Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Now for some real EV news: I've put down a $2,500 deposit on a Tesla Model S 60

On Monday, I test drove an all-electric Tesla Model S 60, the base model, from the company owned showroom and service center on Route 17 in Paramus, N.J., above and below.

Today, I logged onto the TeslaMotors.com site and placed a $2,500 deposit on the Model S 60 I had configured a few weeks ago. My luxurious four-door hatchback is scheduled to be delivered in late April.



By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

After I take delivery of my Tesla Model S in late April, the only reason I'll have to visit a gas station is to adjust tire pressures.

With several options, my 60 kWh Model S will cost $79,120, including a "destination and regulatory documentation fee" of $1,170.

I won't have to pay New Jersey's 7% sales tax (take that, Governor Christie, you're no friend of the environment).

And in a year or so, when my accountant prepares our 2015 tax return, I will able to claim part or all of a $7,500 federal tax credit.*

*The caveat is that I have to have a tax liability that meets or exceeds the $7,500, and I have to use the credit in the 2015 tax year or lose it.

The Model S is the most expensive car I have ever bought, and might very well be this retired senior citizen's last car.

We'll be keeping our 2007 and 2010 Toyota Prius hybrids, our stepping stones to the all-electric Model S.

On Monday, I visited Tesla's showroom and service center on Route 17 north in Paramus, and spoke to Andrew, a product specialist, about battery warranties and other concerns.

Then, I went for a test drive on Route 17 north and took an exit to experience the quiet Model S on some of Bergen County's winding two-lane roads.




Tesla Motors has eliminated most of the buttons and switches found in conventional cars with this 17-inch touch screen in the Model S.
One option I chose is Red Multi-Coat Paint ($1,500) as seen on this Model S on display at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan.



Red paint, other options

The Model S 60 has a base price of $69,900.

The options I chose are Red Multi-Coat Paint, $1,500; Tan Leather Seats, also $1,500; Carbon Fiber Decor, $800; and Tech Package with Autopilot, $4,250.

My Model S 60 has an EPA range of 208 miles on a full charge, a 380-horsepower electric motor and a 120 mph top speed, and will go 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds.

But I'm part of the cruise-control generation, and often use that aid in local driving and on highways, where I set my speed about 5 mph over the limit and watch lead-footed drivers pass me on both sides.

This year, I won't be able to drive my Model S 60 the 350 miles to Montreal for the International Jazz Festival, because there is only one Tesla Supercharger on the New York State Thruway.

In 2016, a second Supercharger will make that trip possible in one day.

The rest of the year, I drive locally and probably won't have to charge the car at home but once a week.


A new and a used Bugatti at Manhattan Motorcars on 11th Avenue.


Bugattis and black cars

California-based Tesla Motors is selling more and more all-electric cars at a time when conventional manufacturers still indulge in such excesses as a 1,200-horsepower Bugatti and increasingly larger SUVs that often are used as black cars and limousines.

At Manhattan Motorcars on Saturday, I stared in disbelief at the sticker on a new Bugatti.

MSRP is $2,790,000. Top speed is listed as 256 mph.

The two-seater gets 8 mpg (combined city/highway), and the federal gas-guzzler tax is $6,400 -- hardly a disincentive to anyone who can afford this technological relic.

Then you'll have to deal with a young saleswoman who wears tight jeans and too much make-up.

You might hear her talking loudly on the telephone to a customer, instructing him to wire her $10,000 as a deposit on a sports car, which, of course, is such a "great deal."



More gas guzzlers in the showroom of Manhattan Motorcars, above and below.



On the streets of Manhattan, new, bigger models of the Chevrolet Suburban and Cadillac Escalade are being pressed into service as black cars and limousines.

All of them carry New York plates beginning with "T" and ending in "C."

Their drivers, along with those in smaller, black Toyota Camrys used by car services, can be seen parked and double-parked near expensive restaurants and party venues into the wee hours.

Scurrying through the city's darkened streets, they resemble hundreds of oversized cockroaches.