"How do I find Tesla charging stations?"
On Aug. 19, Tesla announced it had the safest car in America with the 2013 Model S, which earned the top score, five stars, across six different crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Just 1% of cars tested earn five stars across all six grades, Tesla said, and the agency's overall vehicle safety score, which automakers receive from the agency, captures a rating above five stars — in this case, 5.4 stars. That makes the Model S the safest car ever tested by NHTSA under its tougher 2011 standards, Tesla said.
The Model S earns an overall vehicle safety score of 0.42 (lower is better), which beats other five-star cars like the Buick Verano (0.5) and Cadillac ATS (0.53) sedans. Tesla says that translates to 5.4 stars. But NHTSA demurred: "NHTSA does not rate vehicles beyond five stars and does not rank or order vehicles within the starred categories," the agency said in a statement to The New York Times. What's more, a number of other cars — from the ATS to the Honda Accord coupe — also get five stars across the board.
Dig into the details, and the stars reflect assessments of specific crash data — the individual readouts from various sensors on a crash-test dummy. Tesla argues, for example, that the Model S beats the Volvo S60 sedan (another car with five NHTSA stars across the board) because it preserved more driver space in NHTSA's side-pole test.
Tesla's electric sedan aced the government's crash safety test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the 2013 Model S earned an overall score of five stars and five stars across all areas of testing, including front, side and rollover tests.
While the five-star rating is impressive, the road has not entirely been smooth for the sedan. Earlier in the summer 1,228 Tesla sedans were recalled for improperly welded seat brackets. Tesla did not receive any reports of related accidents or injuries. Despite the recall, the news has been mostly good for the plug-in electric sedan maker; it recently announced that it sold a healthy 5,150 Model S electric vehicles in North America last quarter.
In front of gathered media and Tesla enthusiasts in Hawthorne, Calif., on Thursday night, California electric-vehicle maker Tesla did something quite remarkable. It parked a Model S sedan over a staging area with guided rails (similar to the rails at an automated car wash) and, via robotic arms beneath the car, swapped out the car's battery pack for a new one in about 90 seconds — nuts, bolts and all.
Currently, Model S owners who show up at Tesla's network of quick-charge "supercharger" stations can get enough juice for 180 miles' range in just 30 minutes for free.
Now, if you're in a hurry — or the station already has a line for the fast chargers — Tesla will perform an automated battery swap for about as much as it costs to fill up at a gas station.
Tesla is recalling 1,228 model-year 2013 Model S electric vehicles due to a problem with the seats that could cause seatbacks to come loose in an accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Affected vehicles were manufactured between May 10 and June 8, 2013. An improper method for aligning the left-hand seatback striker to the bracket may have weakened the weld between the bracket and the frame of the vehicle. In the event of a crash, the left-hand seatback may not stay mounted, increasing the risk of injury to passengers.
Tesla will notify owners of the recall but has not yet provided a notification schedule; dealers will inspect the left-hand second-row strikers and fix the problem for free by installing additional mounting hardware to ensure a proper joint between the bracket and the frame. Owners can call Tesla at 650-681-5000, NHTSA’s vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.Related
Thursday’s pricing announcement for the Chevrolet Spark EV likely piqued some interest on the West Coast, but chances are few others gave it much attention. GM will sell the all-electric hatchback only in California and Oregon; the automaker has announced no plans to sell it elsewhere, spokesman Kevin Kelly told us.
Where can EV fans find their cars? We tallied up the states.
No surprise: Californians get the biggest slice of the EV pie. Thank the state's zero-emissions vehicle mandate, which requires automakers to sell a certain percentage of zero-emissions vehicles, explained Ed Kim, AutoPacific's vice president of industry analysis. Nearby Washington state has adopted California's emissions requirements but not the ZEV quota, and states such as Oregon and a number along the East Coast have adopted both.
The emissions requirement should eventually align with the federal government's 2025 corporate average fuel economy requirements. But it still means "a plug-in car sold in Oregon counts towards California’s required ZEV volume for the automaker that makes that vehicle," Kim wrote in an email. "It’s not a natural consumer market for such vehicles, but rather a market legislated into existence."
Tesla said the $451.8 million wired today represented the balance, plus interest, of a $465 million loan awarded in 2010 under the DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program. The program, which launched under President George W. Bush in 2007, has also benefited plug-in-vehicle development at Fisker Automotive, Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Tesla is the first company to repay its loan, with nine years to spare.
Buying the 2012 Tesla Model S is like acquiring a Picasso with the caveat that the artist will show up periodically, at inconvenient times, to make touch ups and fix problems: It's a work in progress. Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder says much of the all-electric car's original composition is brilliant, especially its "staggeringly quick" acceleration, unparalleled range and charging speed. While convenient wireless software upgrades may spirit away many of the Model S' problems, would you pay $100,000 for a car whose "butt sensor" might kill the engine when the driver simply leans too far to the side?2012 Tesla Model S Review
Tesla's electric Model S combines unprecedented driving range and quick charging times. Thanks to the many different plug adapters, you have flexibility over how quickly the Model S can charge, from a standard 120-volt home outlet to a variety of 240-volt plugs that can return up to 30 miles per hour of charging. Tesla's system eliminates the need for Level 2 home charging hardware, which adds cost. With advanced technology comes issues, however. Cars.com Reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at some of the grievances that bothered him like the unique door handles, obnoxious seat-bottom weight sensors and charging port door.
The Tesla Model S is an all-new, all-electric family car available to the mainstream market. With a starting price just over $57,000, the Model S brings attractive styling, impressive driving dynamics and up to 300 miles of pure electric driving. Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the outrageously quick Model S and explains some of the high-tech quirks and why he thinks key improvements need to be made to make this a true American family car.
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