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Random Ramblings on 20 Months of Model S Ownership - Part I

Discussion in 'Blog Archive' started by NOLA_Mike, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. NOLA_Mike

    NOLA_Mike Active Member

    May 11, 2013
    Hammond, LA
    My Tesla Model S journey started in early 2013. I had been casually watching Tesla since the first photos of Model S prototypes were published but in early 2013 I realized this car was for real and you could order it now.

    I do not consider myself particularly "green". However, I am a car enthusiast and a technology geek. I installed an 8 kW photo voltaic solar system on my roof in the summer of 2013 because I am fascinated with the technology that allows energy from the sun to be transformed into usable electricity.


    What attracted me to the Model S was its looks and its technology. The fact that it was electric was, originally, secondary and appealed to me in the sense that an electric car with 250+ miles of range is the cutting edge of currently available technology. Unbeknownst to me at that time, there was a lot more appealing about electric motor drive but more on that later.

    After spending a few weeks scouring the internet for all information I could find Tesla and Model S related I came to the conclusion that both Elon Musk and Tesla Motors were on to something I could believe in and I bought a little Tesla Motors stock in March of 2013. It was trading in the $30-$40 range at the time and I was nervous about my purchase. How many automobile manufacturers attempted to start up since 1900 and failed? The list is long. As someone else said "...making cars is hard...". In hindsight, I wish I had bought much more stock at that time.

    The P85+ Buying Experience

    I also made up my mind that I was going to purchase a Model S. The fact that Tesla's future was still uncertain (in my mind) made the decision both stressful and exhilarating at the same time. The thought of being an early adopter (I know others were much earlier than I but I was still early in my mind) added to my excitement about making this purchase. In May of 2013 I ordered my "dream Model S" - the newly released P85+ model, fully loaded except for rear facing seats. Black exterior, Panoramic roof, silver performance seats, sound studio system, tech package, performance plus package with active air suspension and 21" silver staggered wheel setup - I could hardly wait. I remember hitting the place order button wherein my $5,000 deposit transferred from PayPal and the feeling of excitement I had. The two week period between ordering and confirmation passed and it was done.

    I ordered this car without ever seeing a Model S in person (much less driving one). I was driving a 6 month old 2013 BMW M5 at the time and felt like the Model S would have to be pretty great to equal that experience. Sometime during the second week of June I received my HPWC from Tesla. It was this seemingly insignificant event that really drove home the fact that I was about to experience something very different with regards to auto transportation - a transformation in the way I viewed cars. I made arrangements with a local electrician to have the HPWC installed - due to my home's relatively new construction I was able to put the HPWC on a 100A circuit with minimal expense ($300 total install cost).


    On Friday morning, June 21, 2013 my new car was loaded on a truck at the Houston, TX Service Center and sent on its way to me in Madisonville, LA. The excruciating wait was almost over. I had never before ordered a vehicle because I did not like the fact that I would have to wait 6 weeks or more from ordering to delivery. I have always been more of the instant gratification type when it came to car purchases and would find the car with the equipment and options I wanted on a dealer lot somewhere within a 400 mile radius and purchase it and take delivery immediately. I figured it was a 6 hour drive from Houston to New Orleans so I'd be driving my new car before dark later that day. How naive of me. :) I finally heard from the transport driver Saturday morning - he was in Dallas, TX and headed my way. (For the geographically challenged among us, Dallas is NOT on the way to New Orleans from Houston.) He said he planned to be in my area to deliver my car later that afternoon. To save you anymore details, a flat tire on the truck and other delays netted me a call about 9:00 PM Saturday night saying he would be in around 2:30 AM Sunday morning. I took delivery at 2:30 AM Sunday morning and was happy to see my new Tesla. It got its first hand wash shortly after daylight on Sunday morning.


    The P85+ First Impressions

    My first impressions of the car summed up to "Wow, this is an amazing car with no compromises". I guess I was expecting VIN 13,226 from what essentially was a start up car company to have some issues. It was solid and silent - no rattles, no squeaks and, in my opinion, comparable and on par in build quality with the BMWs and Audis I had previously owned. I've heard the arguments that the lack of knick knack storage, door pockets and poor cup holders somehow diminish the Model S's interior in comparison to other cars in this price class but I feel the minimalist design interior suits me to a tee. I don't want a bunch of stuff rattling around in center armrest compartments and I no longer eat or drink in my vehicles so this all works for me. And the center touch/control screen and almost complete lack of buttons and knobs is, in my mind, what all other automakers should be striving for.

    First Roadtrip

    I spent my first year of ownership making trips within the charging radius of my home - i.e. a full charge needed to get me to where I was going and back home again. I had no access to superchargers but in July 2014 I decided to venture out of my charging "comfort zone". The closest supercharger to me at the time was in Huntsville, TX and it was well outside the range of my P85+. I had made up my mind that I had to experience the supercharger and decided to head to the Texas Hill Country. Researching my charging options on Plugshare and every other charging resource I could find resulted in finding a hotel with a J1772 charger that I could reach on a full charge from my house. I would spend the night and make it to my first supercharger the next day in Columbus, TX.

    In spite of differing opinions as to what range anxiety really is, it is a different experience heading out in an EV for the first time. We take for granted when traveling today that there is a gas station at nearly every exit off the interstate. My trip from Lake Charles, LA to Columbus, TX was over 200 miles and I had plans in place to recharge in Houston if necessary. Turns out it was not needed and I arrived at my first supercharger with 37 Rated Miles remaining.

    My first supercharger experience - 1 year into ownership. Columbus, TX

    Continued in Part II...
  2. lisaelectric

    lisaelectric Banned

    Jun 23, 2015
    cool cool:biggrin:

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