Tesla arrives in New Zealand

Click to enlarge
Tesla Model 3.

Tesla Model 3.

1 of 2
Tesla Model 3 and charging station.

Tesla Model 3 and charging station.

2 of 2

An electric motor has arguably become the best technology for most people’s motoring needs. And the global backdrop suggests we’re trending towards a tipping point in favour of EVs.

In 2016 alone, the worldwide market for pure EVs and plug-in hybrids totaled over 600,000 cars – a 50 per cent increase on 2015. Just over half were wholly electric-powered, and about 76,000 of those were built by California-based Tesla Motors.

Tesla has dominated the long-range, high-performance EV ranks since 2013 with its Model S saloons and gull-winged Model X SUVs. Meanwhile volume production of the smaller, medium-range Model 3 is scheduled to begin late this year. Much hinges on the success of the Model 3 and Tesla’s new battery factory – the so-called Gigafactory – if the company is to achieve its near-term goal of manufacturing 500,000 cars a year.

In line with global growth, Tesla is set to open a retail outlet and service centre in Auckland and plans to promptly install its own charging stations throughout the North Island. Tesla’s Superchargers can replenish a battery pack to 80 per cent in less than 30 minutes.

Combined with expectations of breakthroughs in battery technology, the next generation of EVs will be far more usable than the current crop, reducing anxiety over range limitations in real-world driving conditions. And Tesla is already capable of producing 500,000 lithium-ion batteries each year at its US$5bn Gigafactory in Nevada.

Tesla Model 3 and charging station.

The curvaceous Model S is a particularly sleek and distinctive saloon with a low, sporting stance and genuine driver appeal. Electric motors provide immediate response with no lag, no gearshifts and no interruptions. And they’re supremely quiet. Their superior torque delivery compared with internal combustion engines transforms the driving experience and that extra responsiveness can make them safer when negotiating intersections.

Different levels of regenerative braking force make it almost possible to drive EVs as one-pedal cars due to instant retardation the moment you back off the accelerator. And they ride well but still feel planted to the road because the heaviest component is the battery pack, sited low between the axles to help lower the car’s centre of gravity. And because an electric powertrain is about 40 per cent more compact than a conventional one, it frees up more cabin space in typically shorter-nosed designs featuring load spaces front and rear.

A choice of two- or four-wheel drive caters well for our market, with the 4WD Tesla models deploying a vast amount of thrust with incredible efficiency. High-quality seats, fine material choices and large 17-inch screen displays have quickly become hallmarks of Tesla interiors. An optional autopilot feature is most useful on motorways, allowing Tesla models to steer, accelerate, brake and even park themselves.

Electric vehicles might still be a novel proposition occupying a niche corner of the New Zealand car market but that’s quickly changing and Tesla’s arrival is a sign of major change on the horizon.


More blog

History re-purposed

History re-purposed

Some of Te Papa’s treasures can now be licensed by designers to create anything from wrapping paper to fabric prints, wallpaper and historically-rich homeware products.
Issue 97 out now!

Issue 97 out now!

The April/May issue of Urbis is out now and is filled with food for thought on urban living and how to make high-density work in our favour.
Lexus + Sofitel competition winner announced

Lexus + Sofitel competition

Announcing the winner of the luxury weekend prize at the Lexus Design Awards installation from this year’s Designday event.
Artisan 2017

Artisan 2017

Artisan 2017, a new trade-only design event for retailers, interior designers and commercial professionals, hits three of our main centres this May.
Drum roll please...

Drum roll please…

Are you the lucky winner of the Giotto Evoluzione V2 coffee machine and a year’s supply of L’affare coffee, worth $4,000?

Most read

Theatre of small intimacies

Theatre of small intimacies

An apartment for a creative couple – an opera director and a film director – offers up drama and grand gestures mixed with subtle and delicate moments.
The elegant oasis

The elegant oasis

A neighbourhood is being reborn in the heart of Auckland’s city fringe. Currently in its second stage of development, SKHY is located on the corner of Symonds Street and Khyber Pass (hence its name) on an elevated site that is within walking distance of all the main centres.
Win a Kyoto outdoor bean bag

Win a Kyoto outdoor bean bag

It’s time to make the most of the last sunny days and balmy nights. Enter to win a designer Kyoto outdoor bean bag crafted by luxury furniture brand, Lujo.
Mad about Madrid

Mad about Madrid

This sophisticated, nine-storey inn was designed by Jaime Hayon as a contemporary take on classic Spanish motifs.
Designer profile: Francis Sultana

Designer profile: Francis Sultana

Camille Khouri talked to renowned interior and furniture designer Francis Sultana about his life as a designer and his beautifully furnished apartment (featured in the current issue of Urbis).
Modernist horizon

Modernist horizon

This holiday home in the Hawke’s Bay is equal parts relaxation, art gallery, viewing platform and a subtle homage to Palm Springs.
Issue 97 out now!

Issue 97 out now!

The April/May issue of Urbis is out now and is filled with food for thought on urban living and how to make high-density work in our favour.