Electric and hybrid car manufacturer Tesla unveiled the new version of its Model S last week, which is superior to the previous version and is already exceeding expectations of the full sized electric sedan.
According to Think Progress, the most significant aspect of the new Model S is that it is all wheel drive (AWD), compared with the earlier model which is two wheel drive. The new Model S also boasts increased acceleration, range, top speed, efficiency, and a number of new auto pilot features.
Before the new model, AWD vehicles required a second motor which added bulk and mass. The dual motor system in the new Model S makes the newly AWD vehicle more efficient and powerful.
As of now, most owners of fully electric cars live in warm weather areas where AWD is not necessary; this advance in dual motor technology opens up the market in areas of the U.S. that experience a lot of snowy weather like the Northeast and Midwest.
Aside from the upgraded performance of the vehicle, the new Model S is also equipped with a number of revolutionary features like a front facing camera that has the ability to recognize speed limit and stop signs as well as traffic lights.
Additionally, the car’s 360 degree awareness of its surroundings allows it to self drive (albeit to a limited extent, which is probably a good thing). The car will be able to switch lanes and parallel park by itself when the turn signals are in use. Owners will also be able to summon the vehicle to boot, as long as they’re on private property.
Though this is a revolutionary fully-electric car, people still seem generally wary of buying one, likely due to cost and misconceptions about the range of the vehicles and the recharging process.
For people who aren’t quite ready for the switch to fully electric cars, hybrid vehicles have become much more popular and reliable. Since they are powered by two different sources — an electric battery and a fuel source — they offer a sort of median option between fully electric and traditional internal combustion vehicles. Hybrids are still 20% to 35% more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional vehicles, without the prohibitive costs and issue of keeping the car charged.
Advancements like these seen in the new Tesla Model S are sure to quicken the shift toward fully electric cars, but they’re also positioning hybrids as a stepping stone in the process.