Wake up daily to our latest coverage of business done better, directly in your inbox.


Get your weekly dose of analysis on rising corporate activism.


The best of solutions journalism in the sustainability space, published monthly.

Select Newsletter

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

Leon Kaye headshot

Tesla: New Model S is the Fastest Production Car on Earth

By Leon Kaye

Analysts keep smacking down Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors, but the luxury car and now solar company keeps roaring back at its critics. This week the company staked its claim to having what is now the fastest production car ever manufactured in history.

Well, maybe the new Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode is technically the third fastest car. But Tesla makes its point that the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder were limited run cars that cost over $1 million and cannot be purchased new. The all-wheel drive Model S P100D, however, can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 2.5 seconds. And while the aforementioned European models are two-seaters with little extra space, the four-door Model S P100D can seat five people and has extra room for doing those pesky errands or embarking on a road trip.

Speaking of road trips, Tesla is also boasting that the Model S’s range has improved to 315 miles per charge when it is loaded with the company’s new 100 kWh battery. Tesla claims this makes the Model S the first electric car to go farther than 300 miles per charge. That ability to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco and extinguish consumers’ “range anxiety” may arrive soon after all.

It is Tesla’s new battery pack that is catching attention within the small but growing world of electric vehicles (EVs). In creating this more powerful battery pack, Tesla has loaded more energy capacity while still incorporating the same design. Tesla’s customers can upgrade from their current 90 kWh battery packs to the new 100 kWh version for a charge. According to Fortune, these newest battery packs can only be installed in Tesla’s more high-end at the moment, but will eventually make them available for all Models S and X in the long term. Musk’s Tuesday afternoon announcement about this new battery development led Tesla’s stock to spike up almost 2 percent in value before leveling off at the end of the day.

It will take several years until more consumers will be able to enjoy the fruits of Tesla’s innovation. The EV blog CleanTechnica says the P100D will add another $10,000 to that model’s sticker price, and the Ludicrous option will add another $10,000. Before any federal or state incentives kick in, that brings the sticker price to $135,500. Nevertheless, the automakers are watching Tesla nervously as they try to ramp up the production of their EV models. Despite rumors that it is falling behind schedule, GM says it will launch the production of its all-electric Chevy Bolt by the end of this month. BMW is also on target to make its BMW i8 all electric. Even though all electric vehicles have not even reached 1 percent of all sales in the U.S., the market is expanding as auto manufacturers are seeking to stay viable in the long run.

But according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, far more could be done in order for EVs to become entrenched in the marketplace. The NGO released a report that says while the interest and market here in the U.S. is there, automakers are doing a poor job of making these cars available, especially in California. “You can’t buy a car you can’t find,” says the lead author of the UCS study, which urges the car companies to sell its electric cars in more regional markets.

Image credit: Tesla Motors

Leon Kaye headshot

Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye