The year 2019 was one of the best years for Electric Vehicles or EV. There have been groundbreaking achievements and improvements in this segment of the automobile industry globally.
The Tesla S model is one of the best in its category. It was first introduced in 2012 and since then has gone on to be one of the most famous all-electric sedans of the decade. The 2019 model is every bit in keeping with the quality and standard Tesla Model S lovers have come to expect.
With Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, seeking to always outdo himself, it is no surprise that the 2019 Tesla S model sits atop the rankings of luxury hybrid and electric cars on many review sites. It was able to beat other similar models like the Audi A7 and the Porsche Panamera to first place.
Let us now take a closer look at the Tesla S model.
Nigerian background of the car
In Nigeria, the demand for Electric vehicles Is generally low and you rarely find them on display anywhere. The reason is very clear: A constant supply of electricity would be necessary for such cars to be popular. Unfortunately, our country is yet to attain a stable electricity supply. It is perhaps for this reason that you rarely find a Model S on Nigerian roads.
There are of course bound to be a few here and there, but so far, it has not attained the status of popular cars in Nigeria, who even have a cool Nigerian nickname for the cars.
Trims and Models
Initially, there were 3 models of the Tesla S. They were:
- The basic or standard model
- The long-range model,
- The performance model
Exterior style and design
This model is a four-door luxury sedan. It has the sleek, sporty lines of new Teslas, and a pointy, aggressive front fascia.
The front view of the 2019 Tesla Model S is bae
Interior style and design
Seats and cabin comfort
The Tesla Model S seats 5 people. Tesla did decent work in minimizing the noise while the car is working. The cabin is usually quiet while the car is working. The seats are well upholstered. Nothing really special, but it would definitely pass the Nigerian test for comfort. It also has 3 latch anchor points for child safety while driving. Several women would appreciate this. It also has a good, efficient air conditioning system, which is very important in the tropics.
It seats 5 comfortably including the driver
Space and utility
The Tesla S model offers a lot more space than most luxury sedans in its category. In addition to the 26.3 cubic feet space at the rear trunk for cargo, there is also a usable front trunk 5.6 cubic feet space for a small load. Nigerians always need space; we actually love a lot of room in our vehicles, so the S model excels in this regard.
One thing this luxury sedan EV packs is space
Of course, we are speaking about a Tesla, so you should expect a very high-tech vehicle. There is a giant screen on the dashboard that controls most of the car functions. If you are a tech lover, then this will totally blow your mind. It offers Bluetooth hands-free connectivity with voice control. The premium audio system offers reasonable sound.
This car also allows you to see objects behind you on the screen. The navigation and full autopilot modes will need some more work, but they are more than halfway from where they started. Nigerians love good sound and a good sound system that can be connected across all devices. Unfortunately, apart from the Bluetooth, the audio system does not support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay yet. That might put some buyers off.
Oh, oh, no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
Look at the three models’ differences in acceleration and range right here:
|Specs||Standard Model||Long-range Model||Performance Model|
|Acceleration||0-60 mph in about 3.7 seconds||0-60 mph in about 3 seconds||0 – 60 mph in 3 seconds. Optional ‘Ludicrous mode’ which has to be unlocked at an extra cost. In this mode, It can go 0-60 mph in 2.4 seconds.|
|Range||Range of 270 miles||Range of 370 miles||Range of 315 miles|
We did mention that the Standard model is no longer in production. This has necessitated changes. The Long-range model retains its 370 miles range and its acceleration. The Performance model now has “Ludicrous mode” as its default; you can go 0-60 mph in 2.4 seconds! That is lightening-dizzying speed!
While gasoline engines would need to warm up and then pick up the pace when starting from rest, the Tesla Model S will blast its way from rest. It has a top speed of 155 mph for all models. On Nigerian roads, this might not be such a good idea, except in some choice locations with very good roads. Well, we think that anyone who can afford a Tesla would most likely not be living in places that have bad roads.
While the interior is not that luxurious, it does compensate with high tech features
Other specs are:
|Battery||100-kw-hours lithium-ion battery pack, as well as two electric motors.|
Handling and Braking
The car feels very good on the road. Its steering has 3 different modes, all of which feel very light for a car of its size. The tires also grip well and it turns around corners very decently. While driving, it has cruise control that is also unmatched in its category and actually is among the best across all classes. For a car with such enormous speed and acceleration, it is essential that it has a capable and efficient braking system.
Fortunately, Tesla does not disappoint in this regard. The regenerative braking system is able to halt the car very easily for routine stops and even sudden stops. Plus it also offers a standard automated emergency braking system and when the driver departs from their lane, it automatically notifies them. These are very important features for Nigerian roads I tell you.
For an electric car, this is a highly durable car. One 2014 Model S is reported to have hit a mileage of 400,000 kilometers or 250,000 miles and is still operational. Although battery degradation is an issue many owners are concerned about, one report has it that the 2014 model above suffered just 7% battery degradation after 250,000 miles.
The good mileage would be an advantage for the Nigerian users, meaning that they can at least go a good distance before charging. The only challenge would be stable power supply to charge whenever it is needed.
Maintenance and cost of spare parts
Tesla is not s well known in Nigeria as at this time, therefore, the cost of spare parts may be above average as these parts may need to be ordered.
Price of new and used models
Unfortunately at this time, getting a foreign used Tesla Model S for sale in Nigeria is difficult. Look below for the price of brand new 2019 Tesla Model S:
|Model||Price in USD||Price in Naira|
|Tesla Model S price: Basic or Standard model||$80,000||₦27 million|
|Tesla Model S price: Long-range model||$85,000||₦30 million|
|Tesla Model S price: Performance model||$100,000||₦36 million|
Alternatives to the 2019 Tesla Model S
Some alternatives to the 2019Tesla S could be:
- Audi A7:
This model has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also completely redesigned for 2019 with a better interior. Its speed cannot match the Model S however. It is also much cheaper.
- Porsche Panamera:
I comes with great performance. It is not the Porsche Taycan that Tesla Model S beat last year at Nurburgring but still is a great EV. Good interior, all-round great car.
- BMW i3:
Also a super, luxury sedan that is really spacious, has good performance, and a good price.
Take a look at the video below of the Long-range model:
Video: 2019 Tesla Model S Long Range Review: Looks can be deceiving
Tesla is still a growing brand in Nigeria, so there are no local dealers right now, where you can walk in and see Tesla cars on the lot. Watch this space though! AUTOMILAS will be first to update you when this changes!
Summary & Verdict
Is the Tesla Model S a good car for Nigerians and the Nigerian environment and climate?
Let’s look at major pros and cons:
|Great acceleration and agile handling||No integration of Android and Apple devices|
|Impressive range on all-electric mode||Pricey|
|Lots of new gizmos and new technology||Infotainment system is a bit intimidating|
|Spacious in cabin and cargo areas|
Back view of Tesla Model S car
Should the customer buy?
Again, the price of the base model at ₦27 million is way out of the budget for most Nigerians, who are low and middle-income earners. Therefore, most people would not even give it a second thought. They would probably just admire it from afar and read about it, but purchasing it might be some way off.
Perhaps, with the advent of the Tesla Cybertruck, Elon Musk might have satisfied his cravings for expensive high-tech machines, and can now begin to look at making vehicles that average earners can buy.
However, of course, Nigerian celebrities such as the richest musicians in Nigeria can well afford this car. The verdict is, if you can afford it, and can keep it charged, and have access to good roads, it might be the best luxury EV sedan you ever bought!