You probably wouldn’t think of Russia as much of an electric vehicle hotspot, and you’d be correct. According to Autostat (via The Barrel), only 82 EVs were sold in the vast country in 2017 (meanwhile, in neighboring China, 603,300 plug-in passenger cars were sold).
However, Tesla has a small but devoted fan base here. Igor Antarov, of the Moscow Tesla Club, somehow managed to bring a Model 3 to Russia – even though the new EV isn’t yet officially on sale outside the US. In a recent video, he takes us for a ride around Moscow, and asks people on the street how much they know about EVs.
The first stop is a snowy Supercharger – the first and only one in the country (apparently, it’s so new it isn’t even on Tesla’s official map). After a top-up, we’re off to the Arbat, a famous pedestrian street where one can encounter visitors from all over Mother Russia – including folks from small villages who Igor assumes have never seen an EV. How much do these Average Ivans know about Tesla and electric vehicles? You’ll have to watch the video to find out, but you may be pleasantly surprised.
Above: Inside the first-ever Tesla Model 3 in Russian along with reactions from locals (Youtube: Igor Antarov)
The Moscow Tesla Club also recently staged a drag race between a Model 3 and a Chevy Bolt (badged as the Opel Ampera-E in European markets) on the streets of Moscow. Of course, Model 3 and the Bolt have been compared and contrasted by a number of media outlets. When it comes to range, features and general price class, the two are perhaps somewhat roughly comparable, in a way (maybe). However, I think it’s safe to say, and with no spoiler alert, that in this particular match-up, the Tesla left the Chevy in the dusty snow.
The Moscow Tesla Club’s Model 3 has a rated 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds. In this race, it reached 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds, while the Chevy Bolt made it in 7.3 seconds. However, the DragTimes YouTube channel has clocked a Model 3 at 4.6 seconds. And remember, Elon Musk has promised that “much faster versions” will eventually be available.
Note: Article originally published on evannex.com by Charles Morris