Guide to Green Cars > The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide > Tesla

2012 Green Car Buyer’s Guide, Tesla

2012 model year highlight from Tesla: the Model S. 


Compiled by Megan E. Phelps, John Rockhold,
Hannah Kincaid, Emily Glover,
Bradley Berman and Zach McDonald

See “What the Numbers Mean” in The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide, 2012 for a full description of the metrics we collected for each model.

Tesla Model S

Electric, Sedan 

Tesla-Model-SPrice Range: $57,400 – $105,400
City/Hwy/Combined MPGe: N/A
Annual Fuel Cost: N/A
Air Pollution Score: N/A
Greenhouse Gas Score: N/A
ACEEE Green Score and Class Ranking: N/A
Safety Ratings: N/A
Space: 94.6 cu. ft. p.v./seats 5 adults, 2 children
Drive Score: 4.5
Similar Used: New for 2012

Good to Know: 

  • Tesla is making big promises for the Model S, claiming it will be not only the best electric vehicle on the market, but the “best sedan on the planet.”
  • The Model S combines luxury features, a 17-inch, iPad-like touch screen to manage controls, and striking Maserati-like looks.
  • This is the first plug-in model available with different-sized battery packs, allowing customers to pay for more range — up to 300 miles from the $70,000 model. Trim levels run up to above $100,000.
  • Tesla says it will make about 5,000 Model S cars in 2012 and 20,000 in 2013.
  • Tesla says the Model S is a seven-seater, but that’s if you count jump seats in the back only suitable for children.

What the Press Says: 

  • “If the Model S does deliver everything that Tesla says it will, this sedan could be a game-changer for the luxury sedan segment. The question remains whether the potential savings, environmental goodwill or simple novelty of a premium luxury electric vehicle is enough to mobilize buyers otherwise considering an Audi A8, Porsche Panamera or even just a very nice Mercedes-Benz E-Class diesel sedan.” — 
  • “While there’s nothing like screaming around a track at high speed, doing so in a whisper-quiet car is a new experience altogether. Not only is the motor quiet, but the car has been meticulously designed to minimize wind and tire noise as well. It’s smooth and peaceful ... even when you’re hurtling along at speeds high enough to put you in jail.” — 

More 2012 green cars: Find details about many more green cars from other automakers in The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide, 2012.

Photo from Tesla 

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