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First Road Trip - 1,500 Miles

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Ashkenaz, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. Ashkenaz

    Ashkenaz Member

    May 25, 2016
    I've attempted to write this once already, and this is my second attempt. I will try not to be too verbose or "poetic." I will try not to use metaphors and apologies in remark to this cars speed, or attempt to bring to life a collection of metal and plastic in a way that would treat this vehicle as anything more than just that: a mode of transportation.

    I have only owned this car a month, and although I've been a fan of Tesla for several years, I am constantly amazed at the knowledge base of those in this new community which I suppose I am part of, although I certainly am sitting in the back of the class. The wealth of knowledge on these forums is really amazing. With that in mind, here goes my very simple-minded post of my first experience with this car on a road-trip.

    First of all, after reading the forums here, there were not too many surprises on the road. The car basically is exactly as advertised and more. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and am actually a little bummed today I'm not driving, which probably is what brought me to the computer to write about driving the Tesla Model S. I'm obsessed.

    Reading my signature, you will see that I have a Model S 70D, with most of the extras, minus the wheels and the ultra high fidelity sound system. I'm happy with my wheels, no they don't look as cool, but the driving I do, well, I hit a lot of potholes. Also drive in snow, or plan to. As for the sound system, I regret not getting the better sound. I tried to at the last minute, but there was a 500 dollar change fee, so here I am. For anyone who likes to jam the music, I recommend it. I just can't get enough bass with the standard sound. Of course, that's a personal preference.

    I'm very happy with the air suspension. I use it a lot. On this trip I used it three times, going in and out of steep drives for parking garages, also a couple of the supercharger stations had drives that were, they looked scary to me, so I elevated. I love the air suspension.

    Range. Call it energy management, planning, whatever, but I have to say all of the range anxiety for me vanished within a couple of hours of driving. The computer on board is very accurate. I drive fast. I like to speed. I'm heavy footed. Despite all of this, I never had any surprises. The computer tells you exactly what you will arrive with, and typically you are above that. That was fantastic. Even when I realized halfway through my trip that my charging chord (OMG!!!!!) was still back at home in the garage, well, I had never planned on leaving the supercharger network anyway, so I was good. However, I won't leave that behind again.

    The APP. Wow, what a great tool. I use that app all the time. It tells you when you are ready for the next leg, but hey, you might arrive at a percent of power you're not comfortable with, so just wait a few more minutes. The SC charge at a whopping amount of miles per minute. Topping off my little 70D never took long. I even used the valet part of the App. That was cool. I found myself looking at the car... late at night on the app, in the dark of the hotel room. Hey, it could be worse, right?

    The real problem: WEIGHT GAIN. I've never seen anyone talking about this, but hey, almost every SC we stopped at had either panera bread of starbucks! Charge, get a cookie. Charge, have a latte. Charge, have a burger. I've never eaten so much on a road trip in my life!

    Safety. Finally, I will say that in all seriousness, this car was a great platform to ride in with my family. It's safe, fast, and smooth. Comfortable and quiet. My son was in back stretched out playing on an iPad, my daughter and I in front listening to Dad's old corny music on Slacker. Autopilot helped out when I wanted a break, and besides two weird occurrences, it was great.


    Yes, well, not weird really, not if you remember a few things. This car is a computer, probably smarter than me most of the time. The navigation is the best I've seen. I usually screw things up when I try to follow navigation in cars, but not with this one. I loved the graphics that showed me the way to go, popped up and showed me the way. That was pretty great. I only missed an exit once. Well, twice. And that was when I realized the dangers of departing a Supercharger with an ETA at the next Supercharger with only a few percent. What if you get lost or delayed with a detour? Yeah, that sort of freaked me out, but since I was without my charging chord, I always charged a bit extra before leaving any supercharger. Except last leg when I rolled into house garage with 20%.

    But back to the autopilot. From my limited understanding of the system, the A/P is reading what's ahead, using various hardware onboard. Ok, I know, that's simple, but do we really care? Ok, yeah we do, but honestly, let's just remember it's a machine that will adjust and make course corrections to get you in the center of the lane.

    There were two occurrences I experienced. The first was while overtaking a slow truck, for a moment the A/P thought, well who knows, but it decelerated very rapidly for just a second, then figured it out, and continued. It was so fast, like less than two seconds. No biggee, but it startled me. I paid a bit more attention after that when I overtook big trucks.

    The second was when the lane markings were less than adequate, the car began to oscillate slightly left to right, trying to seek out center. Completely understandable. Disengage, and carry on. Overall, I continue to be extremely satisfied with the A/P.

    My big feeling after this trip was like a kid taking candy from a candy jar, I mean, I feel like I'm in on a really good deal, that maybe this won't last forever, maybe my joy will be legislated away, or something worse. At any moment, someone will take away my little car key and say, "ok, that's it. We are taking this back." I love the car, and I look forward to the next trip.
    • Like x 4
  2. Ashkenaz

    Ashkenaz Member

    May 25, 2016
    This charging station was weird, actually had to pull in past chargers. Somewhere in Eastern Ohio or Penn, not sure which. Notice my temp plate in window. I'm a newbie.


    I snapped this picture because I wanted to see if A/P hardware would recognize two bikers riding together side by side ahead of me. It did!
    My average for 1500 mile trip was 270 Wh/Mi, and thats the same since I bought the car. I'm heavy footed. IMG_0756.JPG

    Me in the middle, in VIRGINIA. I met a great lady driving a red Tesla who is a lobbyist for Tesla who pulled up shortly after this picture. It's nice to know we have people looking out for us in D.C., especially now with all the.... troubles. Note I parked to allow better charging for the other two. IMG_0714.JPG

    Columbus, Ohio, we had a guy drive this up and ask us all sorts of questions. He was amazed. "Totally electric? No engine at all?"


    This App is amazing. What a great tool.
    • Like x 3

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