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Our First Test Drive With A Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Master One, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Master One

    Master One Member

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    Recently we finally had a Model S at our disposal for a day, and we drove with it fully loaded (2 adults, 3 kids, 1 dog) 265 km.

    [​IMG]
    With such an average consumption a new S60 really would do

    It was a colorful mix of country road, city traffic, highway and a whole line of acceleration tests. Air condition was on at 20°C at all times, it was a sunny warm day. At the end of day it showed an average consumption of 161 Wh/km, which was quite a surprise. After all the S85 is about 600 kg heavier than our Nissan LEAF. o_O

    Without doubt a very nice car, a lot roomier than our LEAF (especially on the rear bench seat), of course a lot more stowage, great driving experience, overall very conclusive. Things that I noticed:
    1. Why are there no compartments in the doors and on the backside of the front seats, and no can holders in the rear? No idea how to do without these, especially the kids always have their drinking bottles and stuff for entertainment with them. Not worth any whining or an aftermarket solution, but nevertheless.
    2. Why is there no speed limiter in addition to cruise control? With the LEAF I drive almost all the time with speed limiter, especially in urban area, cruise control is only put to use on the highway if at all. I have never seen a car with cruise control that does not have a speed limiter as well, and I really do not want miss it.
    3. What is it with the Tesla Google navigation? Is it really that rudimentary, or did I overlook something? I mean, with all the other navigation systems there are a lot of configuration options, in the Tesla navigation I could not even manage to select an alternative route. On a well known route the Tesla navigation first wanted to send me 110 km over the highway, instead of the 30 km shorter country road, and then it even wanted to send me on a detour to nirvana due to an allegedly but nonexistent road block. I did not check if it possible to define a route with way points, which is also common usage. Up-to-date data well and good, but then functionally even the good old navigation from the LEAF would be better!
    4. From where does the Tesla continuously know all the allowed speed limits? Does it read traffic signs, or does it get the data though data link? I mean it knew each and every tiniest or remote road works. The allowed speed limit gets transferred to cruise control, but it (or autopilot) can not adapt speed automatically. Will that be something for autopilot v2?
    5. How does Tesla do it with the permanent data connection including roaming? I mean such usually causes extra costs. How fast is that data link and is there a data volume limit? We had streaming radio all day, even during our side trip from Austria to Germany.
    6. Does Tesla deliver any new Model S with 4G module by default now, or is this only for the USA? The S 85 we drove only had 3G, but of course that one was already a bit older.
    Can I please have a new S60 now? :)

    OK, some more info about #2: I had no idea that the SPEED LIMITER functionality in addition to CRUISE CONTROL is not common in the USA.

    [​IMG]

    It is really a very convenient feature that you will not want to miss once used to it. In our Nissan LEAF it can be activated starting with the lowest setting of 30 km/h (which is the max allowed speed in residential areas in my country).

    Once activated you still have full control using the accelerator, but it does not allow you to go faster than the set speed limit, except when using kick-down (so you can still react quickly if a traffic situation should require). Acceleration will slow down when reaching the set speed limit, so it is very smooth in operation. The rocker switch on the steering wheel lets you increase/decrease the set speed limit in 1 km/h and 10 km/h steps, and of course you can cancel, resume and set a new limit starting with the current speed at any time.

    With the LEAF I use the speed limiter all the time (way more often than cruise control), be it in residential areas @ 30 km/h, regular city speed @ 50 km/h, or country road and highway @ 70-100 km/h. It has the major advantage that you do not have to cancel the setting if you need to go slower depending on traffic, no more speed tickets if you always set the proper speed limits, and even on the highway it can be more relaxing to just leave the foot on the accelerator then putting it aside when using cruise control. You just set the limit and drive, no more watching the speed indicator all the time and of course no accidental speeding.

    So when driving through town, I always have it set to 50 km/h. When I go home and enter our residential area I reduce the setting to 30 km/h and just leave the foot on the accelerator in any position before kick-down. Our house is on a hill, with the ascending slope reaching up to 18°. Going uphill with steady 30 km/h helps keeping the power consumption at a minimum. Without the speed limiter you have to be careful not to give too much power, since you do not clearly feel the increase in power consumption when accelerating uphill.

    Cruise control would not be of any help in any such situation, and it would not even engage at such low speeds.

    Speed limiter functionality should be easy to implement, especially with cruise control already present, so it would be really great if Tesla would add it.

    Is there any way to submit suggestions for improvements to the Tesla Software Development Team?

    Concerning the decision of getting a Tesla I am literally sitting on needles, I do not think any other decision has been that hard before. If you buy or lease as a private person here, you will not get any incentives and have to pay a sales tax of 20%, giving the new base Model S 60 a price tag of around US$87,450. If you buy or lease as a company you can get half of the sales tax back (but only if the purchase price is below around US$90,224, otherwise sales tax has to be paid in full) and *maybe* get a few thousand Euros in incentives, but it's a tricky thing and one can not count on that, because if the funds get depleted before the car gets registered and all necessary papers submitted, you will not get anything at all (and there currently is not much left in the pot of subvention funds and delivery of a new Model S takes about 3 months from ordering).

    If we should do it, it would be a lease for our company (to get half the sales tax back and at least have a chance for getting the incentives), and with the need to stay below around US$90,224 it can only be a S 60 with premium package and nothing more (I so would want the 60D, but it just is not possible because the purchase price would go beyond the mentioned limit). Autopilot would have to be purchased afterwards, same as the upgrade to 75 kWh usable battery capacity, which is possible and does not influence the before mentioned regulations. I think a lease (as we plan to do it) works differently here than in the USA, we have to put 30% of the total price down on delivery, pay a monthly lease for 4 years, then buy the vehicle at a predetermined salvage value. We have never considered spending that much money on a car before, but since we finally had that Model S for a day, our Nissan LEAF is just not (large) enough any more. I so want one, but can it be justified under these circumstances? Still not sure, in my mind the decision flips all the time, but well, I will have to come to a conclusion rather sooner than later, latest before the current referral program ends, it will only be possible if we can make the most out of it. Crazy, right?
     
  2. xav-

    xav- Member

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    I do not have a model s so I will not be able to answer all your questions. But as a French living in the US I can confirm that as much as I would love the speed limiter in France, I would not need it here.

    France is full of speed traps, with 24/7 automated radars that will fine you exceed the speed limit by 10 percent.

    There is no such thing here, at least I have never seen them in CA and other parts of the country that I visited. It's the way France used to be 20 years ago where speed limit signs are more like "recommended speed limit".

    Back to the model S, I believe you could achieve something better than the speed limiter, by using TACC (which I believe read speed limit signs) and configure the system to not go over a few km/h over the speed limit. I do not own a model s and others will have to confirm.
     
  3. xav-

    xav- Member

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    By the way if you have a business, would not a purchase count as a business expense and then you would save 30 percent of the cost of the car (assuming 30 percent tax rate on corporate profits)?
     
  4. Master One

    Master One Member

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    Thinking about how TACC works, it's just not the same, as you can't really use it effectively in city traffic, and we are not taking about multi-lane travels as typical in the USA, but single-lane streets with lots of turns, typical for old Europe. As my driving experience shows, I really need manual control over the accelerator in town, but I really want to have that speed limiter in place to prevent me from speeding (and we have lots of speed cameras and even sectoral speed control around here) without the need of having an eye on the speedometer all the time.

    With tax, the vehicle has to be put into bookkeeping for 8 years, so it really is the sales tax that bothers me most right now, as well as mentioned incentives which are not guaranteed upon registering in time.
     
  5. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    One word: clutter. More precisely, three words: absence of clutter. It is quite consistent with the Tesla's minimalist aesthetic.
    I doubt one in ten Americans even know what a "speed limiter" is. I didn't before I read the rest of your description. That would probably
    be a Euro-market-only option.
    Widely recognized to be one of the inexplicable weaknesses. We all just hope that some day one of the over-the-air updates will
    include a big improvement to it.
    Yes, it actually reads speed limit signs. Not perfectly, as you'll sometimes find driving on routes with numbers that resemble plausible
    speed limits.
    I've never heard this explicitly described, but from all appearances you get a totally free, unlimited, lifetime phone connection along with
    your car. I think it is, in some way, how Tesla pays us back for all being guinea pigs and constantly feeding data back to them.
     
  6. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Great summary @RogerHScott -
    Only thing I'd add to how they get the speed limit is that if the camera can't see it Tesla tries to pull it from a database of speed limits which isn't always current or accurate but for me in my area is about 95% accurate.
     
  7. Hugh Mannity

    Hugh Mannity Mediocre Member

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    Yeah speed limiter not available in Canada either. No idea why; weird. Thanks for the write up. My family is going from a leaf to a model s as well and we often compare what we are going to gain/lose. The wife is going to miss the Nissan surround view camera system. That is very handy I will admit as well.
     
  8. Master One

    Master One Member

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    Indeed, driving our Nissan LEAF now I find myself always comparing features. Of course the Tesla offers a whole lot more, but that damn speed limiter really bugs me. No idea why it's pretty much unknown in the USA & Canada.

    Believe me when I say, once used to using the speed limiter, you don't want to miss it ever again, it is just so convenient. My town is plastered with stationary speed cameras, sectoral speed control, and police uses mobile radar and laser. With city speed limits of 50 and 30 km/h it's easy to find yourself speeding if not always having an eye on the speedometer. The speed limiter takes off the edge, set & forget, and no more speeding tickets. Not the same as using regular cruise control, autopilot or TACC.

    I already sent the feature request to the Tesla European Customer Satisfaction Analyst, who forwarded it to the correct department, though of course I have little hope that anybody in charge is really going to have a look. At least I tried. ;)
     
  9. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    Yes, a message in a bottle is likely to be just about as effective. ;)
     
  10. xav-

    xav- Member

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    as mentioned it's unknown because there are not many stationary cameras and the speed limits are much more uniform. Pretty useless here.. Except maybe in construction zones where fines are doubled.. Not sure about Canada.. maybe some states have that too I have not seen it though, not to the extent of what I saw in France especially.
     
  11. ggnykk

    ggnykk Active Member

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    Keep in mind that Tesla prices in US doesn't include sales tax, while most European pricing already including VAT or tax. So you have to remove the VAT portion to do an apple to apple comparison.
     
  12. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    I use TACC in these situations. Once the car has read the speed limit sign pull back and hold for about half a second on the cruise control and it will set to the current speed limit.
     
    • Informative x 1
  13. int32_t

    int32_t Tesla Spotter

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    Yeah, the speed limiter sounds really handy! (And had no idea what it was until you described it, thanks.) Wish it was available here too.
     
  14. OLD BOATER

    OLD BOATER Member

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    whats wrong with the door containers up near the pulls? You need a lot more test driving to answer most of your other questions
     
  15. Master One

    Master One Member

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    I know, nevertheless the mentioned price for just the base Model S 60 is still US$72,875 without sales tax around here, and there are no general tax incentives like you have over there, which everybody can count on. If you buy as a private person, you have to pay the 20% sales tax in full. Usually sales tax can be deducted if it is a company purchase, but not so on passenger cars, and even with special ruling for EVs only about 1/2 of the total sales tax for a Tesla (only with a sales prices of less than around US$90,224 including sales tax, otherwise sales tax has to be paid in full) can get claimed back with the next sales tax summary report.

    Here in Europe it is mandatory that all prices to consumers are given including all taxes, which has always been a source for confusion when comparing prices with the USA, and which also gives wrong hope if people are waiting now for a Model 3 for around US§35,000 which more likely will translate to around US$46,000 in my country...

    As said, it is impossible to drive with cruise control in town here, distances are too short, most streets single lane only and crooked, lots of traffic requiring to drive with lower speed than allowed, and cruise control does not even engage with the max allowed city speeds of 30 and 50 km/h (cruise control can only be activated at 50 km/h or above).

    Maybe if more Tesla owners request that feature, they are going to have a look what this is all about. Isn't that what the "Model S Owner Feedback" form on their website is for?

    Door containers up near the pulls? Do you have a picture of what you mean? I do not recall anything like that.

    And YES, I wish there would be more test driving involved! I'm totally obsessed and sooooo close to ordering now. :)
     
  16. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    My wife just noticed those the other day. I, in the interest of minimizing cabin clutter, denied that they were "containers", but my
    son "helpfully" pointed out that they have non-skid bottoms, as only a container would. They're immediately below the interior door
    handles.
     
  17. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    Sorry, I was misremembering: they're actually immediately behind the handles, not under.
     
  18. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    My [young] kids place toys in them ALL the time. They're packed to the top with small toys, since there's really no other storage space, heh.
     
  19. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    If it's what I think it is, it's a grab handle to shut the door.
     
  20. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    It serves that purpose, too, but it is overkill for just a handle.

    Exactly why I wanted to keep their true identity secret.
     

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