It's Better Than Television - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: It's Better Than Television

April 1, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

It's a typical Tuesday night and I have no pants. Well, I have pants, but they're piled up in the laundry basket and I'm running low on work-appropriate clothes.

Weeknight laundry gives me a chance to relax on the couch and catch up on my DVR, but tonight I'm not even remotely interested in what the 500 channels on my TV have to offer. I have our long-term 2013 Tesla Model S and I've decided I'm going to squeeze in a drive before my pants dry.

9:52 PM: The clean/wet laundry is ready to be transferred and I set my timer to match all three dryers. I've got 53 minutes and my desired route is 32.2 miles. Everything respectable I own is being dried, and I get the distinct feeling I'm the least refined person to ever drive a Tesla. I start the dryers, grab my camera bag and run for the car.

9:57 PM: Finally, I get to drive the Model S on the freeway and it feels even better here than on city roads. It's one of the quietest cars I've ever driven. I imagine this is what the backseat of a Rolls-Royce sounds like and that idea bores me. I roll the windows down, put back the sunroof, shout a voice command and the Tesla blasts "Sleep Now in the Fire" through its incredible 580-watt, 12-speaker sound system. These go up to eleven.

2013 Tesla Model S

9:59 PM: The highway is quiet and I don't have far to go. I pull off the main road to enjoy some tighter turns and do a completely non-scientific test of the "Rated Range" on the Tesla. A curvy, uphill, 4.3-mile-long stretch of road is next.

2013 Tesla Model S

10:07 PM: I'm stuck behind a row of slow moving cars. The Tesla Model S is over six feet wide and it's expensive. I'm keeping a very watchful eye out for guard rail changes, deer, birds, branches, leaves, pebbles, gum wrappers other various contraband along the road. The climb uphill has relieved the Tesla of 10 miles of estimated range, but we've only travelled 4.4 miles.

2013 Tesla Model S

10:14 PM: For consistency, I take it easy on the downhill part, too. In the same distance, the car only uses two miles of estimated range. I, of course, have regenerative braking and non-use of the throttle to thank for this efficiency.

2013 Tesla Model S

10:25 PM: I stop on Pacific Coast Highway for a moment to enjoy the view. With the Model S still running, all I can hear are the waves. For a minute I forget about the dress shirts tumbling at home. I'm out of quarters and wrinkles set in quickly so it's time to go.

2013 Tesla Model S

10:39 PM: I pull in to the underground garage, back our long-term Tesla Model S in to my parking spot and pull out my phone. There's plenty of time to spare. I hang up, fold, roll and put away my clean clothes and don't even bother turning on the television before settling in for the night.

I've had my fair share of entertainment for the evening and I believe I've answered the age old question that plagued great minds like Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin: "Is it possible to put three loads of laundry in the dryer, go on a canyon run in a $100,000 electric supercar and get back before the buzzer goes off?" Yes. Yes it is.

Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 1,787 miles


  • cotak cotak Posts:

    I am sure quite a few people reading this might imagine you were driving this commando or just in underwear....

  • throwback throwback Posts:

    I hope you were wearing something! Is it possible to turn off the display of the center screen? I would think having a screen that big blazing away at night would be distracting.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    You better plug in the car before this post gets flooded with 50 replies.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    You foolish tool of the oil industry! How dare you blatantly attempt to deceive the public about this miracle car's amazing abilities by running it uphill and decreasing the range below the ideal, then having the audacity to declare that "real world"? Such blasphemy against the great Prophet Elon shall not be tolerated! Someone needs to show you how to drive the car. If you were a real owner you'd only run it downhill to achieve the maximum possible range. Doing anything but that is clearly a deliberate attempt to put the company out of business through pure spite.

  • zhangrenhou zhangrenhou Posts:

    throwback, I believe the center screen goes into "night mode" and is less distracting or not distracting at all. Travis, I would prefer driving, instead of watching television, too!

  • mayhemm mayhemm Posts:

    @throwback: In addition to the aforementioned "night mode", you can crank down the brightness to a level you find acceptable. As the screen is the control center for the car, I don't believe you can turn it completely off, however.

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