Product, Service & Design Innovation
Tesla Smashes Consumer Reports Rating System, Branches Into Sharing Economy

Tesla Motors is charging forward with a new partnership with home-sharing startup Airbnb and a record-breaking variant of its Model S, the P85D.

The Tesla Model S P85D smashed the Consumer Reports’ rating system, setting a new benchmark for a perfect overall score.

At the Consumer Reports test track in East Haddam, Connecticut, the car initially earned a raw 103-point score in the 100-point-based rating system. Consumer Reports made changes to its scoring methodology to account for the car’s exceptionally strong performance, and awarded the Tesla Model S P85D a final score of 100 points.

“The P85D represents a glimpse into the future of automotive technology in which cars will be more energy-efficient than ever, while still delivering a terrific blend of performance and practicality,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. “The Tesla is a shining example of how higher fuel economy standards can be achieved without sacrificing performance.”

The Model S P85D surpassed the original Model S’ 99-point score from 2013 and has been the only vehicle to score 100 points. The Mercedes-Benz S550 was the second-highest performing vehicle in the large luxury car category, with 96 points.

The Model S’ 85-kWh battery gets the equivalent of 84 mpg, and the P85D is even more efficient, delivering the equivalent of 87 mpg. It also boasts impressive acceleration – 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. All without a drop of gasoline or any tailpipe emissions.

The new model still comes with criticism, including that the interior materials are arguably less luxurious than those in other six-figure automobiles (the P85D comes at a $127,820 price tag) and the ride is louder than it was in the base Model S. The P85D boasts an impressive 200-mile-plus range, but it may not be ideal for road trips just yet. However, Tesla proved last year that you could travel 12,183 miles across the United States in 24 days in the Model S using its Supercharger stations. And now, you may be able to plug-in during your stay at an Airbnb.

A new partnership with Airbnb sees the installation of Tesla EV charging stations at select rental locations, starting in California. So far, there are 15 “Tesla-ready” homes listed on Airbnb.

Tesla will give at least 100 selected Airbnb hosts the $750 charging station for free, but hosts will have to cover the installation costs, which are up to $900. To be eligible, Airbnb hosts must list an entire home, have had more than five bookings, and have an average rating of 4+ stars. Tesla owners will be expected to pay about $10 for a night’s charge.

The Airbnb partnership follows an energy storage technology partnership between Tesla and Jackson Family Wines earlier this year.

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