At a venue that discussed sustainability of the nation and what’s good for the earth, Tesla made its verbal entry into UAE, later to take centre stage at the celebratory event at Armani hotel. Finally Tesla is here, officially.
I have seen a few Tesla models in UAE, brought in by enthusiasts of the electric revolution. Now, one can own it right here, like any other car. As befitting a futuristic vehicle, Tesla’s showroom is everywhere – online to be precise. From today, you can order one online after customizing it at the online design studio, and start expecting delivery this summer. However, Tesla has a pop up showroom in The Dubai Mall, and a total service centre that will open in July, next to the Interchange 2 in Dubai, and next year in Abu Dhabi.
Available in the UAE is one Tesla for the sedan lover and another for the SUV family. Model S and Model X respectively. Model S starts from AED 275,000 onwards and Model X from AED 344,000.
Where can you charge?
Electric cars need charging stations to be mobile, and Tesla naturally has taken care of that. Two Supercharging locations at The Last Exit in Jebel Ali and in Masdar City allow drivers to charge up in minutes, not hours; five more are scheduled to be up before the end of the year! 26 Destination Chargers are already available at 26 locations across the UAE, and 50 more are planned this year. These ‘destination chargers’ are conveniently located at malls and hotels, where the cars will get charged while you go about your business.
The maximum distance on a single full charge, (NEDC range) which is a very crucial parameter, is claimed to be the best in the industry – up to 632 km for the Model S and 565 km for the Model X.
Two Tesla models
Model S is the fully electric sedan that has reset the expectations of a whole market with great performance, the highest possible safety ratings, the longest range for any electric vehicle and, typical of a smart phone era, over-the-air software updates that keep making things better.
According to Tesla, Model X is the ‘safest, quickest and most capable sport utility vehicle in history’. Performance, utility and striking style come together in it with its falcon wing doors, canopy glass and seven seat configuration.
The Tesla architecture of placing the battery below the floor lowers the cars’ centre of gravity, reducing the risk of rollover for the SUV while enhancing handling and performance for the Model S.
The Tesla models’ spec sheet scorches you with acceleration figures that belong to a Sci-fi thriller. The Model S can touch 0-100 kmph in 2.7 seconds, making it the quickest four-door sedan ever built while the Model X can do it in 3.1 seconds on the way to a top speed of 250 kmph. And all this while – this is the best part – producing zero emissions!
Still better perhaps is the fact that all Tesla models in production, including Model 3, are equipped with the hardware required for full self-driving capability at a safety level much greater than a human driver! As of now, Model S and Model X owners can enjoy features like Autosteer, Auto Lane Change, Autopark and Summon, besides the over-the-air updates that will keep streaming in! Autosteer helps the driver steer within a lane, and maintain speed in relation to Traffic-aware cruise control. Auto lane change assists horizontal movement across lanes, by engaging the turn signal. Autopark, well, simply means hand off self-parking by the car. While I have had the opportunity to experience the others, Summon is a novelty straight out of a 007 movie, using which the Model S can be brought in an out of a parking space without entering the car with the aid of the mobile app or the key!
The future is here, finally!