|In a garage in Englewood, N.J., the low-slung Tesla Model S seems small next to a midsize Mercedes-Benz SUV.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The Tesla Model S is many things to many owners, and when you're retired and don't drive as much as you once did, it's likely the cleanest, most efficient luxury car around.
On Wednesday, I had errands in Englewood. N.J. -- a 12-mile round-trip from my home -- and according to my emissions-free Tesla Model S, used 4 kilowatt hours of energy.
On the instrument panel, "Since last charge" tells you how far you've traveled and how much energy that took.
I charged the car overnight with a 240-volt socket in my garage, paying Public Service Electric and Gas Co. about 12 cents per kilowatt hour, but the utility also exacts a delivery charge -- for a total of about $1 for my round-trip to Englewood.
I've had my Model S since mid-April, and the one long trip we took -- to Montreal for the International Jazz Festival -- benefited from free charging near Albany, N.Y.; in Vergennes, Vt., and at the Tesla dealer in the French Canadian city.
At home, more than 60 solar panels on the roof generate solar credits that I can sell to my utility through a middleman.
The solar credits once were worth a lot more than now, but I still receive about $1,000 to $1,200 a year from their sale to PSE&G.
Since 2009, when the first set of panels were installed, I've also been able to write off their cost on my federal taxes.
So, taking all of that into account, I may be paying nothing to charge my Model S.
|At the Basin Harbor Club, a resort on Lake Champlain in Vergennes, Vt., I charged my Model S at no cost on June 27 for the final leg of our trip to the International Jazz Festival in Montreal.|