

Servicing is on a yearly schedule with an interim service then a yearly major service etc etc. No fixed service price for either is used yet but sure it will come about in the future.

I must thank Matthew Jones from Jacksons for all his help and getting the test drive authorisation for me so I could do this review it is greatly appreciated.

EVIOM came into being to provide answers to the many questions regarding EV ownership. Its purpose was to give new and prospective EV owners the benefit of knowledge gained by early adopters. So here we are, some 4 to 5 years later, and now every week a new EV arrives on the Island. The Nissan Leaf is by far the most popular due to the many great second-hand deals on offer but what can these new-to-EV drivers expect from their purchase? Below are a few things that may be of interest to new EV drivers. They are taken purely from our own experience and, as everyone’s driving style and journeys are different, are not meant to be typical for every EV.

Charging

Over the last 4 years we have driven our Leaf Acenta and covered 30,000 miles, mainly on-island. That’s a typical average of 20 miles a day. We are based in Douglas and have regular trips over the mountain to Ramsey and back as well as to all corners of the island. Our Leaf has a 24kWh battery and a 3.3 kW on-board charger. We charge overnight at home to the 80% battery capacity or what is termed the “Long Life” battery mode[i]. Occasionally we will set it to 100% if we know we have several trips to make the next day. Our home charger is a Rolec 32 Amp, which is capable of charging up to 7Kw. We bought this charger so we could ‘future proof’ the home charging capabilities should our next car have that greater charging capability. Although, in theory, we could have connected the charger to the garage wiring, we decided to add an extra, dedicated ‘circuit’ in our electrical distribution board. Unfortunately this meant the fitting of a new consumer unit but luckily this coincided with some other electrical work being undertaken at the same time. We bought the Charge Point directly from Rolec as there were few options for purchase at the time. Nowadays there are CPs from other manufacturers being offered for installation by registered local electricians.

It should be noted that only once have we had to charge the car from empty. Typically we have 20-30% left after our daily journeys and charging to 80% would take approximately 3.5 to 4 hours, which is ideal for overnight charging. We never rely on the Guess-O-Meter (GOM) which indicates approximate range, but instead, after a few weeks of driving, we soon got a feel for how much battery capacity we used on typical journeys and judge our range by the % reading. We also usually have the cabin pre-heat set to warm the car by 07:00 hrs, especially in the colder months.

We have a dual electricity meter provided by the MUA and this gives us cheaper, off-peak, electricity between midnight and 07:00 hrs. We set the car charging timer to start at 01:00 and charge until 80% full. We chose a 1 a.m. start time to compensate for the change to British Summer Time as the current electricity meter only has a clock based on GMT. It should be noted that it is the responsibility of the bill payer to ensure that the time clock on the meter is correct and in our experience it can "drift".

Here is a typical graph showing our overnight charging. The large peak is the battery charging and the smaller peak is when the climate control kicks in for the pre-heat. All this is pre-set and controlled from the Leaf’s on-board computer.

It May Be Winter Outside…

This is another reason we love our Leaf. Getting into a warm car with a frost-free windscreen on a cold winter morning is just one of the factors that makes driving an EV a pleasure. Smooth acceleration and regenerative braking also make for safer driving in winter. If it does get slippery then switching to ECO Mode and even turning off the traction control gives the car a better chance of grip in very bad road conditions.

In fact, all the year round, we will use ‘B’ mode regularly, particularly when going back and forth over the mountain. ECO mode in the towns is also recommended.

Like any car, the way you drive and the terrain affect the amount of fuel that you use. We are careful drivers but will quite happily “open her up” on the mountain road if conditions allow. We also like to set ourselves challenges as to how little battery percentage we use on typical journeys from Douglas to Ramsey. We have found that higher use of the battery mainly occurs when the traffic is such that we cannot take full advantage of regenerative braking. Obvious really!

There has been much talk recently about how badly the battery of an EV is affected by the cold weather and it is true there is an effect. But just how bad is it? Back in 2010 the AA[ii] ran a campaign that showed that both petrol and diesel cars exhibited an increase in fuel consumption due to cold weather. They showed that fuel consumption is higher when the engine is cold and stated “it could equate to an additional cost of 3p per litre”. Added to this is the extra use of heaters, lights, and heated screens/seats etc., which use more fuel no matter what type of car you drive.

Driving Data

When you first switch on the Leaf you will see an option, on the central console screen, to send telematics[iii] data to Nissan detailing your mileage and battery storage capacity. If you accept this you will be able to view your driving records on-line at “YOU+NISSAN” and also on the Nissan EV app on your smartphone.

This data is available on-line with about 2 years of historical data and will show you distance travelled, electricity consumption, travel time, CO2 savings and average energy economy. This term Average Energy Economy is very useful, as it will tell you how many miles you have travelled, on average, for one unit, or Kilowatt hour, of electricity (Miles/kWh). So if, for example, you average 4 miles per kWh and a unit is 8.75 pence then the electricity cost averages at just over 2 pence per mile.

Here is our chart showing the data collected from 1st. March 2016 to 28th February 2018. The top graph shows our Average Energy Economy in Miles/kWh, the highest reading in June 2016 at 4.5 Miles/kWh and the lowest being 3.5 Miles/kWh on several winter months. The lower graph shows the Average Mean Temperature measured at Ronaldsway.

The energy economy graph follows the temperature graph, which is to be expected, and it appears that we had a warmer summer in 2016 than 2017 but the recent 2018 February average mean temperature of 4° C didn’t have such a corresponding low in the economy reading. In short, I believe the lower economy figures in winter are similar to what you will find in ICE cars but obviously more noticeable when you have a smaller "tank" of fuel.

Turning Over A New Leaf

So that's a short summary of how we operate our Leaf and this post was written with the intention of giving some insight into EV ownership. When we look back, did the Leaf live up to our expectations? Well, yes, and much more. Our main reason for switching to pure EV was simply to remove the tail-pipe emissions. We were never under the illusion that it was a cheaper motoring option to ICE transport. No motorised transport is free. Saying that, we used to spend £185 on petrol each month and now our car fuel bill is about £15 a month which is a good saving to put towards purchasing a new car. We have never, in the last 4 years, had free road 'tax' although Electric Vehicles are now taxed at zero rate.

We are now ready to take ownership of the latest Leaf the 'Leaf 2.Zero', which by all reports, is a great improvement on the previous models. We will be very sorry to part with our current Leaf as the car shows no signs of wear and tear or battery degradation and is the easiest car we have ever driven.


[i] The 80% “Long Life” battery option was an option on the 24kWh leaf. Nissan have removed that option on the 30kWh Leaf.

[ii]http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/news/aa-fuel-for-thought-increased-cost-of-winter-motoring.html

[iii] At first there was no access to the Nissan Telematics system on the Isle of Man but campaigning by EVIOM who negotiated with Telenor, the company supplying the telematics infrastructure to Nissan, meant that the system has been available to IoM users since March 2014.

EVIOM took one of BMW's PHEVs for a spin recently (that's Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle to you). This is one of the first of many Plug-in versions of BMWs range that you will see. This 2-series shares the same drivetrain concept as the i8 supercar except with a 1.5 litre three cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet and the electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack at the rear. The 134bhp ICE combines with the 87bhp (65KW, the same as a Renault Zoe) combine for a total of 221bhp and 285lb ft.

The 5.7KWh battery was low when I collect the car so on my first proper drive the battery was almost totally depleted, although it had enough to pull away and crawl through traffic without the engine running. When driving in pure EV mode and the engine does kick in for more acceleration or to help with a steep incline it's hardly noticeable. It's very smooth indeed. If you put your foot down the engine does kick in smoothly and build to a roar unfamiliar to someone who has been driving an EV for some time. One thing I did notice, as with any automatic petrol engined car, when you pull away there is a little bit of a delay or lag as you wait for the revs to build, which you don't have in an EV or with the Active Tourer in pure EV mode. One odd sensation is when you pull up the a junction and stop you feel the engine cut out (earlier than a ICE with stop/start) but you can still pull away on motor only.

Given that the motor in this car was only 65KW, the same as my Zoe, I thought in EV mode it would be somewhat sluggish due to the extra weight over the French hatchback. I was pleasantly surprised, however, how "nippy" the BMW felt away from the lights and around town. Something I put down to torque of the electric motor. In EV mode the car can be driven to over 70MPH with a real world range of 21 miles.

After driving around Douglas to get used to the car I headed over the mountain road to Ramsey. By this point the battery was very low again so the car needed the petrol engine to pull me up Brae Hill at 27MPH. I wanted to see how much charge I would get from the engine running up hill and the re-gen down to Royal Ramsey. I found that there were some spots where I was using a very light or neutral throttle but if I was driving an EV the car would be regenerating power. I didn't feel I was getting as much back into the battery as I would expect, the car needed the longer and steeper downhills to make best use of the kinetic energy. This meant I didn't get as much power back as I would had hoped and felt I was burning fuel just to keep the car at a constant speed on the level.

There are three drive modes of Sport, comfort, Eco Pro. In sport mode you get the full combined mode of the electric motor and petrol engine, Eco mode it limits the power and prefers battery power. Comfort mode gives the best balance between the two. I found Eco mode a bit sluggish and I'm never convinced how much more economical these modes are. I believe you can get just as good economy or even better by having a disciplined right foot.

I tried the next day to do my normal commute of around 13 miles in "Max eDrive" mode, EV mode. I was almost successful but the petrol engine did kick in to pull me up a hill above 50mph. Once the car has fired up it's engine it switches out of Max eDrive but once your are done with the engine it it shuts of. The car doesn't, however, turn back into an EV which would have been nice. Instead I had to manually select the mode again from the button juts obscured by the gear lever. I managed to gain 3% of the battery capacity on the longish downhill stretch but I would expect to get 3% of a much larger EV battery back. I would be nice to be able to turn the re-gen up a notch like you can in many EVs for steep hills. This commute registered 5.3m/KWh and 99.99mpg (above what it registers) 8 miles and 40% left in the battery after starting with 21 miles EV range.

Not that this isn't a good looking car but is design leans more towards the practical than the beautiful. For many people this would be a very practical car, the large boot hatch opens to reveal a gigantic aperture to load your  shopping, dogs, etc into. With no boot sill it's easy for the little mutts to jump in or for you to sit down and change those muddy boots under the cover of the boot lid. At the touch of a button the boot lowers and closes firmly. Its height also helps to load passengers. The look of the car is of a large SUV but it's by no means over sized externally while being roomy inside. There's no squeezing either an adult or a baby into a car seat.

As lover of pure EVs I wasn't totally ready to like this car. I have to admit, though, that it won me over. It does the EV thing very well (if only for a short distance) and the hybrid drive is almost seamless. I can see this car suiting those people who aren't ready to commit to a pure EV or the compromise that currently means. Until there are more EVs of this size, performance and range on the market the BMW 225xe Active Tourer is a good stepping stone while you wait to the car industry to catch up (with the likes of the Tesla Model X) and you get used to plugging your car in.

Thanks to Buchanan BMW for the loan of the BMW 225xe Active Tourer. For more information contact 01624 616161 or visit http://www.buchananbmw.co.uk/.

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You may or may not be aware that Tesla Motors visited the Isle of Man recently to meet potential customers and offer test drives in a Model S P90D they brought with them. EVIOM managed to wangle a go.

Lets get the numbers out of the way first. Or rather the numbers and letters. The model we tested was the P90D, that's 'P' for Performance as this model has the more powerful motor in the rear. '90' denotes a battery capacity of 90KWh, it's the 85KWh model with an optional upgrade giving the car an increase in range of 6%. The 'D" means all-wheel drive, one motor in the front and one in the rear with no heavy drive-shaft between the two axles, this means the floor of the cabin is flat and there are no restriction of leg room.

Screenshot 2016-02-03 21.07.09The Model S comes in a range of versions from the rear-wheel drive 70 starting at £51,900 all the way to the P90D at £84,500. Both prices are before incentives such at the UK plug-in car grant if you are able to register the car in the UK rather than the Isle of Man. There are a range of additional options available such as Smart Air Suspension which automatically adjusts itself to the road surface and is location aware so can learn where your steep driveway is and raise the suspension for you. There is also the famous Autopilot feature which allows the Model S to automatically steer within its own lane, it has traffic-aware cruise control and will park for you as well. Our Model S had the acceleration choices of Sport and Insane mode allowing the car to accelerate from 0-60MPH in in just 3.1 seconds, the optional Ludicrous mode decreases this to 2.8 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 10.9 seconds. Not bad for a 7 seater luxury car. Range is the Tesla's other impressive number with NEDC claimed figures between 275 and 320 depending on the battery chosen. Take a look at the Tesla Motors website and build your own model S to the spec you want.

The numbers are all very impressive, whether they be prefixed with pound signs or suffixed with the letters M, P and H. But what Tesla Motors have built here is a high quality luxury car with superb ride quality, more technology that the space shuttle (maybe not a SpaceX rocket) and negligible running costs. One potential owner said he wouldn't be buying a Model S after all because of the price of electricity on the Isle of Man. This seems to be the most misinformed reason for not buying a Tesla, assuming you could afford the asking price, so I got out my calculator. If you charged the P90D at the peak rate electricity price of 16.25p per unit it would cost you £14.62 (plus VAT at 5%) to charge from totally flat to full and on that you could reasonably drive around 300 miles. If you can't afford that then you can't afford any car let alone a Tesla!

The car drives so smoothly whether you're in traffic, pootling around country lanes or exploring all that Insane mode has to offer. No matter how you are driving it there are no extra vibrations or noise, something that EV drivers are already accustomed to. The Tesla just turns this up to 11, or down from 11, erm... Throttle response is instant as there's no waiting for revs to build or for an automatic gearbox to decide what gear you should be in. I recently drove a Mercedes C class (hybrid) and was so annoyed by the throttle lag and noise from the engine when it finally decided to do what I told it to do. EVs have spoiled me on this front but this is the 21st century after all. Although all modern EVs have this instant torque and response you can use the Model S as you like without worrying about range due to the size of the battery.

The battery itself is an impressive piece of technology. You can charge the car from a  domestic 10 amp 3-pin socket, giving you a measly 7 miles per hour on charge, right up to the Tesla Supercharger which has a whacking great 120KW DC Screenshot 2016-02-03 21.21.10kick and will give you 170 miles range per half hour charge. The Tesla isn't picky when it comes to charging, the car has a type-2 7-pin socket with a range of standard and optional adaptors allowing you to take advantage of almost any kind of power socket such as an industrial 3-phase supply or a CHAdeMO DC rapid charger such as those found at UK motorway service stations and supplied by Ecotricity. Both the Tesla Superchargers and Ecotricty rapid chargers are free to use.

The interior of the car has everything you'd expect on a high-end luxury car, there's too much for me to list here. The most striking feature of the interior is the 17" touch screen which makes up the centre console.

From here you control most of the car's functions from media, navigation, phone, lights, ride height, regenerative braking and even check you calendar. It's quite an imposing console and I must admit that at first sight it gave the impression of a 60 inch TV in a bed sit. Once you realise that there are no other buttons or controls on the centre console it starts to look OK, much like that 60 inch TV over time. For the iPad generation its intuitive and responsive to use.

The Model S is far from being an everyman car, but this is precisely what it isn't trying to be. Tesla took a top down approach when building cars for the first time with the Roadster then the Model S and soon the Model X. If you were in the market for a high performance yet practical luxury car it would be ludicrous (no pun intended) not to go for the Model S. Just because you have the finances for a car like this doesn't mean you want to throw money away on services and fuel costs. Plus there's the superior feel and response of the electric drive train, once you've driven electric you won't want to go back to 19th century technology. I don't want to get into the debate on whether EVs are "green" but they are responsible for fewer harmful emissions in our towns and cities so that has to be a consideration too and that also means that the Model S is exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

I like what Tesla and their CEO Elon Musk have tried to do. They've aspired to create a new car company that doesn't follow the same tired road that the rest do and have forced the established car manufacturers into a position where they are playing catchup. Tesla have made their patents freely available to anyone to try to encourage others to start building credible EVs, it's amazing more haven't as yet. The Tesla model S isn't a car I can't afford to own myself but it's certainly one I aspire to own, that's got to be the mark of a great piece of design, engineering and not to mention marketing.

EVIOM would like to thank Tesla Motors for allowing us the test drive. Especially Jean-Luc and Wendy from Tesla Motors, Manchester South.

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