During the conference call discussing Tesla’s fourth quarter financial results last week, CEO Elon Musk called the Northeast region of the US an “under-penetrated” market for the company. It could be attributed to a less important retail presence in the region, but also to a negative perception of electric vehicle performance in winter conditions.
Tesla has been trying to change these perceptions by highlighting the Model S’ impressive winter driving performance with a series of videos and customer testimonies over the past few weeks and months.
If you follow Tesla and the EV industry closely, it’s easy to think that these concerns have already been mostly addressed, but there are still a lot of misconceptions which often arise from putting all EVs in the same basket.
Some of the concerns over electric vehicle driving in cold weather are legitimate, primarily that it reduces range, which is not always electric car specific, but when your electric range is already short ( like with the LEAF or Volt), it can be a real concern.
As for the Model S, it is rarely a concern since it wouldn’t really push the range below your average commute or Supercharger network range, but it certainly ends up accentuating any range anxiety issue. Although it doesn’t seem to represent as much as a barrier as general EV misconception about winter driving performance. The good old “golf cart” comments.
Ice lake driving in Norway. No worries, Model S never gets cold feet. pic.twitter.com/QVrXuTn8Gx— Tesla (@Tesla) January 26, 2016
Tesla has largely managed to distance itself from this issue by delivering mind-boggling performance for a large sedan, but in markets where consumers are not or less aware of this, winter driving seems to offer a good demonstration of the car’s capabilities and especially now that all of Tesla’s vehicles are offered almost exclusively in all-wheel-drive. The company recently discontinued the Model S 85 and 90 RWD, making only the Model 70 available with a RWD powertrain.
During the past few weeks, Tesla released several customer testimonies, videos and photos to show how well the Model S perform in cold conditions. We gathered some of our favorite posts below:
Cool in all weather conditions pic.twitter.com/J5vdW8ufAt— Tesla (@Tesla) January 22, 2016
Well if it’s good enough for Santa… Wait a minute… He has jet engines on his!