Billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk, is on a mission to revolutionize the auto industry (as well as the space and solar industries). In 2003, he founded Tesla Motors, Inc. with an audacious goal — to set off a paradigm shift in the auto industry and pave the way for an era of Electronic Vehicles (EVs). For years, industry insiders have hotly debated whether Musk’s Tesla gambit will work.
A new Consumer Reports analysis suggests he’s on the right track.
The newly released Tesla Model S P85D won a record 103/100 rating from Consumer Reports, besting even the trend-setting CR score of the earlier Tesla Model S sedan, which racked up a 99/100 score in 2013.
Let’s examine the Model S P85D’s rating in the context of its implications for automotive safety. Per WIRED magazine, the “brutally quick” acceleration (0 to 60 in just 3.5 seconds), amazing energy efficiency, and awesome handling and braking combined to “made the Tesla Model S… the safest vehicle ever tested by the feds.”
The vehicle aced the stringent National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration crash tests, including “front, side, pull, and rollover.” Per WIRED, “during a roof crush test used during validation, the machine failed while applying more than 4 G’s of pressure – the same as stacking four of the electric sedans on top of the car without the roof breaking.”
Other key safety features: an amazing drivetrain, a double bumper in the back, extra sacrificial space, and additional extra rigidity near the occupants, courtesy the low-mounted battery.
Of course, current versions of the Model S are prohibitively expensive for most Arizonians. So does this test really matter? Can the Telsa experience make driving generally safer?
Here are some implications:
- Now that Tesla has set a high bar, other automakers will likely feel pressure to follow suit and develop safer vehicles.
- Musk plans to roll out an affordable Tesla in 2017. If Telsa goes mainstream, and the car lives up to its safety reputation, such a rollout could reduce crash injuries on a wider scale.
- Safer cars could inspire riskier behavior behind the wheel. For instance, drivers might follow more closely or behave more aggressively because of their faith in their cars’ protection.
If someone hurt you or someone you love in a car wreck, our Arizona auto accident attorneys can discuss your case and provide insight into what to do next. Call us at (602) 283-4122 to set up a free consultation.