Tesla – Vegan Motoring

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In early January 2017, I took delivery of my new company car. For the first time since passing my driving test at 17 I was the proud owner of a BMW – a 420d Sport with a 0-62mph of just over 7 seconds and what I thought to be low Co2 emissions at 119g/km – I couldn’t have been happier with my new transport. Then, one cold Saturday morning, I happened to stumble upon a Tesla open day!

Zero, nothing, zilch!

Making a quick turnaround, I pulled into the car park where an array of extremely shiny executive saloons were parked up. Arriving in my new BMW suddenly attracted the attention of the Tesla representatives.

I was welcomed into the sales office where they provided me with a comprehensive and inspiring overview of the model range. Whilst all the models were aesthetically pleasing, and the standard features extremely impressive, I was knocked sideways by their zero emissions and a range of 300 miles! Yes, that’s right, 0g/km and what’s more, their 75 Model S has a 0-60mph time of 4.6 seconds therefore having no problem keeping up with a 2005 Aston Martin DB9 and a 2011 Porsche 911 Black Edition (where it is safe and legal to do so, of course).

Tax Breaks and Incentives

After explaining I was a company car driver, the guys at Tesla became increasingly interested and gave me their Area Director’s card to pass on to my own fleet manager. They explained that there were currently numerous financial incentives for UK businesses and personal purchases which include:

  • 100% First Year Allowance for business owners until April 2021
  • UK Plug-in Car Grant of £4,500
  • Reduced Employer Class 1A National Insurance Contributions (company cars only)
  • Exemption from the London Congestion Charge

With my ‘business head’ on I thought this was too good to be true but, checking current guidance on Tesla and the UK Government website, this appears to be correct.

But how much?

So, you could ask what isn’t to like about the Tesla? Blistering fast acceleration, kind to the planet and a host of features. But you may ask what will one cost me? The 75 Model S starts at just over £60,000 GBP with lease options from £10K and £487/pm for 48 months, limited to 10,000 miles per annum. This is probably outside what the average private owner or company is prepared to pay for a medium sized executive saloon.

Enter the Model 3 – Tesla’s latest release with orders (along with a £1,000 deposit) being taken at the time of writing for delivery between 12 and 18 months time. The retail price of the smaller Model 3 is rumoured to be just under £30,000 GBP which puts it as a strong contender to the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and C-Class Mercedes. The Model 3 will also achieve a range of up to 220 miles.

Not Going Hell for Leather

In other interesting news, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced that Tesla would be offering vegan leather as an option. PETA is one of Tesla’s shareholders and is reported by USA Today as being overjoyed by the move to this option. Tesla had previously offered a cloth seating option but it’s believed that PETA convinced them to explore vegan leather. Let’s hope that more manufacturers adopt this approach in the future.

And Finally… That’s How We Roll!

In June this year I landed at Schiphol airport to attend a 90th family birthday. Waiting for my partner’s cousin Dylan to pick us up, I couldn’t help noticing that every taxi at the rank was a 75 Model S – wow, that’s like being picked up in a Porsche 911 or Aston Martin DB9 but without the environmental destruction. Dylan then told me that a lot of taxis at Schiphol Airport are Teslas and “that’s how we roll in Holland!”

* This is not a paid advertisement for Tesla we just think they are great!

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