Friday, November 23, 2012

Tesla Model S

By Levi Bursch

The Tesla Model S was recently named “2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year” by a rare unanimous decision. The Model S is the first electric car to win the award since its origination in 1949. Aside from the fact that it is electric; it features one of the lowest drag coefficients for a car ever, 0.24, and a notable 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 s. 

First, lets examine the significance of the drag coefficient alone, when compared to a comparable sports car (if there is a comparison on the market) the dodge viper. The dodge viper has a drag coefficient of .45 this is nearly two times as much as the Tesla, holding all other variable constant, and considering that about 60% of the work done to keep a car moving at highway speeds is used to overcome drag force.  That is about a 30% decrease in work.  So the dodge viper usually gets 15 mpg, if it had to the drag coefficient of the Tesla, it could achieve close to 20 mpg. 

The Tesla model S is completely electric so we can’t compare gas millage, but the cost of going a mile in the Tesla S is a mere $0.06… the viper, even when using the same drag force is…

(20 miles / gallon) (1 gallon / $4) = (20 miles / $4) = (5 miles / $1) = $0.20 per mile.  

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