Who said we could not travel by electric car?
Tesla Model S 75D, The Tesla range evolves regularly, according to new equipment and especially new updates. And while waiting for the new “small” Model 3, the range of the Californian manufacturer still counts only two models, in recent weeks have landed some new features, especially equipment.
But motorization also moves with a version of access to the Model S range that is called 75D. “75” for 75 kWh. “D” for Dual Motor, so four-wheel drive. It is this version of call, the model currently the cheapest, but also the one that offers the least autonomy, which we were able to take in hand for a few days. And while the government announcements on the prioritization of electric vehicles in the coming years are linked, we have been able to test daily the one that continues to intrigue pedestrians but also on a long journey. The opportunity especially to see if the persistent ideas on the lack of autonomy always have place to be. And if driving in Tesla is so expensive?
Compared to the Tesla Model S 90D that we could test last November, aesthetically, nothing changes on our 75D. It benefits from the last restylage of the model, which goes back still to April 2016, with this grille very thin and its fires in the form of piercing eyes, sublime when lit with LED. A look that continues to act as a magnet to people who cross the car.
But to take a closer look, this Tesla 75D conceals some aesthetic novelties. Especially this roof that becomes panoramic. Smoked, it allows to bring light into the cockpit, but is not occultable. For the sunroof, count 2100 € more. Details that are also technological since it involves integrated cameras all around the car, almost invisible. From one, then four, we switch to eight cameras, housed in the door jambs, in the turn signal repeaters on the front fenders, in the windscreen … The Tesla Model S is ready to drive 100% autonomous … When it will be allowed!
The 19-inch wheels are standard, and even if less glamorous, are much easier to live on a daily basis than the 21-inch wheels. An option at € 4700 anyway. Already because the Model S remains an imposing sedan, almost 5 meters. Then, because they have less wind, they are less energy-consuming and play less on autonomy.
Better equipped, fewer options
For the chapter on the interior of the Model S, little change from our previous tests. If not these inserts in ash wood, the most beautiful effect. For the rest the Model S is always as welcoming, the comfort is perfect in the front as in the back, where we will regret anyway the absence of central armrest. The finish is excellent, the replacement of some buttons from Mercedes we looked forward to, and feel in a vehicle ahead of its time does not leave us with the screens facing the driver, behind the wheel, to the excellent legibility, and obviously this immense vertical tablet in the center.
The new features on our Tesla Model S 75D test come from the equipment since, in order to simplify the configuration of the vehicle, the Palo Alto firm has grouped some old options in the form of a pack. In this case, it is the Premium expansion pack with the famous air filter and its defense against bacteriological weapons (!), The high-end audio system or the former pack ice with the seats heated front and rear, heated steering wheel … A pack expensive, 5200 €, but much more affordable than before where you had to add up the options.
Paris to Strasbourg? Easy !
A thundering acceleration, a total silence … the chapter of the conduct of a Tesla can often be summed up with the same thing. Even in this entry-level 75D version, it displays such a strong acceleration, 4.4 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h, that the P85 fire, which in 2012 was at the top of the Tesla! In addition, the Smart Air suspension is now part of the standard equipment, offering royal comfort, and allowing to change the height of the body.
But first of all during this test of the Tesla Model S 75D, we wanted to test its autonomy. There is no question of scientific calculations which, depending on the outside temperature multiplied by the speed while retaining the ventilation force of the air conditioning would be supposed to tell us how many kilometers one can hold. No. Nobody has time to calculate that. Simply know if we can go on weekends when we want to France. And thus to undermine or corroborate this persistent idea of wanting to compare at any price the autonomy of an electric car with that of a thermal car.
For this the Tesla has an indispensable tool. The integrated geolocation of all the charging stations and superchargers of the brand. And directly integrated with navigation. That is, if you are planning a Paris-Strasbourg trip, you will return to the destination, and depending on your current level of car load, you will be directed to this or that Supercharger on your way to hand over this that it takes electricity in the batteries to reach the end.
As a reminder, this Tesla Model S 75D is given for a Nedc autonomy of 490 km. The journey between the City of Light and the shortest capital of Alsace is 499 km. Oops. Especially as on the car, the load is displayed as full at 395 km. But is this really a problem? You will see that no. Then our huge screen tells us that there will be a stop on the A4 motorway, at Superchargeur located on the Reims-Champagne-Nord area. We will then be 41% battery autonomy. A stop of 50 minutes is advisable, to arrive in Strasbourg with 9% of battery. It\’s that simple.
Well then obviously, unaccustomed to the electric we are, a little apprehension while reading 9% persists. And it will be quickly lifted as our journey and our energy consumption (no question of making a cross on the excellent sound or air conditioning, or even to drive at 120 km / h to try to grab a few kilometers of autonomy!) which falls faster than expected by the system, a second stop at the Superchargerur Metz is recommended. About ten minutes.
Tesla even says that 99% of the French population lives within 130 km of a Superchargeur.
At the time of the writing of this test, 59 stations are dispersed on the French territory, for more than 450 stations. Tesla even says that 99% of the French population lives within 130 km of a Superchargeur. On our first stop at a resort, we were alone, and had plenty to choose from. 50 minutes to kill at a gas station. The time to go get a coffee, a pit stop, check his emails, read a little. Time flies. And the Tesla application allows us to remotely check the remaining recharge time before re-starting. The second stop, express, hardly leaves us time to get out of the car. It must be said that the parking of a Leclerc is not the most glamorous.
In the end, the 499 km passed quickly, in a limousine comfort. And without engine noise. Probably enough to stay Zen and relativize the extra time spent on the ride. One more hour. But as in any case by car it is advisable to stop every two hours, and that a Paris-Strasbourg is supposed to be about five hours, even in thermal car we would stop twice. Let\’s say twice fifteen minutes? History that the whole family stretch their legs? That is 30 minutes. So only 30 minutes less than for the Tesla.
But during our weekend in this Tesla and meetings made stopping in the various Superchargeurs, we also learn some tricks to optimize its journey! The first lesson is addressed to us, French, who remain hanging from the autonomy of the car. In the stations of the east of France where we stopped, there were very few Tesla with French plates. Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland … Some have apparently had far longer journeys than ours! It\’s the cool side too, is to meet people, all driven by this belief in electric vehicles, and faith in Tesla! But you are reassured, no obligation to speak, some lengthen the seat and sleep at a closed point!
“As soon as we can recharge our smartphone, we do it, we do not wait to be at the end of the battery to recharge.
A couple of Norwegians thus made the analogy between the recharging of a smartphone and an electric car. “As soon as we can recharge our smartphone, we do it, we do not wait to be at the end of the battery to recharge, for an electric car it\’s the same!”. Basically, there is nothing to be afraid of autonomy in the sense that as soon as you can, you have to recharge. It should be remembered that in the European country champion of electric cars (the Model X is the second most sold electric model behind the VW e-Golf) infrastructures are much more developed than with us. And helps to purchase too. But it is still an interesting teaching for us who swear by total autonomy!
For its part, a Swiss gave us a trick to recharge faster. When a station with eight Supercharged terminals already has some cars that are recharging, you have to put yourself next to the car that is closest to the end of its charge. A simple reason: the terminals work in pairs. So if a car already occupies a terminal on a pair, it receives the largest flow of electricity. And if you add to it, your recharge will go much less quickly. We are talking about a recovery of more than 500 km every hour, as against 150. Besides to know how fast a car recharges, one must go to see the speed at which the light flickers that is next to the plug on the car. You must know it.
As the flow is also very important at the beginning of a refill and decreases as time goes on, to optimize a trip and recharge time, such as when, between Paris and Strasbourg, we have to stop twice as we we did, rather than wait for the 50 minutes of refills recommended by the car, just have to stay less time at first recharge, set off faster to the next recharge. Better divide the different stops. Rather than 50 min then 10 min, do as much as twice 20 minutes. It saves time, for an equivalent level of recharge. You had to know!
On the other hand, do not rely too much on a recharge at home, unless you opt for a Tesla wall connector (Tesla Wall Connector) that can charge up to 81 km / h. During our test, we plugged the car into the car and tried to recharge it. But at the rate of 12 km recovered per hour, it takes more than 24 hours to recharge the car …
Conclusion of Tesla Model S 75D
The real brake in the electric, therefore, is not autonomy as we hear all the time. At least not in Tesla. The brake is psychological. Change your habits. The fear of breakdown. But there is also obviously the price. Though!
On the configurator, a Tesla Model S 75D similar to the test model is displayed from 79\’200 €. Or from 697 € per month. In absolute terms, it is expensive. But it should not be forgotten that the Model S is a luxurious and very well equipped car. And that one full of electricity will only cost you a few euros if you recharge at home. Free if you go in Superchargeur, Tesla offering 400 kWh free per year, is much more than what the average user of Tesla consumes. Not to mention much less maintenance, a tax advantage to buy (6000 € for the 2018 scale) and even a small discount!
To each one to do his calculation according to his needs, but at Tesla we were shown a complete picture realized by a new customer who wished to compare to how much it would return a German sedan of medium range in diesel, in front of the Tesla Model S 75D . On paper, the gap is enormous. Also benefits. But after an Excel table to spend the least expense in detail, (until brake pad wear!) He realized that he could afford a Tesla for an identical annual price. A slight gain at the end of the year. What to indulge in? To your calculators!