The current three Tesla's are all completely powered by electricity, which has both downsides and upsides, all of which I will go over in this post.
[SUB]Please do bear with me as I'm new to posting in this section.
I'll add more to these lists as they are discussed in the thread.
First some downsides of the Tesla EV's:
• Range, this is a downside all current all electric vehicles have, they just can't get enough range to compete with gasoline cars, especially since:
• Charge times. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't really the battery's fault, rather it's the fault of the plug. You just don't get enough juice out of any plugs you've got at your house, to charge an EV fast enough
• No transmission. Having manual gears to help control your car is preferred with a lot of people, some prefer automatics as well, but with the Tesla's you don't have any at all. This can of course be an upside as well, if you dislike having to shift, or if you dislike having the car shift for you).
• No proper sound from the engine. With an EV, the sound of the wheels rolling on the tarmac and the air rushing over the roof, is usually louder than the engine itself, which gives off a faint whining noise when you approach 80-100 mph.
• If the battery runs completely dry, either by driving it completely empty, or by leaving it for a long enough time without plugging it in, the battery might be impossible to recharge, leaving the car as a brick. (Basically, make sure to keep it charged ALL THE TIME)
• Expensive. It really is.
And a few upsides:
• Completely electric. There are no gases being released into the atmosphere, and Tesla says that even if you get all the electricity you charge your car with from a coal plant, you're still releasing less CO2 into the atmosphere than most ICE vehicles.
• Great acceleration. The electric motors have a lot of torque, and you get all of the power from standstill. This gives great acceleration.
• Handling. On the Model S and the Model X, the battery pack is flat along the bottom of the car, which according to Tesla gives the car amazing handling characteristics, because of the low center of gravity.
• These cars are accelerating the development of electric vehicles. Global warming is an issue (no really, it is), and we're going to have to start using less fossil fuels.
• Electric vehicle incentives. A lot of places have these, I can personally testify to the incentives in Norway. EV's can drive in the bus lanes, drives free through toll stations, parks for free, and more.
• Subjective: they look good.
• Very little maintenance. When you have an all electric vehicle, you cut away so many moving parts, and you are left with almost only electronics. Transmission, ICE, fuel tank, and much more is just gone.
• Luggage space. When you do away with so many things, you're suddenly left with a lot of space for you and your luggage. This isn't true for the Roadster, because it is a converted Lotus Elise, and the battery pack is in the back, but on the Model S and X, the battery pack is along the floor, which opens up en entire car for you, the dashboard, and your luggage.
• Electricity is cheaper than gasoline, quite a lot actually.
Now onto the cars themselves, starting with the Tesla Roadster:
The roadster is a proper sports car, based on the Lotus Elise, but converted to use an electric motor and battery pack. It's a proper conversion, leaving almost just the shell of the Elise.
Sport version 0-60 mph: 3.7 sec (Non-sport: 3.8 sec)
This is the first Tesla, it was made mostly so that Tesla could make a name for themselves, and to finance their next vehicle, the Model S.
Stated Tesla range is 245 miles.
Simon Hackett broke the distance record for an electric vehicle while driving this, when he drove 311 miles (26.9% more than stated range), from Alice Springs to Marla, South Australia.
Tesla page: http://www.teslamotors.com/roadster
Tesla Model S:
The Tesla Model S is a seven seat (I'm not joking), premium sedan vehicle. It's Tesla's second EV, and it's built entirely from scratch to be an Electric Vehicle.
Performance version 0-60mph: 4.4 sec (Non-performance 85kWh battery: 5.6 sec)
This Tesla comes packed with features. As I said before, it has loads of luggage room, and because the battery is underneath the car, it has allowed the placement of two rear facing child seats in the trunk (these are optional), and luggage both in the front and back.
The entire center console of the car is a 17 inch touch screen, and the dashboard behind the steering wheel is also a large screen:
You can also get it with a sunroof and a lot of other fancy options, like a tech package, or better speaker package.
This car comes with four different battery/drivetrain packs:
40kWh, starting at $49,900: 160 mile range, 6.5 sec acceleration.
60kWh, starting at $59,900: 230 mile range, 5.9 sec acceleration.
85kWh, starting at $69,900: 300 mile range, 5.6 sec acceleration.
85kWh performance, starting at $84,900: 300 mile range, 4.4 sec acceleration.
It's not cheap, unfortunately.
Tesla's own features page: http://www.teslamotors.com/models/features
Tesla page: http://www.teslamotors.com/models
Tesla Model X:
The Model X is a seven seat (Adult seats), crossover vehicle. Thanks to the flat battery pack, the car is so spacious that you can fit seven adults comfortably, and still have room for lots of luggage, while retaining the handling capabilities of the Model S.
0-60mph: under 5 seconds.
The Model X has just recently been announced, so not much is known, but it will have the same touch screen as the Model S.
As well as "Falcon Wing doors" (only the back doors):
(These are different from gullwings because they are double hinged on top, which allows you do open them in very cramped parking spaces (unfortunately, they are still silly):
It can also be fitted with a dual motor system, which gives you all wheel drive.
Tesla page: http://www.teslamotors.com/modelx
Personally I think these vehicles are amazing pieces of technology. They're not perfect, but they have some amazing features, and some incredible improvements to previous technology, and I definitely would like to own one.
Three electric vehicles that actually look like proper cars.
Anything I missed? Let me know!