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First Impressions of my Model S (40 kWH)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by nanurse, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. nanurse

    nanurse Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Diego
    photo.JPG


    Disclaimer

    Before I go off and make myself into a complete Tesla fanboy I just want to make it clear that I realize this car has limitations. I can't jump in the car and drive to where ever I want so if that's super important to you then even the 85 kWh battery version will have limitations. For me, 90% of my driving is to and from work and around town. For this purpose the 40 kWh I have (really a limited 60 kWh) battery is just fine. If I need to do a long trip, I'll just either use my second vehicle or rent a car.


    Delivery Experience
    Since Tesla does 95% of it's paperwork electronically, the only thing I had to sign on the day of delivery at my local Tesla service center was two sheets of paper and write a check for the car. The other approximately hour and half that I spent at Tesla was with a Delivery Specialist going over how to use the car. It was not rushed and he asked several times if he was going too fast. My only minor complaint on the delivery process was that though the car had been washed, I would not have called it a detail. Water spots were still in the door jams under the trunk and frunk. I know, nit picky for sure but still something I noticed. They parked the car outside the service center and laid carpet on both sides of the vehicle for the delivery time.


    My Vehicle Configuration
    1. 40 kWh Battery (modified 60 kWh)
    2. Black
    3. Panoramic Roof
    4. 21" wheels
    5. Tan leather
    6. Tech Package
    7. Paint Armor
    8. Parcel Shelf


    First Impressions
    I had sort of gone back and forth between selecting a white or black car. I ended up selecting black but luckily the car delivered before mine was a white car so I got to see what the white looked like just before they pulled mine up. After seeing the black though, I thought I had made the right decision. The Model S is a really good looking car, the 21" wheels really accentuate the car and I was surprised on how low to the ground the car's roofline really sits.


    The only thing I left thinking wasn't such a great thing was the way they recommended closing the front trunk. They want you to lower the hood but then use both hands on opposite ends to push the hood close. This appeared a little hokey to me and they probably could have done better here considering the rear trunk is fully self lowering and raising.


    My drive off experience was quite exhilarating. You really have to drive the car to remove any sense of this is some sort of green powered econobox. It clearly is a high performance vehicle that just happens to be an all electric. 0 to 60 in 5.9 seconds in nothing to sneeze at.


    Navigation System
    A couple of points on the nav system in the car. First, you cannot log into your Google account and pull up your favorites. Even though it uses Google maps, it's not linked to any account. It would be great if you did but the search is quick and you can also use voice commands to search for addresses. It would be nice if Tesla gave you the option to view the map, "car up" or "north up". Right now there is only "north up". If you have the Tech Package then you also get a Navigon based navigation display in the instrument cluster so you see a heads up type of view in the cluster and a birds eye view on the 17 inch monitor. The 17 inch monitor also shows you the next few turns in a list format as well. One thing I think they need to change is the max volume on the turn by turn navigation. Even at the highest setting, it's hard to hear the commands when the radio is on at even a mid volume level, this should be an easy fix.


    I think Tesla can make a lot of improvements in the Navigation system arena based on existing capabilities we already have on our smart phones today. Here is what I would suggest:


    1. Link the navigation to your Google account so you can access your current favorites on Google maps
    2. Link the navigation to the Tesla App so that the user can transfer an address or favorite to the car via the App
    3. Show multiple routes to your destination, right now it just starts navigating to the destination
    4. Take into account traffic in calculating your route. Right now it looks like traffic is only shown on the map and not considered in routing
    5. Make the view user selectable to north up or car up


    Charging
    I had a 240 volt outlet installed into my garage for $475 dollars. The installation came from a sub panel directly above my garage with about a 10 foot run from the panel to the outlet location. I installed the outlet in the roof so I can park the car on either side of my garage and still charge it. Charge times are essentially a non issue as I've been charging it overnight using the timer to turn on at midnight. For the 40 kWh car I have, max range shows to be around 144 miles and is done in under two hours but obviously charge times will depend on how depleted the batteries are.


    Key Fob
    The key fob is pretty small. It will not fit on a regular keychain so suggest not even trying. I ended up using a very small stylus cable from a stylus I had and then attached that to my key chain. I also found and bought 10 of these cables on Amazon as a bulk by for under a dollar. Not a big deal but if you are waiting on your car, would suggest buying something in advance.


    Slacker Radio and Tune In
    Having Internet in the car really opens up your listening choices. Tesla gives you the first year of the Premium Slacker Service so listening to whatever you want, when you want just became a lot easier.


    Gate and Garage programming
    Programming my gate and garage were very straight forward and the car stepped me through it with onscreen prompts. Even the rolling code procedure on my garage opener was a snap with the car telling me exactly what to do. A first for any car I've owned as these rolling code devices tend to be tricky.


    User Profiles and Phones
    Creating a user profile is very straightforward and if you make any changes that are saved by user profile you will get a save button that pops up so you can update your saved settings. Similarly, pairing your Bluetooth phone as well as using the Bluetooth A2DP profile is simple and straightforward. A minor gripe I have is that on previous cars I've owned the car just starts playing the music from my phone over Bluetooth where it left off when I left the car. This is the case for both Slacker and Tune In but does not appear to be the case when playing music over Bluetooth through your phone.


    Tesla App
    The app is literally on the verge of being indispensable. Like I stated in the Navigation section, they need to incorporate searching and passing address information directly to the car. In the location button of the app you can actually get directions to where the car is located so it seems adding the search and transfer features should not be that difficult. The other missing feature is to be able to tell the car when to start charging and also, based on the outlet you are plugged into, the estimated time to a full charge. Quite frankly for a first version of the app, it really is very nice.


    Windscreen
    On my car at least, at the very bottom of the windscreen there is some visual distortion. It is really not in the driver's field of view but it is noticeable if you look down towards the bottom of the windscreen when driving. Just had never seen this before on any car so it caught my attention.


    Center Console and rear cup holders
    I'm pretty certain that everyone is aware that there are no cupholders in the back. Having a fold out from the rear bench seems like it would have been a no brainer but for whatever reason Tesla opted not to do this. The other thing that's missing is some storage in the center console. It's just a big open area at the moment and other than the glove box, there really is nowhere to store your stuff. There is already a third party vendor selling a drop in console and it appears Tesla will be as well starting this summer so not a huge issue.


    Regenerative Braking and Creep
    So the creep function (car moves forward when let your foot off the brake similar to any automatic) sounds like it would be a good way to go and is in fact user selectable as on or off. What I've found is that I like it better off. My reason is that with Regenerative braking turned on you really can bring the car close to a standstill without ever stepping on the brake. If Creep is on, you have to step on the brake. For me anyway, decelerating with regenerative braking and just lightly tapping on the brake if I need to stop the car and it won't move if you're on flat ground. Obviously if you are on a hill and creep is off and you don't use the brake, the car will roll backwards.


    Back up Camera
    Works as advertised and with the Tech Package I guess it's HD. Would still be nice to see the marker lines that seem to be on every other backup camera I've ever seen.


    Summary
    This car truly is a game changer. It's sort of where we would expect cars to be today technology wise but they are simply not. Since the car essentially has it's own operating system, addressing just about everything I have on here as a issue can be addressed with updates and Tesla has been doing just that. I don't have an ounce of regret with the car and overall am quite pleased with what I've gotten for my money.


    That's it for now. I'll update if anything pops up that I think would be beneficial sharing.
     
  2. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

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    Nice car!

    thx 4 posting
     
  3. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Beautiful photograph. Whether a 40, 60, 85, P85, or P85+... They all look awesome! ;)

    Great write up, thanks for sharing. Never gets old. I had the same restless sleep about white vs. black.

    Say are your windows tinted, or are they stock in this pic?
     
  4. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    Yeah, I really like the picture. The angle looking slightly down on the car really makes the lines look great.

    Not clear on where you installed the outlet in your garage -- is it directly above the car facing downward? I assume you can reach it without getting on a ladder?
     
  5. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    Nice how many miles do you get for 90% charge?
     
  6. gnelson

    gnelson Member

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    Thanks for posting. I enjoyed reading the post, and I am pleased you are enjoying a great automobile.
     
  7. nanurse

    nanurse Member

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    Windows are not tinted.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Not sure I understand your question. I get 144 miles when the car is fully charged. Still haven't figure out if it's cheaper for me to go with the time of day use plan through my utility or just use the tiered plan I'm currently on. I have a solar system in my home and seems like part of year I'd do better on the time of use and the other I do better on the tiered plan.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The outlet is basically just forward of my garage door opener. I tried two solutions to wrap the cable so I could wind it using hose reels but ended up just using a large bike hook that I screwed into a stud. I can coil the cable and hang it on the cable without using a step stool and it works just fine allowing me to park both vehicles in the garage without any problem.
     
  8. Bearman

    Bearman Member

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    What he means is this: I dont know how your charging screen looks like in the 40kwh Tesla but usually in the 85kwh you have two different charge modes, Standard and Max Range. The normal is to only charge in standard mode for daily use and that is about 90% of the battery capacity, which you can see on the main charging screen.
    myrange.jpg
    So he wonders what range you get with this standard charge, if you have this on your car?
     
  9. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    There was speculation this would not be available on the 40kWh. Because it's actually a crippled 60kWh car, it should be able to always "Range" charge, so there's no point to making it user selectable. Anyone who bought the 40kWh cars got a heck of a deal.
     
  10. nanurse

    nanurse Member

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    Ok,

    I don't see the standard or Max Range but it does allow you to select your daily limit charge but still shows that there is room to charge since there is more battery than you have access to, see picture.

    Charging.JPG
     
  11. Andrew

    Andrew Model S #6151

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    Wow, so they really rub it in your face that you can't access the extra kWh, eh? I'd just leave it on the "max" option you have and not worry about it.
     
  12. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    They should put a "$10,000" PayPal button on that inaccessible part of the battery charge gauge.

    As for a Standard vs Range charge on the "40" kWh there's really no reason to have a 90% standard option as you're down in the lower part of the battery even on a "full" range charge.
     
  13. Longhorn92

    Longhorn92 MS VIN #10103 (40 kWh)

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    They do rub it in your face a bit, and it's not only on the charging screen but also the battery icon that is always displayed in the top line (it is never all green). It's my understanding the v4.5 makes it where everyone selects percentage (not just us 40s) such that the standard vs. range charge won't exist for anyone in the future. In the 40s, there is no "max" or range charge option, just the percentage slider that allows you to select between 50-72% charge (% of the full 60 kWh). I think most of us will just keep it on 72% since you won't be damaging the battery at that level. BTW, the 144 miles referred to above is rated miles.
     
  14. nanurse

    nanurse Member

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    Here's a picture of my charger in my garage Garage.JPG

     
  15. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    For the record... there is no "crippled" Model S. ;)
    Heck of a deal - absolutely!
     
  16. Bearman

    Bearman Member

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    Sorry nanurse , I forgot to thank you for your nice write up of your experiences when writing down my clarification :rolleyes:
    Thanks
     
  17. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Member

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    Do we know how Tesla actually limited the capacity of the 40kwh packs? Can the 60kwh pack that it is never get fully charged or can it never be fully depleted? Or a combination of both?

    Judging from the pic it can't be fully charged but it can be fully depleted like the 60kwh ..
     
  18. TonyWilliams

    TonyWilliams Active Member

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    The Rav4 doesn't have a rated range, but it does have a default range. When you disconnect the 12 volt battery, it will reset the range to 41.8kWh usable * 3.5 miles per kWh (285 Wh per mile) for 146 miles of range. The Rav4 EV will do that at 65mph on level, no wind roadways with the heater off (unfortunately, Toyota instead of Tesla was tasked with the cabin climate control design in Rav4, and they went with a cheap, energy sucking 6kW Denso resistance heater; no heat pump).

    If you bring the car to Encinitas on Sat morning, June 8, we can compare it side by side with the 85 models. Maybe a Rav4 vs S-40 drag race :scared:
     
  19. Longhorn92

    Longhorn92 MS VIN #10103 (40 kWh)

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    That is correct, you can only charge to 72%, but you can still fully deplete.
     
  20. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    Since it is 40 kwh and merely software limited version of the 60 kwh battery, wouldn't it make sense for them to limit it to the 10 kwh-50 kwh range of the battery?
    I would think that the 40 kwh software limited batteries will have the longest performance of any of the Model S cars. They should suffer no loss of range over time. While a 85 kwh battery pack will lose a certain percentage of its range after a few years, the software limited 40 kwh battery packs won't.

    I guess it depends on how they wrote the software that is limiting the use of the 40 kwh. It should be fairly easy for Tesla to update that limiting software to provide more access to the other 20 kwh of the battery pack if you notice any loss in range after a few years. If only to give you back your full 40 kwh that you started with.
     

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