How Does the Tesla Electric Car Work?

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Tesla Electric Car

People have nicknamed Tesla Motors the ‘Apple’ of the automobile industry. When it won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award in 2013, it became the first electric car ever to do so. More recently, the Tesla Model S was given the highest rating of 99 of 100 by Consumer Reports.

Tesla Motors has been around for ten years, but it only became profitable in the first quarter of 2013, when it earned $11.2 million (~ RM 34 million). It is estimated that the company might sell 8 times more cars in 2013 than it did in 2012. What makes Tesla Motors such a special company? For one, all its cars run on electricity.

You might be interested to know how Tesla electric cars work and how are they different from other electric cars. Here are a few more details.


Charging model: Difference Between the Tesla Model S and Toyota Prius

Tesla cars run on a battery, but not the normal kind found in other cars. These are lithium ion batteries, similar to the batteries you will find on laptops. But the lithium ion batteries on Tesla cars are much more powerful and efficient. Each Tesla car battery contains in excess of 7000 lithium cells, which together weigh more than 1000 pounds. Each of these batteries is manufactured at the company’s Bay Area plant.

Before you can get your Tesla car on the road, you will have to charge the battery. This is not much different from charging your mobile or your laptop. But here lies the difference between the Tesla Model S and Toyota Prius hybrid. The Tesla is totally electric and you will have to charge it to run it, while the Prius is only partially electric. You do not have to charge it because the battery gets charged when you run the car on gasoline.


How to Recharge the Battery on the Tesla

There are many ways you can recharge the battery on a Tesla car. The most common way is through a high power wall charger, that you can install in your home. With this device, you can charge the battery in half the time it would take you to charge it with a 120 V source.

You can also plug-in the car to a normal 100 V outlet through a mobile connector. Here is some more good news.


Tesla is going to install a number of ‘super charging’ stations across highways in the US. If you plug-in your Tesla car into one of these sources, you can charge your car in as little as one hour. California already has several of them.


How Does the Car Consume the Electricity?

The car contains a small motor to convert the electricity into mechanical energy. Some of the mechanical energy is also converted back into electricity. This motor is simpler and more efficient in using power than a traditional combustion device.

There are two battery options on Tesla cars – a 85kWh battery and another 60 kWh battery. A Tesla car containing a fully charged 85 kWh battery can travel for just over 300 miles, when driven at a speed of 55 miles per hour. The 60 kWh battery can travel for 232 miles on a full charge. The range will depend on the way you drive, just like a normal car.

The best thing is that you do not have to worry about your car running out of juice unexpectedly, because an on board sensor will tell you how far you can travel on the charge left.

As of yet, Tesla cars are still not available for sale in Malaysia.


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Source: Business Insider / Mashable


Photo credit: jurvetson / Foter / CC BY


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