I love cars, always have. But there’s no getting around the fact the series of controlled explosions driving most of them is getting a bit long in the tooth. I mean you can stuff them as full of tech as you want, but it’d be stretching it a bit to call petrol cars ‘gadgets’.
The real innovation is happening in electric cars (no I’m not talking about things like the vile Gee-Wiz). Companies like Tesla are making electric cars that are simple to use, look good and (mostly) just work. Sounds a lot like Apple, doesn’t it?
If you accept that logic, then Tesla’s new Model S car is as pretty a gadget as you could hope for, and it’ll be available to the public come 22 June.
Tesla claims that the Model S is the “the first premium sedan designed from the ground up to take full advantage of electric vehicle architecture”.
According to Tesla CEO and billionaire genius Elon Musk, the Model S is the latest step in the evolution of a plan that started six years ago:
“In 2006 our plan was to build an electric sports car followed by an affordable electric sedan, and reduce our dependence on oil. Delivering Model S is a key part of that plan and represents Tesla’s transition to a mass-production automaker and the most compelling car company of the 21st century.”
This electric beast goes from 0-60 mph (97kph) in 4.4 seconds. That’s fast for a sedan. Very fast.
The Model S isn’t exactly short on tech either. It comes standard with a 17” in-dash touchscreen with internet capabilities, allowing for streaming radio, web browsing and navigation.
Tesla also promises that the car “has the longest range of any electric car in the world”, although it doesn’t give specifics on what that range actually is.
With space for five adults and additional two children, this could be one of the most family friendly gadgets in history.
Still, until Musk and his team develop batteries that charge in minutes* rather than hours, we wouldn’t exactly advise taking it on a long road trip.
*Tesla might actually be able to hold off on developing those batteries for a while. A company called Better Place is building a new battery swapping infrastructure. Here’s how it works: Better Place has a series of stations along main routes. Once your juice is empty, you simply drive up to the station and robots replace your empty battery for a fully charged one “in less time than it takes to fill up with petrol”.
We’re reliably informed that the company is testing out the solution on “Road Islands” in Israel and Hawaii with plans to scale up Australia in the near future. Oh and if the company’s bumpf is to be believed it only uses renewable energy to charge the batteries.
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