Ask most car buyers what’s holding them back from going electric and the answer will most commonly be two words: range anxiety.
The fear of running out of juice on a journey is a huge barrier for motorists, not least because while there are currently more than 4400 charging stations across the country, there are more than twice that number of petrol stations, so there’s still plenty of work needed to bring the UK’s electric car infrastructure up to scratch. Of course, though, EV owners also have the option of charging at home.
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The P100D is also capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in a staggering 2.4sec, but there may be some owners willing to sacrifice a drop in speed (and price) for more range. Enter this, then, the 100D. With an official range of 393 miles on a single charge, it’s the farthest-travelling electric car you can currently buy, and with prices starting from £90,000, it’s also significantly cheaper than the P100D.
What's it like?
You’ll like this: it’s almost exactly the same as a regular Model S, just with more range. Now as usual, that headline-grabbing figure of 393 miles is a little optimistic for real-world use, but 320 miles should be comfortably achievable if you reign in your right foot.
And 320 miles is a long way – it’s enough to get you from London to Birmingham and back with range to spare. In a single bound from the capital, you’d get as far as Sunderland before needing to pull over. And thanks to Tesla’s clever infotainment system, the sat-nav can re-route you to the nearest charging point along your destination, and even tell you how many bays are free.
Inside, it’s much the same as before, too. There’s a new panoramic roof which lets more light in, but aside from that, it’s unchanged. Of course that means Tesla’s hallmark 17.0in touchscreen infotainment screen features, too, and while it takes some getting used to, it’s beautifully designed and offers a huge array of functions. Our only gripe is even with the brightness turned down, it’s still a little dazzling at night. Interior quality is also a little off the mark for a car in this price bracket.
Should I buy one?
If range anxiety is the biggest barrier to your taking the plunge into electic motoring right now, then absolutely. This Model S can travel further than just about any other electric car on sale, and in doing so removes fear of running out of fuel. Even when you do put your foot down, the drop in range is minuscule. Plus, having charged your car at home first, there's still Tesla's Supercharger network to get you where you need to go, and smaller destination chargers to keep you topped up when you get there.