Tesla, the ever surprising electric car company, have announced that they’ve met and exceeded sales predictions by some 20%. Nearly 6,900 cars have been delivered to date, a number far higher than was expected to be possible. Tesla is crediting it’s partnerships with key suppliers such as Panasonic for Lithium-ion batteries as being key in achieving the results.
Tesla presumes the two key drivers of demand for their vehicles have been the safety record, despite occasional hiccup with media reported fires, and the capabilities of the Model S in extreme cold conditions.
Toward the latter half of 2013, Tesla suffered a lot of bad press thanks to certain cars catching on fire after collisions. Tesla were quick to point out their safety record was still impeccable, as nobody had gotten hurt in any of the crashes and that in at least one case, fire crews had inadvertently caused the fires by cutting into areas of the batteries they should not have needed to.
Regardless of the facts, Tesla’s stock took a hit and confidence in the relatively new company wavered slightly. The NHTSA (America’s equivalent to Europe’s Euro NCAP crash safety testing) marked the Tesla Model S as the safest car they’d ever had on test, giving it the full five out of five and high percentage scores in each safety category. In fact, the scores given were higher than for safety scores given to any SUV or minivan at the time of testing. The wavering stopped and people started to realise that accidents do happen to any car, nevermind whether it’s electric or not.
Moving onto the cold weather aspects of the Model S, as it is driven electrically, responses in the drivetrain are far superior to those in a conventional mechanical system since there’s virtually no loss between the electric motors and the wheels. As such, the car’s ability in icy conditions is exemplary and many countries that are frequently covered in the white stuff have bought Tesla’s by the dozen.
Tesla’s highest sales (per capita) are in Norway where the electric car revolution has taken off like no other place on earth. If your geography is any good, you’ll know that Norway is often shrouded in cold and what we in the UK may consider extreme is regarded as normal in Norway. As such, it may come as half a surprise that Tesla’s best individual customer, who owns a large but undisclosed number of Tesla road cars, lives in Narvik which is above the Arctic Circle.