Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You may have spent a lot to bring home Tesla's Model S, but then you save a lot

With dramatically flared front fenders and oval grille, my new Tesla Model S looks like a crouching tiger in the garage.



By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Boy, I really saved a lot of money when I picked up my new Tesla Model S 60 on Tuesday, but won't realize much of that for a year or more.

Immediately, I saved more than $5,678 in sales tax, which New Jersey forgives on purchases of the all-electric luxury hatchback.

I also received a $7,500 federal tax credit to use next year and next year only. 

If I don't have to pay $7,500 in federal taxes next April 15, I can only use part of it and will lose the rest.

The sticker on the car says "you save $7,750 in fuel costs over 5 years compared to the average new vehicle," according to the EPA and DOT.

My Model S 60 is classified as a large car that is rated at 95 MPGe.

With more than 60 solar panels on the roof of my home, I will spend much less to charge my Model S than other owners.

I usually pay nothing for electricity five or six months a year, and earn money by selling solar credits to my utility, Public Service Electric and Gas Co., through a middleman.



When plugged into a special 240-volt outlet, 29 miles of range is added each hour. To remove the charging cable, car must be unlocked. I admit I pulled and pulled before calling Tesla service to learn that simple secret.

Base  model with options

My Model S 60 was the base model (succeeded by the Model S 70D) with an MSRP of $69,900.

With options -- including $1,500 for red multi-coat paint, $2,000 for supercharging, $1,500 for tan leather seats and $800 for carbon-fiber decor accents -- total vehicle price was $81,120.

That includes destination and regulatory document fees of $1,170 and $4,250 for the Tech Package with Autopilot.

The special 240-outlet in my detached garage cost about $2,000 to install.


Inside, the door pull and handle are elegantly designed.

The Model S 60 has a government-certified range of 208 miles on a full charge.


As I left the Tesla Showroom and Service Center in Paramus, N.J., in my new Model S on Tuesday afternoon, a trucker was unloading more Teslas.

Styling and performance

When I looked at my new Tesla in the garage and driveway, I saw styling cues from Ferrari, Aston Martin, Corvette and other cars, new and old.

But overall the Model S, which debuted in mid-2012, still looks fresh and like nothing else on the road.

And though it is billed as a premium car, the firm suspension, adjustable steering effort and all that torque from the electric motor puts it firmly in the category of a performance car.