Today I had a crack at driving the Model S.

I’ll level with you: there is no way I could afford even a base Model S.

In Australia the absolute base standard model is over $110K. That includes all discounts and incentives – of which, thanks to our backwards government, there are few.

I drive a Nissan X-Trail (the last of the “boxy” X-Trails from 2012). The wife has a Yaris. So we’re not “rich car” people. Even the base Model S is about 3 times the cost of the most expensive car I’ve ever owned.

However, in good news, today’s test drive was not in the base Model S.

I was in a dual-motor Model S 90.


I have been thinking about owning an EV for a long time now, and about how it would feel, and how it would respond.


I was unprepared for the sheer awesomeness of this event. The lightness of the steering, the road responsiveness, and that is without me even thinking about the tech that underpins the whole thing. Sure, I’m not a luxury car drive ordinarily, but MAN!

We spent a bit of time driving around Sydney’s lower north shore, getting a feel for the capabilities and luxury of the beast. And the silence, which I found a little unnerving at first, but quickly learned to laugh at… somewhat deliriously.

What I hadn’t appreciated previously, when freaking out about the Model S, was the simplistic elegance of the design. Besides the main screen with all its configuration (handled wonderfully by Adele from Tesla, guiding us on our magical space journey), everything is really thoughtfully laid out and simple to operate.

You just get in, and drive, and nothing about it is an issue, even for a first-timer. Well, except the left-side indicator stem… European layout… Hmph. I’m just used to Japanese cars so no biggie.

We experimented a little with the different modes, and it was really amazing how quickly the car shifted to Sports and Performance modes. You could feel the suspension and steering sharpen up as soon as Adele switched it over, even at 60 km/h.

We also drove past an Audi R8, and we all had a good laugh at the difference in price versus performance.

The Autopilot was really cool at notifying cars and other objects that were within the car’s sphere of influence. It was really noticeable how different the layout was to other cars I’ve driven, particularly the space down the middle of the vehicle, and smart use of every area.

And then, there is that acceleration… I’ll let this short video (and my daughter) do the talking…

Many sources claim that hybrids have come to help people save the environment while they take care of their daily tasks simultaneously. According to Autoblog, it has passed a long time since the Toyota Prius was first released to the public, and it has become one of the best-sold cars in North America.

The main reason people decide to buy the Prius is that it helps them save some money regarding gas, and supposedly, it helps you lessen the impact of your carbon footprint. It is known that cars are one of the most excellent sources of pollution, spreading different toxic gases into the air that cause harm to the atmosphere and humanity in general.

Many people, especially those who claim to be eco-friendly, claim that purchasing a Prius is the same thing as “investing in the environment.” However, is it really like this there is something else going on regarding hybrids?

When Prius was revealed, Toyota spent some good money on marketing. But is all this hype really the truth? Have a look at my previous post why Toyota Prius is bad for the environment.

toyota prius environment ad

A study found out that a Hummer is more eco-friendly than a Prius.

According to Slashdot, if we take into consideration all the processes it takes to build a Prius, a more significant problem comes to light. Besides requiring more energy than the regular car to be completed, the Prius also goes through different factories around the world to be completed.

A Prius uses two engines, an electric engine, and a standard motor. However, building this hybrid battery takes a lot of energy. It can cause significant harm to the environment thanks to the release of toxic gases (such as sulfur oxide) during the production.

Many people may think all these problems may be worth it in the end, but that’s very far from reality.

Building a hybrid car causes more harm to the planet than you think.

A hybrid car’s building process is hugely similar to what it would be like to complete a regular car. However, in both processes, ample amounts of energy are used, especially when it comes to forging metals, like steel or aluminum. Other essential materials enter this list as well, like glass or plastic, and a lighter car may require more energy to be built because metals like aluminum are more challenging to forge.

According to an article published by the New York Times, Toyota has admitted that producing this light Prius consumes tremendous amounts of energy and produces more carbon dioxide quantities during the process than building regular cars. The reason for this is the more advanced components necessary to complete such a modern car.

Many people think electricity is more eco-friendly than gasoline, but the truth is that both options are pretty much balanced if we consider all the damage both takes. For example, according to EIA, almost half of the USA’s electricity comes from coal-powered plants.


The Toyota Prius is one of the most popular hybrids to this day. However, is it as good as many people claim? That doesn’t seem to be the case this time. Many people claim this is the “ultimate green car;” however, it has become one of the most significant pollution sources in North America.

Some even dare say that the Toyota Prius can be less environmentally friendly than a Hummer, and that’s a lot to say.

The Toyota Prius’ architecture can be quite complicated, which means it will take more energy to produce it than other cars. This popular vehicle contains two engines, a gas engine, and an electric motor. The electric motor can make the car go around 25mph, and after that, the gas engine will start working. So, it seems like this car was made to save as many resources as possible.

Yes, all this sounds like a trip to a flower field, but the reality is much worse than that. During this car’s official release, Toyota wouldn’t stop boasting about the car’s supposedly 60 mpg and 51 mpg in highways. This is one of the main facts that made many people complete their purchases; however, some of them started complaining about the car not working as the company claimed it would after some time. An outdated test by EPA found out this statement to be true. 

However, this sounds terrible; it is just one of the main facts that make this car a wrong purchase. The second fact is directly related to the production of batteries for these cars; hybrids, to be specific. It was only a matter of time until it was discovered that the nickel batteries are not environmentally friendly, according to Dan from Car Removal Perth, a local car disposal company based in Perth!

Toyota Prius

The batteries for the Toyota Prius are manufactured in Sudbury, Ontario. It is known that this plant causes enormous environmental damages to Sudbury’s surroundings, and there are no signs of life around the “dead zone,” the same area the NASA used to test moon rovers. One thousand tons of these batteries are produced yearly. Imagine all the damage this can cause. However, this is just the start of this process.

After processed, the nickel is sent to Europe, then travels to China and then is polished in Japan. There is a lot of energy invested in creating one battery if we count all the factories used to complete the product.

If you take this fact and compare it to a Hummer battery’s production process, you can conclude that building a Prius takes about 50% more energy than completing a Hummer.

So well, to summarize, a Prius (and all hybrids) is not precisely what the companies and enthusiasts think it is. When you purchase a Prius, you’re empowering and giving the company more ways to keep manufacturing batteries that are heavily damaging to the planet.

One thing that many people recommend if you want to help save the planet is buying a subcompact that uses a PZEV rated engine. Not only will you save money, but the planet will thank you in the long-run.

Was working from home today when the wife asked if I wanted to join her for lunch at a nearby shopping centre. It helped that she sent me a shot of a Tesla Model S on display.

Before the phone hit the ground…

Road Runner

That’s me in the distance….

Arriving out of breath, perhaps having broken several land speed records, I got a glimpse of it, and it was a P90D! Not the first Tesla I’ve seen in the wild, but definitely the first stationary one I’ve been this close to.


I took the time to walk around the car, introduce myself to the Tesla staff on hand, announcing my status as a Powerwall owner. They were excited to meet me, but not nearly as excited as I was just to be near it.


After examining it from all angles, I eased myself into the sweet, sweet luxury of The Magical Space Car for the first time.

model s

Oh man… if I was a smoker, I’d suggest a cigarette was in order…

I make no apologies for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors here, BTW. I’m too excited to care.

I played with the massive touch screen for a little while, pressed all the buttons, and also took time to check the back seat for room.

Only thing I’d have to criticise is the rear head room was a bit tight if I sat up dead straight and tipped my head back. No complaints about seat comfort though. And that body work… mmmmmm…


This model had a few upgrades that one can’t experience while it is immobile in a shopping centre. The base model shares a lot of the same interior features of course. Just a shame even at basic RRP here in Australia (starting around AUD$130K), it will remain out of my price range.

But it was great just to hang around for 10 minutes and discuss the car, the opportunities, the upcoming Model 3, and charging infrastructure.

I also got in a quick plug for this site, as well as people like Matt, who has driven his Model S from Perth to Sydney, and will continue on to Brisbane.

He’s practically the Silver Surfer, but using a car instead of a surf board.

After about 15 minutes of geeking out, talking to the Tesla staff, and answering questions for other customers when things got busy, I sadly had to leave.

I was going to put a deposit down for a Model 3 at launch, to replace my wife’s car. Around the same time, she picked up a job with a car as part of the package so that plan went on the back burner.

I figured, since it was a Ford Fiesta with a very efficient engine, it was at least part way to the green aspiration I have of an electric vehicle.

One day, Elon… one day…