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    Event Review: The NAA visits Tesla

    A group of NAA member companies recently enjoyed a visit to Tesla Knutsford, hearing a presentation from Tesla’s UK Director Georg Ell, as well as having the opportunity to drive the mind-blowing all-electric Tesla Model S sports saloon…

    Tesla barely existed ten years ago, yet today it offers one of the best electric cars you can buy, and the latest Tesla Model S P85D with four-wheel drive is capable of a 0-60 mph acceleration time of a supercar-slaying 2.8 seconds. Tesla’s UK Director Georg Ell provided NAA members with a fascinating insight into the company and its products, and delegates were able to drive the amazing Model S.

    Georg talked about Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, who, in addition to being on a mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport, is also developing the SpaceX programme, with the ultimate aim of building a city on Mars. If you want an example of big thinking, this is it.

    As well as the Model S having a revolutionary powertrain design, with an all-electric, zero-tailpipe emission driving range of around 300 miles between charges, the car updates itself using wifi, so you can benefit from upgrades without having to trade it in for a new model.

    As well as being able to charge a Model S at home, Tesla is also installing a network of superchargers around the UK and Europe, where you can recharge at a rate of 245 miles per hour, completely free of charge, and unlike other recharging networks, without any need for a huge collection of different charging scheme membership cards. This means that you could drive a Tesla all around Europe with zero fuel costs, as TV presenter Robert Llewellyn (see the NAA’s LCV2015 event video) has just done.

    Tesla is due to launch an all-electric SUV in the UK very soon, and after that comes an all-electric BMW 3 Series rival. Both of these cars should really shake up the automotive industry.

    NAA members were also able to take the Model S for a drive. There’s nothing quite like seeing the expression on the face of someone who has never driven an electric car before, when they plant their right foot on the accelerator pedal of a Model S for the first time and experience instant 100% torque from a 700hp powertrain which puts all of its traction down on the road, thanks to electric all-wheel drive.

    Delegates at the Tesla event also heard about My Electric Avenue from Dave Roberts. My Electric Avenue is a project led by NAA member company EA Technology. The project’s 18 month trial shows that some local electricity networks will require upgrades to help manage the increase in demand that comes with more and more people changing over to electric vehicles.

    Traditionally, this would mean the replacement of underground cables in the street, however My Electric Avenue has been trialling a lower cost solution to this in the form of innovative new technology called ‘Esprit’. My Electric Avenue is sharing the findings with energy companies, car manufacturers and others to learn from the project and is hosting a cross-industry event to look at the issue. Find out more at

    The Tesla event, and the presentation by My Electric Avenue, were both very timely, as latest figures show electric vehicle registrations are up 256% year-on-year – this equates to UK consumers buying an electric vehicle every 18 minutes.

    Read the review of the Tesla Model S P85D:

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham