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Tesla Model S: The 5 Star Electric Car View Count: 56

The Tesla Model S is marketed as the world’s first premium electric sedan. It is an electric car; it was also Tesla co-founder and CE,O Elon Musk’s personal car. Before the Model S came the Tesla Roadster. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Tesla Model S a 5 star rating for crashworthiness, which is their highest designation given. Tesla’s U.S. safety rating for 2014 is available on the Transportation Department’s website –  www.safecar.gov. The steering wheel and its control stalks, including the gear and selection lever, are all direct out of the Mercedes parts bin.

A strategist for Keeneonthemarket.com, James Ramell reported in a Bloomberg Television interview, “In the last couple of days of the year, a lot of fund managers are going to want to buy Tesla at these lower levels.”  The Model S’ battery occupies most of the car’s floor pan. The complete battery pack is as wide as the whole car, and it stretches from the front wheels nearly to the back wheels. The 60 or 85 kWh lithium ion battery is encased in an armored enclosure divided into 16 internal compartments. Inside are about 7,000 Panasonic NCR18650 lithium ion batteries, each about the size and shape of a standard consumer AA battery. The batteries are wired in series in order to produce the more than 300 kW required to drive the 2.5-ton Model S forward with speed.

The battery pack has been in the news lately due to the much-covered Model S fire. Huge electrical potentials are bound up in those batteries, and if the battery pack is punctured, the batteries can indeed catch fire—which is what happened. Should you worry? According to Tesla’s statement, the compartmentalized battery pack did its job and the fire didn’t spread into the passenger cabin of the car in question. From a safety perspective, the battery doesn’t appear to have any negative impacts on the car—in fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called the Model S the safest car it’s ever tested. The Tesla Motor Company started selling the Tesla Model S in Europe in 2013 and will begin sales in China in 2014.

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