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Tesla manufactures the Model S at the 5,400,000 square feet Tesla Factory in Fremont, California. For the European market, Tesla assembles and distributes from its European Distribution Center in Tilburg, Netherlands. Cars are built and tested in Fremont, California. The battery pack, the electric motor and parts are disassembled and shipped separately to Tilburg, where the cars are reassembled. The center occupies a 203,000sf industrial building that also serves as a workshop and spare parts warehouse. Tesla expects the Model S to “pay back” the energy that went into producing the car in fewer than 10,000 miles.
Researchers from the University of California, Davis, conducted a study to identify the factors influencing the decision to adopt high-end Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), such as the Tesla Model S, as these vehicles are remarkably different from mainstream BEVs. The 2016 study found that “environmental, performance, and technological motivations are reasons for adoption; the new technology brings a new segment of buyers into the market; and financial purchase incentives are not important in the consumer’s decision to adopt a high-end BEV.”
In contrast to most earlier battery electric vehicles including the Tesla Roadster, the battery pack of the Model S forms the floor of the vehicle between the axles, providing the vehicle with several advantages. Most notably, since the battery pack is the heaviest component of the vehicle, the Model S has a center of gravity height of only 18 inches, helping it to achieve a lateral acceleration of 0.9g and good protection against rollover. Secondly, the absence of a heavy engine between the front or rear axle allows the bulk of the mass to be centralized between the axles, lowering rotational inertia allowing it to turn more quickly for its weight. Thirdly, the placement of the battery pack increases the rigidity of the passenger compartment, improving the passive safety of the vehicle. Fourth, placing the battery pack under the vehicle makes it possible to remove or replace the entire unit in 90 seconds for maintenance.
The Model S charge port is located in front of the left tail light. Tesla Universal Mobile Connector (UMC), NEMA 5-15 Adapter, NEMA 14-50 Adapter and SAE J1772 to Tesla TSL02 Charging Connector Adapter
In all markets the charge port is located behind a door in the left taillight. During charging, the charge port pulses green. The frequency at which the charge port’s light pulses slows down as the charge level approaches full. When charging is complete, the light stops pulsing and is solid green.
The standard North American onboard charger accepts single phase 120 or 240 volt sources at a rate of up to 10 kW. Included adapters allow the car to charge from a standard 120 volt outlet, a 240 volt National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) 14-50 outlet, a 208 volt leg to leg of a 208Y/120 V 3-phase configuration, a 277 volt leg to neutral of a 480Y/277 V 3-phase configuration and SAE J1772 public chargers. An optional upgrade for a second 10 kW onboard charger supports a total of up to 20 kW charging from an 80 amp available Tesla Wall Connector.
The Model S has independent coil spring suspension on all four wheels – front double wishbone, virtual steer axis control arm and rear independent multilink. As an extra-cost option, the car is available with self-leveling, height-adjustable air suspension. This is accomplished via adjustable Bilstein shock absorbers controlled by the driver. The car is meant to lower itself at highway speed and raise itself to traverse steep
2020 Model S Interior Dash
“Bring It On”, “Insane”, “Ludicrous” Dual Wheel Motors
463 Horse Power155 MPH
driveways and rough terrain, despite the low 6 inches ground clearance and rather long 116 inches wheelbase.
The electronic system can be upgraded by “over-the-air” download, rather than recall, the suspension system has been changed retroactively on several occasions. During the 2013 ‘fire investigation’, NHTSA asked Tesla to disable the car’s ability to lower itself at speed on the theory that a ground clearance below 6 inches might cause the batteries underneath the car to contact road debris. In September 2014, Tesla upgraded the height adjustment feature for Model S cars equipped with air suspension to remember locations that require higher clearance such as those with potholes and steep driveways, and automatically adjusts to avoid them.
Beginning in 2014, Model S vehicles came equipped with a camera mounted at the top of the windshield, forward looking radar in the lower grille, and ultrasonic acoustic location sensors in the front and rear bumpers that provide a 360-degree buffer zone around the car. This equipment allows Model S to detect road signs, lane markings, obstacles, and other vehicles. In addition to adaptive cruise control and lane centering, a “Tech Package”, together known as Autopilot, option enables semi-autonomous drive and parking capabilities. All Model S cars sold since October 2014 have the option to enable Autopilot, which allows limited hands-free driving. Autopilot-enabled cars receive software wirelessly, the same as other car software updates.
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