Tesla Model S electric car spotted in Abu Dhabi

Tesla Model S electric car spotted in Abu Dhabi

2014 Tesla Model S in the UAE
Electric cars have yet to make an impact in the Gulf. The first one to pop in, the limited-range Fisker Karma, stalled before it even got started, although it was more due to a little thing called bankruptcy rather than any market dynamics here. The Lexus “performance” hybrids haven’t done well either, with their high prices and lack of real performance gains. And Nissan keeps showing the Leaf in public, but cannot apparently make it adjust to our weather. But the one electric car the rest of the world is excited about isn’t even offered in the UAE. That’s the Tesla Model S. So we were surprised to spot one in Abu Dhabi the other day.

Tesla Motors’ second model after the discontinued Roadster, the Model S is a large 5-door liftback, built by what is essentially a tech start-up company. First shown to the public at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show as a prototype, it hit the streets by the summer of 2012. Totalling 20,000 in sales so far, it even became the top-selling car overall in one or two European countries once it reached there in mid-2013, while handily beating out the cheaper Chevy Volt earlier this year in the United States.

Available in several variants with different battery sizes, the plug-in electric Tesla Model S Performance model equipped with an 85 kWh lithium-ion battery pack has an official range of 426 km, making it the electric car with the greatest range available in the market. The starting price of the 85 kWh model is the equivalent of Dhs 295,000 in the States, with top-spec prices going beyond Dhs 350,000. A cheaper base model, with a starting price of Dhs 260,000 and a 60 kWh battery, has a range of 335 km.

2014 Tesla Model S in the UAE 3

The Tesla Model S Performance model has a 416 hp (310 kW) and 600 Nm rear-mounted electric motor. The base model uses a 362 hp (270 kW) and 440 Nm motor. According to Tesla Motors, the electric car has a drag coefficient of 0.24 Cd, which was the lowest of any car until recently. And theoretically, it should be much cheaper to run than a petrol car, with fewer maintenance parts as well.

The Model S Signature model with an 85 kWh pack has a top speed of 201 kph and can do the 0-100 kph run in 5.8 seconds. The Model S Signature Performance model has a top speed of 210 kph and does the 0-100 kph deed in 4.4 seconds, while the base 60 kWh version has a top speed of 190 kph and does the 0-100 kph run in 6.1 seconds.

2014 Tesla Model S in the UAE 4

The lithium-ion battery consists of more than 7,000 battery cells for the 85 kWh pack. The battery pack, mounted under the cabin floor, uses Panasonic cells with nickel-cobalt-aluminium cathodes and is guaranteed for as long as 8 years. A replacement battery can cost as much as Dhs 40,000.

2014 Tesla Model S in the UAE 5

The car can be charged from any 240V power supply, but you’ll have to leave the car plugged in overnight. The U.S. gets 480V “supercharger” stations along major highways for free charging, and these will charge it in 45 minutes, which is obviously a constraint if you own the car here and intend cross-country trips. The Model S furthers its techy status by having a 17-inch touchscreen as a centre console, foregoing buttons for most features. But the big smartphone-like car still takes just as long to charge up as your phone, which will limit its appeal to those who can afford to privately import one and keep it in their garage every night.

What do you think?



  1. I saw a black tesla model s in Abu Dhabi almost a month back…I was just staring at it took me few sec to realise its a tesla…it was moving slow n it was soo silent…guess there r more teslas around…

  2. A Tesla Model S supercharges half way in 20 minutes on a 120kw supercharger (and 80% in 30 minures), not 45min.

    Tesla also has newer 135kw superchargers which they announced in Germany. But no times on those yet.

  3. It looks like it has a special plate. Looks like one of the low number plates that are sold at auction. The red square with the number 5 is a clue. I had to check it seems the plate usually starts with a letter between a-z.


    Interesting but not surprising because the Royal Family wants Abu Dhabi to lead the world in science. Great deal of investment in green energy research and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan wants Abu Dhabi to be a leader.

    Unlike many of his peers he wants science education to lead to developing the future leaders of Abu Dhabi. He sees a future were Abu Dhabi leads the world with innovations. He also believes as well as his compatriots in Qatar that science education is the most important development tool.

    • That’s how the present Abu Dhabi and Al Ain number plate looks like. It was changed long time ago. IN wikipedia, it is written in the description but the picture is not updated.

  4. Yess!! Finally seeing them here 🙂 I hope they get a dealership soon

    • I don’t think Tesla will go to any dealerships. Tesla loves to sell direct to the customer and because of that has been embroiled in a heated debate with a lot of states in America which require all new cars to be sold through dealers.

      In the US, Tesla usually sells out of shopping malls, if you can believe that. You do not test drive the model you end up with but rather a test drive version. Then you order the car online, just like buying something out of amazon and the car gets delivered to you.

  5. I just saw 4 tesla car its a coupe model. Here at abu dhabi. I dont know who bought them but probably a very rich local here.

  6. I walked in to a Tesla showroom last month in South Beach and sat in the gorgeous display model to have my breath taken away. Simply superb styling, ease of use and simplicity in charging. The Sales Manager said he had visitors from several Arab countries expressing interest and was aware of at least 2 cars sold to UAE men. So there, you have it! Two at least on the roads somewhere. Apparently, they have no immediate plans to launch sales/after-sales in the ME for the moment. The car can be purchased online using your Credit Card and shipped (extra) from the US. For maintenance you’ll have to ship it right back.

  7. Electric cars in the UAE remind me of a line that General Aladeen said….http://rs2img.memecdn.com/you-amp-039-ve-got-mail-bomb_o_2465967.jpg……Damn electric vehicles in 70+ Celsius heat are literally rolling explosives….

  8. I did a research on nissan leaf and I found out that Arizona users have a battery problem considering the similarity environment. Think Telsa will figure it out

  9. Interested electric cars

  10. Good for us

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