How the Tesla Model S Works

Lots More Information

Author's Note: How the Tesla Model S Works

There's something about Nikola Tesla that makes everyone think they knew him. Or at least, talk like they knew him. And the same can be said, I guess, for his modern day counterpart, Elon Musk. And that sets Tesla up for a lot of criticism, much like reaction to Apple. It would have been easy to spend this entire article talking about Tesla's namesake technology, or the corporate culture for which it's quickly becoming infamous. Contrarians want to prove that Tesla (the company, not the man) is not infallible. For example, Tesla lists their prices as if government incentives have already been factored in, assuming buyers will qualify for them, even if they don't [source: Ireson], which is fodder for critique. Tesla also includes preorders in sales figures, even if such an order doesn't officially qualify as a sold car. But Musk and Tesla have enough fans to weather the storm, even if, similar to Apple, a lot of adoration comes from fans who can't quite yet afford the products they covet.

One night while I was writing this article, I happened to be at a tiny dive bar that also happens to have a stage. I was there because a musician friend of one of my East Coast cousins happened to be performing. Aside from the actual performance, I was annoyed with the evening; it was a college bar and the college crowd was irritating me. One guy, in particular, was sitting front and center, enthusiastically lecturing his companion about Elon Musk and his high-speed rail initiative. Annoying, but admittedly, a little impressive. He wouldn't be going home with the cutest girl in the bar, for sure, but he did have an inkling about what the future holds. His future looks a lot brighter than mine did at that age, and he (unlike the rest of his schoolmates at the bar that night) at least has the insight to realize it (well, to the extent he thought about it while enjoying a beer, anyway). So here's to Elon Musk, for inspiring good bar discourse -- even at the expense of good music.

Related Articles


  • Cumberford, Robert. "By Design: Tesla Model S." Automobile Magazine. Nov. 2012. (Aug. 29, 2013)
  • Ireson, Nelson. "Tesla Model S Isn't a Luxury Car, So Stop Comparing It To Them." Motor Authority. Aug. 23, 2013. (Aug. 27, 2013)
  • Lott, Melissa C. "Is the Tesla Model S the safest car ever made?" Scientific American. Aug. 26, 2013. (Aug. 27, 2013)
  • Mlot, Stephanie. "Tesla Model S Outselling Porsche, Jaguar in California." Aug. 26, 2013. (Aug. 27, 2013),2817,2423614,00.asp
  • Mueller, A.J. "2013 Automobile of the Year: Tesla Model S." Automobile Magazine. January 2013. (Aug. 27, 2013)
  • Noland, David. "Life With Tesla Model S: Owner's Report After 5,000 Miles." Green Car Reports. Aug. 9, 2013. (Aug. 27, 2013)
  • Tesla Motors. "Model S." (Aug. 30, 2013)
  • Vance, Ashlee. "Tesla's Model S Sedan Destroys Safety Tests...Literally." BusinessWeek. Aug. 20, 2013. (Aug. 27, 2013)

More to Explore