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My 15,000 Mile Long Term Update

Discussion in 'Model S' started by TMS doc, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. TMS doc

    TMS doc Member

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    Just last weekend I hit 15,000 miles, so I thought it was time to post my long term driving impressions.

    Bottom line? I love, love, love, this car!!! Even more than the day I got it. Driving it is still exciting.

    It's been eight months since I took delivery of my Signature Red 85, S 197. See my initial post here: My first two weeks with Model S

    It's been just over eight months, and I am on track to put on 22,000 miles my first year. I have never driven a car that much in a year before. Part of the reason is the agreement with my wife that whoever is driving the furthest that day gets the car, just the opposite of what you would expect with the family EV.

    To put it into one word, this car is SMOOTH. Super smooth. It never strains. It is easy to find yourself going really fast. Today I looked down at the speedometer reporting 94 and decided I should slow down. The acceleration is amazing, and I drive the standard version! I know I get better than the reported 0-60 times. We've seen the famous video of Model S beating the BMW M5 at 0-100 mph, but the real world experience is even better, because the 0-30 times are off the hook, and that's more of what you drive each day. On the subject of speed, I am very happy with a standard 85 instead of performance. It's much better than my old V8 Mercedes 560 SEC. My 85 is very, very fast; the P85 is just dangerous. And in real life, the only occasion I have to actually floor it is when I'm showing off to friends. There is plenty of power and great handling.

    I love, love, love the one pedal driving. It felt strange at first, but after a day it was normal, and I miss it in my other cars. I expect I brake 1/4 of what I do in other cars. I love how the car turns on by sitting down and starting to drive. I love the walkaway locking. My young son loves to sit in the rear jump seats, though we are careful on a hot day. The iPhone app is great. I love the touch screen and displays, which are intuitive and easy--Google maps, a web browser, Slacker, or my music library, or playing Pandora off my iPhone.

    The car is gorgeous. Signature Red looks great in person. (In 30 years it will fetch a premium at auction.) The Obeche wood gloss is also my favorite for its warm tones. There has been almost no noticable battery degredation. Problems? I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention. And they were resolved very quickly by great Tesla staff.

    Some highlights:
    · The opening of the Santa Monica store--wishing Elon a happy birthday, hearing George talk about the stores, and asking Franz about the design of the front end.
    · Driving with Tesla club LA on Mulholland Drive. We had 15 Roadsters and S's, and as we drove past the Rock Store, a big weekend Harley hang out, we got so many stares as we silently whooshed past like they couldn't figure us out.
    · The next day driving the I-5 in Orange County. It was the Monday after the big Fisker lay-offs, and I dropped in behind a Fisker with manufacturer's plates. (I expect they had lots of cars in the pool and not so many drivers.) Traffic was heavy, but I wanted to blow it away, and then I saw my chance. An entrance to the carpool lane came up, so I shifted over and left it in the dust. (Fiskers didn't get HOV stickers in California since they pollute too much.)
    · Dropping my eighth grade daughter off at school the day she had a field trip to the local electric plant. I tried to explain to her how, even with a natural gas fired power plant, the carbon footprint of the Tesla was 1/3 that of an ICE. Her response--"Why do you love this car so much? It doesn't even have lighted vanity mirrors." Still working on her.
    · Paying for the car with stock gains. Sweet!

    So what about range? Isn't it a hassle to worry about charging? Well, perhaps you need to be smarter than a New York Times reporter, and maybe most Americans are like that, but really it's not that hard. The first month I was watching my charge all the time. Now I don't hardly think about it because I know what the car can do. Today I drove 150 miles. No problem. No special arrangements. No driving slow to conserve my range or going without the air conditioner. It was hot in LA and remember I hit 94 mhp. And I could have done it with a 60 kWh battery.

    People ask me where do I charge. With three exceptions in 15,000 miles, I have only ever charged at home. The only real time I had to plan about where to charge was driving LA to San Francisco in May, and then I got to use the super chargers for free. I did one trip to Palm Springs for the weekend of my 50th and topped off with the 110 volt in the garage of the house we rented. Another time staying with friends up in the mountains at Lake Arrowhead I also topped off with 110 from their cabin. So for only 2 days (up and back to SF) out of 200+ that I've had the car did I use a special charger outside my home, or 1% of the time.

    I do plan on using the super chargers more though, first by going to Teslive next weekend (yea!) where I'm presenting on Model S (and looking forward to hearing Elon again and the party at the factory)!! After that, in August, dropping off my older daughter at UC Berkeley where she starts as a freshman Physics major (she gets it), and then for Parents Weekend in October. It will be more fun and cheaper than flying.

    So is this EV thing for real? Well, I don't see myself buying another ICE. It's sort of sad. I was such a car nut, and now I don't look at those cars the same way. I don't fantasize about a Bentley, or an Aston Martin, or a Porsche anymore. Maybe I would buy an ICE if my kid needed a car for college, and she couldn't charge at her dorm or apartment, but not for me to drive. I asked my wife if we ever did the drive out to her mom's in Denver another time, would we take the Land Rover LR3 again (I'm not a tree hugger), or take the Tesla and plan the charging. She said for sure the Tesla. We have placed a deposit for our next Tesla.

    What are the disadvantages of an EV compared to an ICE? There are only two. There aren't as many places to fill up out on the road, and filling up takes longer. But in the long run, building an electric infrastructure will be so much easier than any other alternative fuel since electricity is already everywhere that we are. And with an EV, I have my own personal filling station in my garage. Who else can say that? I leave home with a full tank every day. I don't go to my local gas station except when my windows are really dirty. (The list of EV advantages is long). And with Tesla's big batteries, filling up out on the road is already a rare event. So that leaves the time factor as the only disadvantage.

    Yes, my trip to San Francisco did take little longer because we stopped to recharge, but I fueled up for free, got the amazing performance of the Telsa, and with fewer carbon emissions. Solar would make it carbon free. So now we have battery swap to erase the last single disadvantage of an EV. I could see this being important in commercial applications, like for taxis and police cars. For me, when I stop at the Tesla Station in Tejon or wherever, I will probably get a frozen yogurt or a coffee and stretch my legs rather than pay for the battery swap. But no more disadvantages.

    So Elon, why do you feel the need to answer every critic? If the naysayers want to be late to the party, let them be late. I think the Kool-Aid tastes great.
     
  2. rjhoskins

    rjhoskins Member

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    Nice read....thanks for your impressions. Have you had many problems/glitches with your car since you've had it??
     
  3. Blvr888

    Blvr888 Member

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    Great read, many thanks for sharing! Holding out gets ever more difficult :smile:
     
  4. notailpipe2112

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    Toronto, Canada
    I'm at about 6,500 on my 60 and I'd say I agree with everything you have here. Very good summary of the overall 'new world' feeling you get with this car. 'Smooth' is the only word to describe the drive, and it really doesn't ever get tired. Effortless acceleration is a subtle perk that blows you away whether you are going from 10 km/hr to 15 km/hr or 100 km/hr to 130 km/hr. Same feeling in both cases, and creates the same subtle improvement in the way you move in traffic. This is the electric advantage that only Tesla has, and I think the more people experience it, the more they will want it.
     
  5. GlennAlanBerry

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    Very nice post! I only have 2100 miles on my P85 after two months (but I work from home). I still love it! The Tesla makes you feel like you are a cheetah among a bunch of slow moving animals on the road. It is a very similar feel to a crotch-rocket motorcycle in terms of instant acceleration. Despite that, I like to see if I can stay under 300Wh/mi in normal driving, playing the one pedal driving game.
     
  6. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Nice post. I'm just shy of 13,000 in 7 months, so we do a similar amount of driving. I can't remember ever putting 3000 miles on a car in a single month (unless on a cross country trip/traveling), and I too am on target for a record first 12 months...in my Prius I drove b/w 12-17k miles per year (usually right at 15k). The Tesla is our "go-to" vehicle for everything, picking up a loaf of bread, taking kids to sporting events, anything. It's the most comfortable vehicle, it's the most efficient and it's the most fun.

    Going to one of our gas cars is, literally, terrible. I just can't even imaging buying a gas car ever again, even a hybrid, for my daily driver...I'm changed forever.
     
  7. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    Thanks for the post. I'm approaching 5K miles with pretty much the same sentiment. I actually enjoy the adventure of road tripping now as charging in the wild spices a trip up so much more than stopping at some crappy gas station/convenience store buying a Yoohoo and racing back to get on the road. I did a one day 250 mile round trip yesterday to pick my son up from a summer camp. We stopped at a free charger for some cushion miles, ate lunch, did a little reading at the public library, bought the wife a fresh loaf of bread at the market. Just a better way to travel.
     
  8. HHHH

    HHHH Member

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    Great read. I wasn't thinking that I would use the 110v plug very often seeing how I read it only charges very slowly, but I suppose on a weekend if I don't have access to anything else, 65 hours of charge would net me 300 miles.
     
  9. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    I've read so many stories like this that there is no doubt in my mind that petroleum fueled automobiles are literally dinosaurs. When I walk past parking lots full of ICE vehicle all I see now is obsolescence.
     
  10. huntjo

    huntjo Member

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    5000 miles. Same great experiences.
    It pains me how the few folks with negative experiences tend to get more "airtime". It makes sense of course that those without major problems are out enjoying a drive while those waiting for communication or a seemingly minor door handle fix hav nothing but time to stew and publicize their anguish on the Internet. If service and communication can improve enough that little glitches are addressed as quickly and smoothly as the drivetrain, then the Tesla world would be in harmony.
     
  11. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    That happens in every forum. Many cars have far more negative experiences (not counting just driving) than the Model S.
     
  12. nanurse

    nanurse Member

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    Thanks for the nice review. Great perspectives.
     
  13. Kauai

    Kauai Signature PS588

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    8 months, 12,500+ miles later and I completely agree! Best car ever!!!!! We have become a 2 EV (read Tesla) family and have had no worries (and no problems) with range, road trips, etc. Though we do mostly stay local to CA.

    I also charge lots away from home. I make it a game to charge whether I need to or not, whenever I see electricity for less then my relatively high E9A PGE Tier 5 rate ;) Surprisingly large number of convenient and free options out there.
     
  14. sanaroph

    sanaroph Member

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    A wonderful review! Thank you for sharing. We have had our 85KWH MC Red for 2 1/2 months with 7,000 miles & can understand the joy of driving a Tesla. I personally did my 1st long trip with a stop at a supercharger and was impressed by the fast charging in Delaware
     
  15. TMS doc

    TMS doc Member

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    @Glenn. You have a P85 and are trying to stay under 300 Wh/mi? I am averaging 354 Wh/mi.

    - - - Updated - - -

    @rjhoskins. The biggest expense to date has been two new rear tires at 12,000 miles, but I have the 21 inch wheels. The other issues were a charging cable that didn't work. It was a little scary not being able to charge and took a little detective work, but then Tesla replaced it. The last thing was a ballbearing that wnet bad in the rear axle on my trip to SF. I was able to take it into the factory repair shop ion a Saturday and they fixed it. Didn't get the Model S loaner though.
     
  16. ModelS1079

    ModelS1079 Member

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    My view from 15,000 miles. This car keeps getting more and more enjoyable. (cross-posted - forgiveness begged).
    More comments from earlier post at: Six Months Today: Life with a Model S at 6 Months

    Please note the nearly-15,000 miles energy usage and note the lower mileage energy usage began Memorial Day (Summer usage); I began driving the phenom-car December 16th. While my winter energy usage is significantly higher, note the average is pretty sweet (312wH/mile since Memorial Day, and often well-below 300; note the current 111-mile trip is well-under 300). Enjoy! On the fence? - GO for it. Zero Regrets, and a joy to drive everyday.

    Tesla 15K milles.jpg
     
  17. Zextraterrestrial

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    I am at 13+ K and just got my car back from 1 year service after 9 days!!!!:cursing:
    I am veery happy now and luckily the stock went through the roof during my time without my car so it wasn't thaaat bad. But it was hoorid driving and ICE to work and home, and that is the only place I ever drove because it just wasn't worth it to drive the dino car anywhere else.

    I am now in more love with my car than the first 1k miles. They even gave me brand new front rotors and pads! I had the old style apparently & my car came back very clean and the 1000 mi that the rangers drove picking up and dropping off the car for a 1yr + 'minor' warranty stuff(really more major than I thought, also replaced a rear bearing + all of the other svc bulletins) with no paid ranger service was pretty awesome

    the car is so awesome. I spent the whole day I got my car back smiling. My wife and I went out with stupid Tesla grins once again, enough so to get a comment about our smiling!
    :biggrin:

    time to go to the hardware store ;>
     
  18. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    Check out this picture; just got back from a trip to NYC - met Aaron at darien while we both supercharged.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1376184279.888811.jpg
     
  19. MSPRad

    MSPRad Member

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    TMS Doc, I noticed you mentioned dropping off your daughter at UC Berkeley. We just dropped off our son there yesterday (comp sci, for now), but took the SUV because he has too much stuff. We are going again on Sun to drop off the things he forgot, and will be in our blue P85 this time. May be we'll see you there!
     
  20. TMS doc

    TMS doc Member

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    He must have a big dorm room if you can't get it all in your Model S. We got her all dropped off and loved taking the model S for our third trip from LA to the bay area! Unfortunately, we won't be there this weekend, but would have loved to meet up. I was planning on parents' weekend in October but my daughter is giving me messages to not bother to come as she has better plans already. :(
     

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