I sat in and poked around a Tesla Model S demo'd at a recent Electric Auto Association event. Lovely and spacious car, especially if you like sedans. Its Cd=0.24 is only bested by the EV1 (0.195) and the 1935 Tatra (0.212). I'm delighted it's in production, and wish them well, even if it's not my cup of tea. Let's see how our iMiEV handles this article's author's gripes -
1. No 'Creep' Mode. Having driven stick-shifts all my life, I can take it or leave it, although I must say I've become used to our iMiEV's creep mode, especially when backing up.
2. It's Hard to Get In and Out. Score one for the iMiEV. I recently drove a 97-year-old who praised this iMiEV feature.
3. Regenerative Braking Settings Awkward to Change. This was the main feature I was interested in during my first test drive of the iMiEV, and I was not disappointed. When I probed the techie during the Tesla demo I was saddened to see that regeneration had barely been addressed by Tesla … allegedly to not deviate too far from an existing ICE driving experience. Hopefully they'll provide programming and a paddle control in the future, and with such a low Cd zero regen (coasting) would offer a marvelous range-extending capability.
4. Charge Port Location Inconvenient. On the S, it's hidden under the left taillight lens. I disagree with this assessment, as for my iMiEV I've located my EVSE 3' from our right charge port so my cable is super-short and never touches the ground. The Tesla's EVSE can also be located close to the charge port, but not as close as our iMiEV because room needs to be left for the driver's door to open whereas I park right next to the right wall. Nevertheless, better, IMO, than the Leaf. Hey, we simply back-in to public EVSEs, which is what I usually do in parking lots anyway.
5. Turn-signal lever badly placed. Mercedes supplied the whole assembly, and I thought they were tops in ergonomics. Nothing wrong with our iMiEV's, although the mandatory three flashes when one taps the stalk do bug me - one can get this programming changed but I haven't asked.
6. No Eco and/or Sport Modes. We've got Eco and I use B if I want to be sporty. The Honda FitEV really has the Sport Mode nailed.
7. State-of-Charge indicator not delineated. Well, we have a sixteen-bar 'fuel' gauge, but I agree with the author that a simple % SOC numeric readout would be preferable.
Tesla is just getting started and I'm sure they'll get around to refining things once they get rolling and have some cash coming in. I really do wish them well.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV