As you may have noted, the blog has been on summer leave and both Sven and myself have done a lot of driving. Sven recorded a clear win going all through Europe from Barcelona to Stockholm, for my part it was shorter but I did nevertheless cover the roughly 3.000 kms back and forth between Zurich and Sweden’s west coast.
Going north, from somewhere around Hamburg and onwards, you start noticing a large number of Teslas. Some in Germany, more in Denmark and clearly most in Sweden, although many of these are on Norwegian plates. The ones I saw all had one thing in common: none of them were enjoying the stomach-gripping torque and acceleration the Model S is capable of. In fact with one exception, they were all traveling in grandpa speed in the right lane, a number of them behind a truck or – God forbid – a caravan-towing car.
Surely this must be due to a combination of the laws of physics and human psychology. Physics to the extend that you can’t replace acceleration with distance/autonomy (only a larger battery pack will allow you to go further on a charge), and psychology insofar as when you see your remaining distance dropping quickly on the futuristic digital screen each time you use your right foot, you become careful. It doesn’t matter if you have planned your route and know that you should safely make it to the next charging station, it is human nature wanting to make sure you get there, so your speed drops. Surely you could claim that this phenomenon is temporary and that when there are as many supercharging stations as petrol stations (or at least vastly more than today) the problem will be solved, but then again charging will still take 20 minutes, something that will not change until battery technology sees a revolution.
Until then, it seems that the main reason people who enjoy driving quote when buying a Tesla, the torque and acceleration, is a bit like buying a Cayenne in southern California because it is four-wheel drive…