Tesla's electric Model S hits the road in Arizona


by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham


Posted on December 7, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 13 at 12:17 AM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Motor Trend's "2013 Car of the Year" is starting to cruise Arizona's highways.

The Tesla Model S is totally electric, made in California, and according to new owners Steve and Trudy Zautke of Scottsdale, drives like a sports car.

"I really think all auto makers will be paying attention to this," Steve Zautke told 3TV on a recent drive. "It's exceeded our expectations."

His family ordered their car a year ago, and it arrived to their specifications in late November.

In the place of an engine under the hood is another storage compartment. The batteries which power the S are sealed underneath the car.

"It's spectacular. There's no sound," Trudy Zautke said of the Tesla's acceleration from 0 to 60mph in 4.4 seconds.

The family paid more than $100,000 for their car, but the Model S base price is around $60,000. The company has said it hopes to reduce that to $30,000 in a few years to make it more available to the masses.

Tesla said the average car costs $1,600 in gasoline per year, while the electricity to charge a Model S will cost about $300.  

Chargers can be installed at home, and Tesla is setting up charging stations across the country.  An overnight charge should last a driver 250 - 300 miles.

Tesla is hoping to produce 20,000 cars in 2013.