By: Noam Gershov | Business  | 

A Real Tesla Competitor

In June 2012, Elon Musk’s Tesla released its first fully electric vehicle for the common driver — the Model S. Almost immediately, it became a global sensation, topping monthly rankings in Norway and Denmark. Global Model S sales surpassed 250,000 units with the U.S. as its leading market, and was the top-selling plug-in electric car worldwide in 2015 and 2016. This past year, Motor Trend, a car enthusiast magazine, named the 2013 Tesla Model S the ultimate car of the year over its 70-year history.

To say the least, the Tesla Model S has been very successful, partly due to the lack of quality competition. Established car manufacturers, such as Chevrolet, and start-ups, such as Rivian, have surely tried to make a dent in the electric vehicle market, but Tesla still remains on top.

Nevertheless, the market has room for more options, so companies continue to challenge the gold standard that Tesla has set. The latest challenger is Porsche, a German automobile manufacturer specializing in high-performance sports cars. At a flashy convention in early September 2019, Porsche presented its first fully-electric sports car to the public, the Taycan Turbo S. Having established that Tesla is very successful, it is logical to compare new vehicles to the Model S. 

The following comparison will involve the top version of each electric car, namely the Tesla Model S Performance and the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. Additionally, the two most important categories to consider when assessing electric vehicles is the range and battery life.

The Tesla Model S Performance costs $105,990. A full battery gives the Model S a 345-mile range and goes from 0 to 60 in 2.4 seconds. It has a top speed of 163 miles per hour and is unique in that it contains the self-driving feature known as autopilot. In comparison, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S costs $185,000 — clearly a much steeper price. A fully charged battery will give the Turbo S a 280-mile range, and it accelerates from zero to 60 in 2.8 seconds. Lastly, the Turbo S has a top speed of 161 miles per hour.

Sheer number-crunching clearly gives the win to Tesla, but numbers do not always reveal the whole story. The Model S is cheaper, has a longer range, accelerates faster, hits a higher top speed, and has autopilot. However, these statistics do not account for charging capabilities, the second crucial category to consider in electric vehicles.

The Taycan charges very quickly at 270kW, compared to Tesla’s 200kW, meaning that 80% of the Taycan’s battery will charge in 20 minutes, which is extremely useful if someone runs out of battery and needs a quick boost. However, this information is useless if a charging station does not exist. Tesla, on the other hand, has a vast supercharger network spanning roads, highways, rest stops and malls, so the driver never has to worry about running out of battery. In fact, Tesla generously offered to allow other companies to use its superchargers, but Porsche decided not to take advantage. Therefore, although the Taycan charges faster, the Model S takes the lead with the network.

Putting aside range and charging, both cars look very sleek and arrow dynamic on the outside. Like any Porsche, the interior of the Taycan is made of high-quality leather and metal and has three screens displaying information in lieu of buttons and gadgets, unlike Tesla’s minimalistic interior with only one big screen. Lastly, the Model S is bigger, with a more spacious second row and trunk.

In summation, for the everyday driver, the Tesla Model S probably has the advantage, with the longer range, cheaper price tag, supercharger network, and autopilot capabilities, a lifesaver when stuck in traffic. However, for people who really care about feeling the road and racing, Porsche will almost certainly drive better, though it may never beat Tesla off the line. Regardless of which camp one falls in, the emergence of a real Tesla competitor is exciting. The electric car market has room for more than one premium sedan, and competition is great, as better products are delivered for cheaper prices, and the consumer always wins.

Photo Caption: An exciting race to witness

Photo Credit: Pixabay