October 1, 2015
The Math of Tesla’s Model X
Tesla’s newest electric vehicle, the Model X, has everybody talking. The SUV’s panoramic windshield, falcon doors, bioweapon defense and ludicrous mode are all features that have bloggers blogging, Googlers Googling, and everyone else disappointed with their current car. And for good reason. The Model X is an impressive piece of technology, and “piece of technology” really is more fitting than “car.” It’s a spectacle. But what about some hard data? Some numbers?
How much would it cost to drive the Model X from Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto, CA to Washington, D.C.?
Go ahead. Make a guess.
The standard model of the car is equipped with a “90 kilowatt-hour battery and dual motors” and will silently glide over 250 miles of road on one charge. Palo Alto’s electric service rate is about $0.05 per kilowatt-hour. What’s 90 kilowatt-hours times 5 cents?
90 x .05 = 4.5
The cost of one charge would be roughly $4.50.
The distance between Palo Alto and D.C. is about 2,850 miles. Again, the Model X will go over 250 miles per charge. What’s 2,850 miles divided by 250 miles?
2,850 ÷ 250 = 11.4
This transcontinental trip would require about 12 charges.
So, assuming electricity rates remain consistent, how much would 12 charges cost?
12 x 4.5 = 54
The trip would cost $54 (not counting snacks).
This is, of course, assuming that you are paying people back for using their electricity and not utilizing Tesla’s 520 Supercharger stations located across the country. If you did utilize these stations, the trip would be free.
Google estimates the drive to take about 42 hours, but for fun we’re going to assume you’re utilizing your Model X’s top speed of 155 mph the whole way. How long would it take to go 2,850 miles at 155 mph (excluding stops for charging, eating, sleeping, etc.)?
2,850 ÷ 155 = 18.39
The high-speed trip would take about 18 hours and 24 minutes.
The Model X can also go from a dead stop to 60 mph in about 3.2 seconds. So buckle up!
What if all cars were replaced with Model X’s?
Over 151 million American’s commute to work, and 89.4 percent of them commute by vehicle. How many Model X’s would that be? What’s 89.4% of 151 million?
151,000,000 x .894 = 134,994,000
Almost 135 million Model X’s would be carrying their owners to work.
(Infographic from Pepperdine University)
With over 42% of the America’s 321 million people driving 2.9 trillion miles (see above) a year in electric cars, harmful automobile emissions would come to a halt.
The replacement of all cars with Tesla Model X’s is clearly an impossibility but with CEO Elon Musk’s recent legal and P.R. victories, like removing New Jersey’s ban on auto manufacturers selling directly to customers, this car will soon become a lot more available for Americans who decide all its perks are worth its $132,000 price tag.
Image credit: Flickr/Don McCullough
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