Tesla Model S P85D luxury performance sedan launches in Hong Kong as demand for electric cars grows
Amid a steady rise in electric vehicle users in Hong Kong, Tesla unveiled its latest model, the Model S P85D, which has an ‘Insane’ mode that allows the car to go from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.3 seconds.
The ‘Insane’ mode of the P85D puts Tesla on par with supercars like the McLaren F1, which Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk had benchmarked for the Model S’s acceleration performance.
The P85D is also faster than a Ferrari 599 GTO, Porsche Panamera Turbo or Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, all of which run on petrol and accelerate to 100km/h in around 4 seconds.
WATCH: A Tesla driver demonstrates the car's 'Insane' mode to his passengers
The launch of the P85D comes at a time when the number of electric vehicles (EVs) in Hong Kong is steadily climbing. At the end of 2013, there were less than 600 electric vehicles in Hong Kong, according to Tesla, which delivered the first Model S to buyers in July 2014. By May 2015, the number of EVs in Hong Kong has nearly tripled, at over 2,250 according to government statistics.
“Since [last July], we saw a significant increase in the awareness and acceptance toward electric vehicles,” said Isabel Fan, country director of Tesla Motors Hong Kong.
“We are proud to be a part … in accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable transport,” Fan added.
The P85D has a driving range of 405 kilometres on one charge, or around 7 to 10 days of daily driving. Charging a battery from empty to 80 per cent at a supercharger station takes only 40 minutes, and since Hong Kong has the highest density of Tesla superchargers in the world, local drivers are only 20 minutes away to the nearest supercharging station.
Prices of the luxury performance sedan start at HKD$852,000, with options to add on a ‘Ludicrous’ mode for HKD$78,000 that lets drivers to go from 0 to 100km/h at only 3 seconds, shaving off about 10 percent of the time it takes in ‘Insane’ mode. Adding a carbon fiber spoiler on the trunk lid to improve high-speed stability will set drivers back HKD$7,800.
Tesla has also started taking reservations for its upcoming Model X SUV vehicle, which also comes equipped with dual-motors and an all-wheel drive and targets those shopping for a family car.
According to the company's website, deliveries for the Model X are expected to arrive in the second half of 2016.
Despite the popularity of Tesla vehicles in the US, Europe and Hong Kong, the company has struggled to gain traction in mainland China.
In March, Musk said the company had been "misled" by local speculators and that China was the only market in the world where there was excess Tesla inventory.
Additionally, while Tesla’s stock price has jumped about 11 per cent in 2015, trading at around US$243 per share compared to its IPO price of US$17 in June 2010, the company has yet to turn a profit.
Musk said in January that the company will not be profitable until 2020, under US accounting standards.
Last week, Reuters claimed that Tesla makes a loss of US$4,000 on every Model S electric sedan it sells, based on a calculation of the company’s operating losses of US$47 million on the 11,532 cars it delivered in the most recent quarter.
Tesla responded to the report by saying that “new model development financing for traditional [car makers] is very different”, adding that investments for the Model X rose in Q2 and Q3 due to “prototyping, lots of engineering design and testing by suppliers and our validation, crash testing and reliability testing.”
Tesla has also proposed selling US$500 million worth of shares in a new round of fundraising to help fund the launch of its planned mass-market Model sedan and a battery factory in the US. Musk plans to buy US$20 million worth of shares himself.