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

Discussion in 'Blog Archive' started by NOLA_Mike, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. NOLA_Mike

    NOLA_Mike Active Member

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    #1 NOLA_Mike, Mar 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
    First Roadtrip (Continued from Part I)

    The Supercharging experience literally changed the way I viewed the EV experience in less than an hour. I plugged in with 37 rated miles remaining and immediately started charging at 120 kW. Watching the rated miles tick up at that rate finally gave me the realization that electric vehicles could very well be the preferred transportation choice of the future - and it was here now. I realized in an instant that when Tesla finished the build out of this supercharging network that long distance travel in an EV was not only possible but, for me, would be a pleasure. I'm not in my 20s anymore. I no longer wish to get in my car in Chicago and see if I can beat my best previous time traveling to New Orleans. "I made it in 13.5 hours last time, can I cut another 1/2 hour off the 950 mile trip?" If I only stop for gas and get a bite at a drive through window and eat in the car... This doesn't work for me anymore. I look forward to getting out of the car every 2 or 3 hours and stretching my legs, checking my emails, otherwise taking a break from sitting in the car. Stopping to charge for 40 or 50 minutes every 150 - 180 miles works perfectly for me.

    I departed Columbus and headed to Austin where I had made reservations at a hotel with Level 2 charging. The next morning I departed Austin with a full charge and headed for the Hill Country west of Austin. Navigating the twisty roads through the rolling hills of Texas was a pleasure in the P85+. I went through Marble Falls then headed south toward Canyon Lake.

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    The Model S at Canyon Lake, TX

    After recharging at the San Marcos supercharger I headed east again. Realizing that Columbus supercharger was a mere 90 miles away meant I didn't have to monitor energy usage at all. This was my second supercharger realization - when superchargers are spaced at reasonable distances apart I was free to drive the speed limit (75 MPH in this case) or even 80 or more MPH without concern. Without that charger spacing, owning an EV makes one quickly aware of how much more energy is required to propel 4,500 lbs. of automobile down the road at 75 MPH versus 60 MPH. After experiencing the superchargers on the Texas Supercharger Island (it would be many more months before the Texas Superchargers were within range of any other Superchargers) I have to say I was spoiled. My tolerance for spending hours at a slow Level 2 charger had been affected negatively by watching rated miles increase at a rate of over 300 miles per hour of charge.

    The P85D

    "Upcoming Tesla Event: The D and Something Else" - that was the gist of the tweet that tweaked my interest. I loved my P85+ and took a chance buying VIN 13,226 with no service center closer than 365 miles to me. Through 17 months and 14,000 miles of ownership I had only seen a Tesla Service Ranger 3 times. The first was a visit initiated and scheduled by Tesla to perform a few minor service bulletins. The second was to replace the rear tail lamp assemblies. The third was my annual/12,000 mile scheduled service/inspection. Prior to owning the Model S I was going through new cars at a brisk clip of every 6 to 12 months. I was always lusting after the newest technology on cars. I had been through nearly every model in BMW's lineup and was beginning to work my way through Audi's. With the Model S I felt like I had technology that was years ahead of everything else out there. Tesla was regularly sending Over the Air firmware updates with added features and functionality to my Model S.

    Then on October 10, 2014 Tesla introduced the dual motor Model S with Autopilot technology. My "early" Model S was ordered with every available option at the time but came before Park Assist, Power folding outside mirrors and other features I had on other cars were available. The combination of performance and the opportunity to get the latest technology and features was enough to push me over the edge and on October 11, 2014 I placed my order for the new P85D. After a few unexpected delays I took delivery on December 26, 2014 at the Houston Service Center. The Lake Charles, LA supercharger opened earlier that same week and that meant I could drive the car back home in one day rather than having to overnight in Lake Charles to recharge.

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    The P85D

    Insane

    The new P85D was familiar and different at the same time. It felt like my P85+ on steroids. Tesla has aptly labeled the quickest acceleration mode on the P85D Insane Mode. 0-60 in 3.2 seconds (pulling in excess of 1G during initial acceleration from a stop in a 4 door sedan is, well, insane). Flooring the accelerator from a stop never gets old and feels like an amusement park ride.

    Final Musings

    I have since put almost 5,000 miles on the P85D. I used to make up excuses and errands in order to take the Model S out for a drive. I have quit making up errands and now just take it out with no particular destination. I live in an area where there aren't that many Teslas around. It's not unusual for me to pull into a parking lot only to discover someone has been following me and wants to know what the heck I'm driving. I look forward to just a few more superchargers opening near me (Baton Rouge has opened since getting the D) and taking a couple of weeks to just head out across the country.

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    The P85+ at the newly opened Supercharger in Lake Charles, LA - on its way to Houston to be traded in on the P85D

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    Supercharger - San Marcos, TX

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    Supercharger - Baton Rouge, LA
     
  2. smil3193

    smil3193 Owner (S85)

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    Nice story, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks. I've never driven through the Texas Hill Country, maybe I'll take a drive out there one of these days just for fun. Your description and photo make it sound appealing.
     
  3. ggenge

    ggenge Member

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    I get my P85D the week of March 23rd, I am so excited.
     
  4. NOLA_Mike

    NOLA_Mike Active Member

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    Miles of scenic highways - I think it's a great trip.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  5. NOLA_Mike

    NOLA_Mike Active Member

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    You're gonna love it. Amazing car.

    Mike
     
  6. CUBldr97

    CUBldr97 Member

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    What has been the operating costs of your model S? Any unexpected costs other than tires? How about service. What is the normal costs of maintenance, and how frequent?

    I know there isn't much, as compared to an normal car.
    I have been driving a LEAF for the last year, and plan on upgrading to a Model S when my lease is up.

    thanks
    Keith Kauffman
     
  7. NOLA_Mike

    NOLA_Mike Active Member

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    Keith,

    I bought the prepaid service plan so my maintenance costs have been $0. Nothing unexpected (I haven't even gone through a set of tires yet). I had one normal "maintenance" done at 1 year old which consisted of the tech mostly checking things out, replacing wiper blades and applying a few technical service updates to the car.

    I've have very little need for service visits but when I have needed something Tesla has always sent a tech to my house (no service center anywhere near me) and the work done has been outstanding and all covered under warranty.
     
  8. CUBldr97

    CUBldr97 Member

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    Thanks appreciate it, I figured there was basic 6k or 12k mile checks, to include rotating tires, lubricating joints, brake checks etc... didn't know if those were included in cost of car or not. Thanks again.
     
  9. Salim3r

    Salim3r New Member

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    Recently my wife, Zehra and I went on an epic trip! It was a paradigm change in how we drove and will drive in the future. A total of 2200 miles roundtrip in our Tesla model S to Florida and back. Just close your eyes and think outside the box. No gas, no fumes, no pollution!!. Just electricity as the mode of transportation.
    It is unbelievable to know that this can be done due to the superchargers being placed strategically all over our country. Charging usually took 20 to 40 minutes at charging stations and we were on our way. Great restaurants were available at those locations.
    Lots of folks have range anxiety, but Tesla has done a wonderful job of eliminating that. Right on the screen one gets the trip tic with the charging stations and the amount of charge left at the next station.
    I know a lot of you will have a lot of questions. Please feel free to ask them. All it takes is one experience to convert from ICE to Electric!!
    (ICE= internal combustion engine)
     
  10. joeinslw

    joeinslw New Member

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    I thought the black Tesla P85D with the silver wheels looked much better than the black one with black wheels, just taste I guess, but to me the silver wheels on the black car have a lot more class.
     
  11. dgilbert0750

    dgilbert0750 Member

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    I'm looking to buy a Tesla and found your adventure every enjoyable.
     
  12. CSMidani

    CSMidani Member

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    I'm looking to buy a Tesla in late 2015 and can't wait. Loved your story
     
  13. donhorton

    donhorton New Member

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    When some one in interested enough to walk up and ask me about my car I usually offer to let them drive. I have never had a bad experience. Less than half take me up on the offer.
     
  14. wjhepworth

    wjhepworth Member

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    I am currently on my six month of owning a Model S and have already racked up 18,000 miles. On target for 36,000+ in first year. I share all your observations, especially the part about finding reasons to drive. I actually volunteered to do a delivery of a proposal from Washington, DC to Charleston, WV. I have to confess that I geek out on tracking the range and efficiency. I am perpetually trying to get my Wh/Mile below 280 overall average since inception :) I seem stuck at 281.

    Like you I have given a dozen test drives and so far it hasn't gotten old. People are usually enamored with the little details in the car and invariably ask how the car is doing.. no me, or my kids.. but my car. You have to love that.
     

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