TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

My Delivery Story and first road trip story. Warning, wall of text ahead.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by lerdsu, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. lerdsu

    lerdsu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Delivery and first road trip story.

    Ordered my car in December, reservation #15309 and was told 9-11 months. I didn't really mind the wait because I was locking in at the 2012 price and it would give me time to build up some capital for a pretty substantial (for me anyways) purchase. Received a call March 19th that my car was entering production and would be ready for pickup as soon as the following week, which was surprising news. Guess TM is churning them out pretty fast, or maybe it's just because I ordered one with the big battery, fast motor and almost every option available. I had inquired several times with Tesla about financing and the delivery specialist told me that he would be sending me paperwork to fill out and that their financing department would contact me as soon as I filled out the paperwork, which I promptly did. I also tried to arrange financing at an outside credit union that another friend of mine financed his Model-S through, to get a competitive rate. I did ended up arranging financing straight Alliant Credit Union, who got me a great rate (1.49) also mainly because Tesla's financing department never contacted me, because according to the delivery specialist going into the weekend of the 20th, they were "swamped with deliveries." Also when I informed him what rate Alliant was getting me he pretty much said that it was a great rate and there would probably be no way that whoever Tesla got for me could beat that.

    That Saturday (the 23rd) I received a call from their "Delivery Experience Specialist" that my car was being delivered the next week and wanted to arrange a pick up. We settled on a date and he sent me an email with the details on a Friday pick up at Space-X and that at the pick up Elon Musk would be available for a short meet and greet. Sweet! (but he actually wasn't there when I picked it up) The delivery, other than not getting to meet Elon, went well. I told the delivery specialist that my wife and I intended to take the car to San Diego the next day for a day trip for a previously planned event and if he could range charge the car for me. I intended to drop by the Tesla store down in SD and grab an hour or so charge to make sure I had enough miles to make it home, especially since I knew I would probably be driving it fairly quickly and with 3 other adults and a small child in the vehicle as well.

    I plugged the car into a 110V outlet last night to top it off, as I have yet to install the 14-50 in my garage. I’m still waiting to see if it’s worth the $1600 investment for me or if I can get away with occasional visits to Hawthorne and my use of chargers near my work. We left Saturday morning with 262 miles worth of charge. Plenty enough to get me to San Diego. The ride down was uneventful and we arrived there with about 103 miles of charge left, door to door google tells me it's 121 miles to our SD destination, I chalked it up to driving with a full load and above the speed limit.
    The day at the park was uneventful, no chargers nearby so I just parked it where I could and driving around SD we even saw another Model-S who we all happily waved to as we were crossing paths. We of course waved back.

    Here's where the trouble starts, on the way home, to be safe I decided to drop by the Tesla store at the University Towne Center to get an hour or so worth of charge just to be safe before I headed home. I checked Recargo which sure enough said there were 2 charging stations available for use, just like it is advertised on the Tesla website.

    We arrived to find both spots occupied by dealer cars. My brother-in-law, who I was travelling with, decided to hop out to find someone to ask if they could move a car for us, while we parked and waited. In the mean time I also decided to call the store to see if I could get someone out there to move one of the cars for us. Here's the most annoying part of the entire Tesla experience and probably what ruined the rest of the evening's events for us. The girl who answered said that they could not move those cars for at least the next 2 hours (which would put the store and mall well past closing time) and that there was nothing she could do, even after I explained the situation to her, and pretty much ended the conversation there. My wife who overheard the entire situation over the bluetooth looked at me and said, "you just spent THAT MUCH money on a car and she won't move one of the dealer cars for you to charge?!"

    We called my brother in law and told him what had just happened and he said he was just about to talk to them. He was able to talk to a manager who agreed he would move one of the cars for us to charge. The manager of the store, Peter, came out, surveyed the chargers, went back in to get the key for the other car parked in the other charging spot after he realized that first charging spot was not operational, all the while seeming pretty standoffish about the whole thing. This was a sentiment that my sister-in-law was in total agreement with. He returned with the key for the other Model-S and directed me to park in the second bay but after plugging it into my car and fiddling for a while, no charge. Both of the HPWC were unlit and seemingly unpowered. Peter informed me there was really nothing he could do and directed me to use Recargo to hone in on a J1772 charger across the street while he attempted to try and fix it, although his hopes in getting it operational were not very high. In the meantime, I drove across the street to hunt for the blink station to see how long it would take to get me enough juice to get me all the way home, or at least maybe to Hawthorne to supercharge. I left my wife and passengers at the mall to kill time. I eventually managed to find the charger in a pay lot (12.50) where I had to stop, get out of my car, move plastic lane blockers 3 times in order to get the correct level where the chargers were. I plugged in where I was greeted with 10mi per hour of charge. Charge left, 90miles. Quick math meant I would be stuck in SD until well past midnight at that rate, in an empty parking garage with 1 pissed off wife, 2 annoyed adults and 1 year old who would probably be crying.
    As I walked the four blocks back to the mall I picked up the phone and called the customer support number for corporate. I informed the gentleman about the situation and how I really just wanted to get enough juice to get home or get to the supercharger. He was fairly helpful in getting me some options, the San Diego service center was not picking up their phones, probably because it was 6:30 on a Saturday, but I told him that Newport Beach was 1/2 way to LA and asked if it would be possible to HPWC there at the tesla store. He asked me to hold while he called around to see if he could get me a faster charger anywhere.

    In the mean time I gave a call to a buddy of mine in San Diego. I explained to him the situation and I asked him if he had a 14-50 outlet in his garage or if he could wire one up because his house is in the midst of being converted to Solar. He said he would make a quick home depot run and call me back in 10 minutes.

    By then I could tell from the tesla app that I had around 105 miles of charge available. I told everyone that I would walk back, get the car and we would make a run for fashion island or drop by and charge at our friend's house, eat dinner and make an evening of it. The tesla corporate CSR eventually came back with the number for the contact at the fashion island store, which I promptly called and left a message for. My San Diego buddy called me back literally 30 seconds after I hung up with tesla corporate and told me he found the 14-50 outlet at the depot and could wire it up for me in no time. On the way out of the mall I walked in to the fairly busy Tesla store to see if there was any luck with their two chargers. Peter seemed a little bit friendlier in the store compared to when I first met him in the parking lot, my brother in law also told me that he was fairly friendly in the store, but that first impression still kind of stuck with me. He offered to call fashion island as well, went to the back and came back with the same number for Alex that the tesla corporate guy gave me. On the walk back to the car I called him again but no response, but after paying to exit the parking garage and wrapping up the blink charging Alex did call me back and told me he would leave his Model-S unplugged for the night just in case I did stop by to get charge there.

    I drove the car back, waited in the loading zone for them to gather up my 1 year old niece who had to have a ride on the train in the middle of the mall before we left, and as we were about to pull out Peter ran out to tell us that he thought that he got it working, we pulled back into the charging spot but alas, still no juice.
    We drove the three or so miles to my friend's house who sure enough wired us up a 14-50 outlet. I plugged the car in while everyone went in, my wife to rest after the ordeal and her sister to bathe the 1 year old and get ready for dinner and bed. We hopped in my buddy's ICE drove to pick up take out for everyone (my treat of course, it was the last I could do for the electricity and inconvenience), and caught up with everyone while we waited for enough juice to get us home. After 2 hours or so, and some quick math we decided we had enough charge to make it home, packed up the car and headed back.

    80 Miles from destination, TPMS warning. I’ve been through my fair share of tire problems with my previous car (2006 BMW 330i), and could tell that it wasn’t a flat, but probably just a warning from the temperature change, or maybe a faulty sensor but decided to pull over and check anyways. Everything looked clean but throughout the rest of the entire trip back the error would appear and disappear, requesting that I contact my nearest Tesla Service Center. We eventually did make it the entire way with 20 miles to spare, without having to stop at the supercharging station.
    My main problem with the entire experience was probably the girl who picked up the phone at the San Diego store who told us that she would not/could not move the cars for at least 2 hours. That conversation just soured the entire rest of the trip and experience for us. My brother in law pointed out that Peter actually worked his butt off trying to get that charger operational for us, but it was indeed Saturday on Easter weekend, and it can be understandable that things do go wrong, he only has some control of the mall’s electrical system, but it just kind of sucks that on one of our first outings something like that spoils the entire ownership experience for you. I’m a fairly understanding person, it comes from having to deal with unreasonable users as an IT professional, but I can’t say the same for my wife, whose last words to me tonight were, “when we go to Palm Springs in April, we’re taking my BMW.”

    If you made it this far, thanks for reading, other than the uncured range anxiety I'm enjoying the car very much so far. I went into it knowing that I would be doing some "beta testing" but the trade off is that I get to enjoy one of the most technologically advanced cars in the world.
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Welcome! Sounds like quite the first day of owning the car. Did she say why she couldn't move the two cars at the store? And by dealer cars do you mean two Model Ss Tesla uses for test drives? Recargo can only show that the chargers exist, not if they are in use. Only networks like ChargePoint can show if someone is actually charging at the time. Anyway, glad you made it back.
     
  3. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Your story was very well-written so it didn't seem long at all. Sorry to hear about your poor interaction with the Tesla employees. Most of the people I interacted with at Tesla were fantastic, but I did run into one person that was a little "standoffish" at the Menlo park store.


    One thing I really think Tesla needs to change is how range is displayed in the instrument cluster. Driving with the flow of traffic on California freeways, I reproducibly get about 80% of the rated range. My suggestion would be to ditch the ideal miles since that is nothing more than a lame marketing ploy and replace it with "highway miles" where you can set the Watts per mile that best matches your driving style, but have the default be something more realistic than rated miles. The display could say something like 200 miles @ 340 Wh/Mi just to make it clear. I think this would save a lot of new owners a lot of grief. It would also keep more experienced users from having to do range calculations in their head- having to do mental math like this while driving seems a little silly considering we have what is essentially a rolling computer.
     
  4. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,263
    Location:
    Burlington, Vermont
    Interesting story, but not too surprising at this early stage in Tesla's charging infrastructure build out. I think you will find the investment in your own 14-50 garage outlet to be worth every penny. Otherwise, you'll be constantly dependent upon public sources of electricity which may or may not be available. Why begin every day behind the 8-ball?
     
  5. RandyS

    RandyS Fan of Elon

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    360
    Location:
    San Diego
    #5 RandyS, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
    Lerdsu,
    I live in San Diego and my Red P85 will be here in a few weeks. There are plenty of charging options available (over 500 public units in San Diego when you count up the Blink and non-Blink locations, although most are 30 amp units)...

    I would recommend researching in advance so you have some choices and alternates mapped out, but would have been glad to offer help if you had posted a "help" thread on this forum while down here.

    We could have steered you to a charging station based on how you wanted to spend the time (restaurant, shopping, etc.) As more cars are delivered, my feeling or observation is that the Tesla stores are not really set up to offer public charging.

    I took an 850 mile road trip in my LEAF last Spring up to San Luis Obispo last year with my son and we did it all on public charging, so it is definitely possible with some planning.
     
  6. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    950
    Location:
    Fredrikstad, Norway
    Not everyone lives in California or drives at those speeds. Driving long distances here in Norway I usually average around 45mph, sometimes less. Most roads have speed limits of 50mph or 43mph. I fully expect to achieve or exceed ideal miles in the summer and will leave the display at that. 300 ideal miles is also easily divided into a battery percentage (ie. 30 miles per 10% of battery). I'd rather have a battery percentage readout though, than having to do the math...
     
  7. lerdsu

    lerdsu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA

    One had dealer plates so I assume it was indeed one of their cars that they use for test drives. I was never actually given a reason other than that she could not move the cars for me, and I never brought my phone conversation with her up to the manager, as I was more focused on getting charged and getting home.



    My daily commute is 10 miles, and the thing holding me back from just putting in the outlet is, I live in a condo with the main breaker on the 2nd floor, so to run the 14-50 I would need to open up some walls and run conduit along the external of the building down into my garage as well as seek HOA approval (not difficult because I am on the board.) But my wife works 3 miles away from the supercharger, so I figure I'll just give it to her once a week and top off on the existing 110v for a while to see if I can get away with that.







    Yeah I thought I did my research before I headed down. I had actually informed my friend that hooked me up with the 14-50 that I would possibly be driving the new car down which is why he was able to hook up the 14-50 so quickly for me, and had I known that the HPWC at UTC was out I would have found a local charger near Kellog Park (where we spent most of the day) and charged it while we were there.




    I've been a long time lurker on the boards, since before I even decided to reserve my vehicle. I knew if I had posted something, someone probably would have chimed in to help, but given the situation, 4 other people with me, one of them an infant, it didn't seem like the quickest way to resolve the situation. I like to think I did my homework and I understood the pitfalls as well as the advantages of owning one. The story was by no means a criticism of the vehicle or technology, as I do love my car so far, and everyone who I have dealt with at Tesla, save for that one person on the phone in San Diego, has been pretty helpful and nice. But sometimes it's hard to get a bad taste out of your mouth.
     
  8. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,171
    Location:
    Belmont, CA
    Sorry to hear about this disappointing first trip!
    I find it highly unusual that both HPWC at the store were out. How have they been charging their test drive cars?

    Perhaps your wife will give it another try for the trip in April if you can assure her that you've got charging at the hotel and that they are reserving it just for you.
    I hear the Marriott is very good about that.
     
  9. lerdsu

    lerdsu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Peter (the store manager) during our interactions mentioned to me that had I not shown up requesting a charge he would not have even realized that both his HPWCs were out of commission. Earlier in the week I was debating whether or not to call ahead to let them know that I probably would be stopping by to pick up an hour or two of charge on my way home but I was hopeful that I could get there and back on a single range charge and was reserving the mall option as a "just in case."

    The hotel in Palm Springs actually doesn't have a recharge facility, I checked as soon as I got home last night, hoping that I would get a chance to redeem myself.
     
  10. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,171
    Location:
    Belmont, CA
    Change hotel?
     
  11. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    SF Bay Area

    I assume they didn't use a percentage-based battery indicator because it would encourage people to range charge more often. If something can go to 100%, people really like to get all 100%. But charging to 100% on a regular basis will degrade the battery faster than doing standard charges. Displaying the charge in kWh might also be problematic because there is some reserve power in the battery that is not displayed to the user. If you pay for an 85 kWh battery, but it only shows 81 kWh when fully charged then you will feel ripped off.


    i still stand by my idea that a customizable range display is the best. You can set an appropriate Wh/mi value for Norwegian roads, I can set different Wh/mi value for American roads, and Germans can set yet another value for the autobahn.
     
  12. fizzazle

    fizzazle Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    los angeles
    This is not only a first road trip story but a first DAY story.

    It seems like first day stories ALWAYS have some hiccups (some more dramatic than others). I know I did too! (Ran around looking for chargers...and after 4th attempt found one with only few miles of range left! Probably doesn't sound that scary now...but at the time I thought I was going to brick my brand new P85!!!!).

    the transition from ICE to BEV on day 1 isn't exactly easy. First time experience having to deal with charging is kind of a pain in the a$$! But once you have gotten used to it (perhaps 1 month of experience) then you realize there's nothing to it and it was all just a matter of learning something new!

    i would say a road trip is too ambitious for a BEV newbie. I would highly recommend getting at least 1 month of experience in before attempting one. That way you are familiar with rated vrs ideal via actual miles of range. This is immensely helpful in assuaging range anxiety! you also are aware of how to find charging stations, where they are and what kind they are and how fast they charge. Broder comes to mind. If he had known the car as we owners very well do...then he never would have half charged the car, he would have known that the cold soaked battery shows less range (but actually really hasn't lost ALL of that range), he would have known that the heat seater could be on 3 w/o using too much energy, etc, etc, etc.

    this is just my opinion....

    i plan on making my first road trip in a week or so from so cal to central Cali! I'm 4 months deep into my relationship with my car so I feel like I'm ready! Still a little nervous though....especially after reading stories like this!!!
     
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,852
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Agreed. Honestly I always cringe a bit when people say they're going to pick up their Model S and then drive it 500 miles the same day.

    I did a road trip to bring my Model S home, but I've had a Roadster for three years so I knew what to expect. Even so I was pretty cautious, since I was not intimately familiar with its performance.
     
  14. Banahogg

    Banahogg Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Messages:
    293
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Or at least be sure to drastically over-plan. We did a trip to Tahoe in our 60 kWh with a 4 month old after about a week of having the car. Before we went up, I used the green race elevation-aware route planning tool to predict exactly how much mileage I'd expect to have left at the highway exit for each of the 3 chargers between Folsom and Incline Village, where I had a 14-50 reserved at the hotel (thanks to Kipernicus). I'd prepared my wife for a conservative plan with 1 hour at Folsom plus a half hour at one of the other chargers on the way, so when we didn't have to stop to charge on the way, it was a pleasant surprise.

    I really hope that Tesla releases tools to make that kind of planning easy sooner rather than later. Green race is a great resource, but can be a bit awkward to use and doesn't know where the chargers are, so doing the level of planning I did for that trip takes way too long.
     
  15. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Messages:
    408
    I had a somewhat similar experience in December. We picked up our model S on December 22 at the Orange County Service center. On December 27 we drove down to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl. I had just enough range for the entire trip but I realized that I was visiting a client near the San Diego store. I planned to be there just before lunch time. The day before the trip I called the store and asked if I could use a charger at 12:30 p.m. while we had lunch. I was told certainly, just give them a call and they will meet us in the parking lot with the Roadster adapter. Expecting to charge in San Diego, I was not conservative with my driving on the way down. When we got to the mall, I called and the phone was busy. We parked and walked into the mall to find the Tesla store. At the store I was told one charger was broken and the other was in use by a customer. I was told I could come back later in a couple of hours and see if it was available. I was very frustrated since I called and had made what I thought was an appointment. We went on our way and found a Blink charger in Balboa Park. In about 90 minutes we picked up about 15 miles range which was all we needed. We went on to the football game and drove home late at night. We arrived home with 17 miles of range.

    The lesson is not only do you have to plan carefully but even with a plan it may not work. No one can predict if others will be using the charger when you need it or if the charger will be working.
     
  16. dbfish

    dbfish Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I've started to compile a list of hotels with charging for Tesla owners and a map here:


    http://dcubed.com/evmap/


    It links to recargo because they have a Tesla dash friendly website for checking in or updating info. Please add any hotels you know of using the form linked at the top and I'll update the map! This was discussed at length in another thread but I'm on my phone and can't find it right now. Comments and suggestions welcome!
     
  17. abbylinn

    abbylinn Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NJ
    How about Tesla owner's help app.
    If someone is desperate, I would let them charge on my 14-50.
     
  18. dbfish

    dbfish Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    That would be fantastic if owners could check a box and opt-in to be called to provide a charge to a stranded owner!

    Closest thing right now is Plugshare.com - sign up as a private residence and what your outlet type is, and people can anonymously message you through their website and it sends you an email if you have a message. Pretty neat.
     
  19. lerdsu

    lerdsu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA

    Agreed, I'm probably eventually going to get a 14-50 installed and would be more than willing to lend it out to people, 45 minute charge would be enough to get them to the supercharger from where I live.

    Hopefully the need for such an app will be short lived, as the hope would be tesla would put superchargers everywhere.
     

Share This Page