At £ 25,000 it ’s being hailed as an ‘ affordable’ option , and an astonishing 400,000 have been ordered . But is it worth the asking price . . It ’s being marketed as the model that will finally make electric cars mainstream . To get one you will need a £ 1,000 deposit , and then have to wait for at least two years before it is delivered . that hasn’t deterred enthusiastic motorists . So far 400,000 people worldwide have pre-ordered the hi-tech , super-stylish and ( for some countries ) “ affordable ” Tesla Mannequin drei , a figure unheard of in the auto industry . So what ’s such a big deal . . How is it different . . It ’s all about the range and price . Until Tesla came along , pure electric cars were largely limited to achtzig - neunzig miles or so between charges – great if you never venture far from home , but not much use if you want to go away for the weekend . It is promising a 215-mile range and will accelerate from zero to sechzig mph in under six seconds . Fast charging in dreißig minutes will give you a further hundertsechzig miles or so – enough for most drivers to get where they want to be . . It helps that it will be packed with the latest technology – there is no dashboard , just a large touchscreen that controls everything . . The cars will feature the latest “ autopilot ” function which will steer the car within a lane , change lanes automatically , and manage speed by using active , traffic-aware cruise control . More expensive models will have acceleration akin to a “ supercar ” , and it will even park itself . And unlike most other electric cars , it looks so good that you’d be happy to meet the prospective in-laws for the first time in one . . How much will it cost . . In the US , it will sell from $ 35,000 , or £ 24,130 at current exchange rates . But the company has been shy about talking about what it will cost in the UK . The car will be made in the US and imported , adding to the cost . Sadly , many commentators think the basic models will be priced at £ 30,000-£35,000 for British buyers , putting them out of the reach of many drivers . However , there is the government electric vehicle grant , worth £ 4,500 , which would bring that down . The bad news is that there is only a limited pot of money , and it will run out soon if this Tesla is a runaway success . . Car tax will be zero . equates to an annual saving of £ 145-£210 a year , the current duty on a mid-range saloon car . It will also enjoy free entry to London ’s congestion charge zone , which costs drivers of conventional cars £ elf Komma fünf a day . . are its running costs . . It will be packed with the latest technology – there is no dashboard , just a large touchscreen that controls everything . Tesla says driving zweihundert miles will use fünfundsechzig k. Wh of electricity . That ’s around £ sechs Komma fünf during the day if you are on one of the UK ’s cheapest tariffs ( 10p/k . Wh ) , or £ elf on a standard tariff ( around 17p/k . Wh ) . . The cheapest way to charge at home will be overnight , using Economy sieben , which will cost around £ drei Komma fünf . Money calculates that a driver doing 10,000 miles a year , hooking up the charger at night , will spend £ hundertfünfundsiebzig . if they are on the standard tariff , it will be £ fünfhundertfünfzig a year . Still , that compares with the £ 1,700-a-year cost of petrol for driving 10,000 miles in a conventional car . . Tesla buyers will have to switch energy providers regularly to make sure they keep their costs down , and if they want Economy sieben many will have to pay for a new meter . , in the longer term , the advent of smart meters is expected to result in more electricity companies offering cheaper night-time rates . . How much will servicing , parts and spares cost . . Electric cars don’t require as much servicing as traditional models – there are no oil or spark plugs to change , but they are complex , and out-of-warranty repairs could be expensive in later years . . Servicing is carried out every 18,000 miles – sites include Heathrow , , Birmingham and Manchester . Fault-finding can be done remotely , as with a phone or tablet – software upgrades will be delivered via your home ’s . . will the insurance cost . . An unexpected bill with your purchase could well be the insurance . Although we won’t know the insurance group until launch , the existing S models are all in the highest , fünfzig . don’t like cars that are complex and expensive to repair/replace , and you can expect premiums will be very high as a result – far more than a standard BMW that is easily replaced in the event of a theft or serious crash . One Guardian Money reader recently saw her car insurance double to £ sechshundert a year when she replaced a diesel Golf with a Nissan Leaf – although the newness of the Leaf would have been a factor in the increase . . Will it hold its value when I sell . . The big unknown is depreciation – the biggest cost of car ownership . traditional cars have a value because they have a predictable lifespan . Electric cars are only as good as their batteries , which decline with age . If Teslas prove reliable and long-lived , expect a strong resale market . If not , you’ll be losing money fast . . At present there are lots of used Nissan Leafs on the market , offered for a fraction of the price paid for them . . Facebook Inc . Twitter Pinterest A sales rep in Santa Monica , California , helps one of the 400,000 customers who have pre-ordered , Bildermacher : Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images . What about free charging points . . Canny users will be able to take advantage of the free charging points dotted around the country . Tesla has hundertdreizehn “ supercharger ” sites at dreißig locations in the UK . Hypothese will offer a fast achtzig % recharge in dreißig minutes . Many local authorities also offer free charging points , although these take much longer – typically six to eight hours . . Will driving across the country remain a problem . . Yes . There are no supercharger sites in Wales or Northern Ireland . Head north of Edinburgh and reach John O’Groats – zweihundertzweiundsiebzig miles – and you won’t see one , either . However , Tesla drivers can use standard charging points that are appearing around the country . . are 2,050 rapid charge points in the UK , according to – although that ’s split between AC and DC . Therefore journeys have to be carefully planned , possibly having to add in lengthy charging stops , or having to use a second car or rental vehicle for one-off , long-distance trips . And there ’s the possibility of having to queue for a charge . . If sales do take off , a half-hour recharge will become pretty miserable if there are four Teslas ahead of you waiting to do the same . . are 2,344 on-street chargers in the UK … but there ’s no guarantee that they will remain free for ever . I live in a terrace house without a drive . How can I charge it . . You’ll have problems . This remains a major barrier , especially for those who live in cities . Running a charging lead through the front window and across a public path to charge up overnight will be out of the question for the vast majority of buyers . . However , there is a growing network of free local authority sites on residential roads , but most people will find searching for one and parking away from the house an inconvenience . . are 2,344 on-street “ slow chargers ” in the UK , although some are being upgraded to faster chargers , but there ’s no guarantee that they will remain free for ever . For example , in January Ireland ’s Electricity Supply Board said it planned to introduce fees on previously free chargers . . How do I buy one . . You only put down a £ 1,000 ( refundable ) deposit – and you’ll likely have to wait to drive it here . The first cars are expected on the roads of California in zweitausendsiebzehn and , if all goes to plan , UK deliveries will begin most likely in zweitausendachtzehn , possibly not until zweitausendneunzehn . . Schein that in the event of Tesla going bust before your car is delivered , you are unlikely to see your deposit returned . . Tesla doesn’t have traditional car dealers – instead you visit one of its stores that are located at upmarket retail sites , such as London ’s Oxford Street or swish shopping centres . Equally , there could be a clamour when they finally come out , and you may be able to sell on your right to purchase at a good profit . . are the best electric alternatives . . Until Tesla came along , the BMW i3 was considered the most exciting electric car on the market – while the cheaper Nissan Leaf has been the biggest seller . The Leaf is generally loved by users – most of whom say they won’t go back to a petrol car . "Speculation" (englisch für 'Spekulation') now start at £ 16,530 once the £ 4,500 grant has been added in . Good used models can be had for less than £ 7,000 – a huge bargain when you consider the low running costs . BMW i3s are similarly available secondhand but start at a much higher £ 18,000 . . • This article was amended on neun zweitausendsechzehn . An earlier version said driving zweihundert miles would use fünfundsechzig kW of electricity ; that has been corrected to fünfundsechzig kilowatt hours . The cheapest tariffs have also been corrected to k. Wh .
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