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Three years in ……..

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Half Dollar Bill, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. Half Dollar Bill

    Half Dollar Bill Traveller, teacher, poet, accountant

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
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    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    December 8th will be our three year anniversary. A most happy anniversary at that!

    Ownership came to be through a confluence of events. We were happy Jeep owners but our second one was on its last legs after 150K+ miles so we were already new car shopping. We weren’t happy with the 20 mpg SUV’s were getting and began looking at hybrids – but nothing there caught our eye. Then a Tesla Gallery popped up in a Virginia shopping center and we walked in. I remember the experience vividly because I was floored! The design, the electronics, the space – all in a fully electric car; why weren’t other manufactures doing this already? Funny note: I’m over six feet tall and when I sat in the car for the first time someone had the seat height fully raised so my head was touching the headliner. I remember the feeling of disappointment that I wasn’t going to be able to consider the car right up until the feeling of elation over also realizing that I could adjust the seat. Whew!

    We’re also not an impulsive couple; we went to the online design studio and fooled around with configurations a few times while reading more about the car. The thought of never having to stop at a gas station again was a completely foreign concept as my routine was to check whether prices were up or down on a daily basis. Oil changes and emission inspections? A thing of the past. My biggest design consideration was honestly my parents. They live about four hours away in PA and at the time we ordered the car there were no superchargers between them and me. The car had to have the range to get to them and thankfully the S85 did. I had to put a 14-50 in their garage to charge up so I could get home, but that wasn’t a big deal. We also quickly learned about energy management in cold weather as there were a few times we had to rough it a little without cabin heat on the way up or way back. Sure, we could have taken my wife’s car, but for me it never was a real consideration after taking delivery.

    The forums were very helpful – kind of a geeky fanboy thing way back then. I liken it to my experiences when Apple rolled out the first Macintosh. It wasn’t a new thing, but a new interpretation of an existing thing that people wanted to poke and prod to understand better. I applaud the individuals on today’s forums trying to keep that useful knowledge alive for new and prospective owners. Many of the threads were like serials where I couldn’t wait to see the next post. As I type this, the ones that come first to mind are @MyFastLady’s trip as the first to cross the country using superchargers and @Monsoon’s Flat Stanley crowd-sourcing supercharger picture challenge.

    As a late 2013 car, we don’t have the sensor package so no autopilot. I can’t say that I need it, though I’m fairly certain that if I did have it I’d be using it regularly and wouldn’t want a car without it. Oh well, my wife’s car just had its ten year anniversary so maybe we’ll be trading up to an X shortly. The odometer today shows 76,000ish miles. We’ve had one battery replacement and one drive unit replacement. The battery died about 30 minutes away from our house on a trip back from PA earlier this summer, due to a contactor issue. It went to Freemont and is scheduled to be swapped back in mid-December. The drive unit had a sensor failure a few months later, about 5 miles from the service center after a maintenance appointment; no indications of trouble until that warning message. It was during the earlier maintenance visit that I realized my first mistake with the car – not getting the extended warranty, or rather forgetting to sign up for the warranty before hitting 50,000 miles. I thought I did, but after reviewing the documentation I realized that I only bought the extended service plan and was going to wait to get the warranty since I didn’t have to pay for it until getting closer to 50K miles. My fault, and I did feel badly and apologize to the service staff after giving them grief for telling me I didn’t have it when I believed I did. So now I’m playing a game to see if I come out ahead. It’s unscientific and I realize each car is different but right now, I’m ahead, knock on wood.

    We took the trip of a lifetime, so far, in the summer of 2015 in the car, taking three weeks to drive from VA to Seattle to San Diego and back. We used over 60 superchargers and visited numerous national parks. We need to go back to Yellowstone and Yosemite and will never forget the drive along the California coast or through Utah. Also a big thank you to @Bighorn for his advice in getting us from Lusk to Sheridan on a single charge. The Gillette supercharger wasn’t open yet and it was in the western spirit of adventure that we decided to try the leg. Getting TO Lusk at night was an adventure unto itself. If we didn’t have an electric car we might not have planned the trip to begin with, which is a common theme I hear among owners.

    The Model S is just fun to drive. Whether making excuses for errands or for road trips, it seems like owners want to be behind the wheel. It certainly is true for us. Pre MS, we put between 12K-15K miles on a vehicle per year. With the MS, we’re up around 20K-22K miles per year. And it doesn’t really feel like we’re driving more but we certainly are enjoying the times we are in the car more often.

    The Tesla owner community is a fantastic resource and I think it needs to be because the owner demographics are certainly changing. Three years ago range anxiety was hot topic and we were still getting used to this long distance travel concept. Tools like EVTripPlanner and Tesla’s own nav have made that a moot point. But I am still stymied today by the number of new owners that don’t know about the A/B pairings at superchargers and then wind up complaining that they got a slow charge. The folks across the country that organize Tesla events and meet-ups where new and old mingle are performing an invaluable service and I applaud their efforts. Big shout out to the @TeslaRoadTrip crew for their latest winery/Blue Ridge Parkway/drive-in movie event and the @SoundofSilence crew in Custer. I swear we’re going to make it out there for your event this coming year.

    As a new owner three years ago I had every reason to be afraid: new type of car, new car company without a track record, the promise of more superchargers, unknown vehicle maintenance expectations, just the unknown period. After three years, strike that, after three months, there is no going back. I’m hooked on electric and won’t get anything else in the future. EV’s are changing the landscape. Practical electric cars exist today and will only get better (hurry up Model 3). I’m glad we made the purchase decision and have been afforded the ownership experiences we’ve had over the last three years. Fellow owners, I congratulate you too. Prospective owners, regret will not be a word in your vocabulary once you get behind the wheel for the first time.
     
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  2. Doubletap67

    Doubletap67 Member

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    From the perspective of a soon to be first-time owner (3 weeks to go!), this is very much appreciated. Certainly less trailblazing than it was three years ago but still a small leap of faith for me. One of the things I thought I couldn't (or wouldn't) try to do was to repeat a drive from Vancouver to Yellowstone that we did a couple of years ago. So thank you for evaporating that misconception too.
     
  3. Pollux

    Pollux Active Member

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    @Half Dollar Bill +1000!

    My three-year anniversary was this past August 7. To celebrate, I exercised my Residual Value Guarantee on November 7 -- last possible day! I can't count, thought I had until December 7 -- and traded in my 2013 P85+.

    And signed up for a 2016 P100DL. :)

    I couldn't possibly match your eloquence but I share your sentiments. And it's not just the car; it's also the company and its amazing people. I've been buying cars used and new for over 30 years, and this is without a doubt the Single Best Car and Company I've ever experienced. And the best owner community!!

    Alan
     
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  4. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Great post @Half Dollar Bill. Three more months for me, then it's three years, and it's been a really great almost 3 years. Better than expected, and I expected a lot. I missed out on AP too and I'm itching to get it, but I'm still in love with my large frunk, 80 amp, Classic. I've been on the site recently configuring a new one, now that AP2.0 is out, and free SC is about to come to an end, but I haven't pulled the trigger since I end up saying to myself it's better to wait for a fully-loaded and smaller Model 3, and keep my car, which is worth chicken scratch on a trade-in, not worth the hassle to sell privately, and I can keep it and add a Model 3 for probably about the same price I'd pay for the difference to trade it in now on a new S. Only 30 days left to decide what to do. Decisions, decisions!
     
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  5. Chopr147

    Chopr147 Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing @Half Dollar Bill. I have just passed my 3 month ownership and loving it! I too find reasons to take a spin to the store, soccer pick-ups, driving daughters friends home etc.......... I did have an on-board charger replaced and got the chance to drive a 2012 S for a weekend. I was surprised at how little the S has changed and yet, there have been huge subtle changes thru the years. Most of the younger generation (guys more than girls) are always impressed with the car. I just cannot see ever owning an ICE again. As with many owners I answer questions of range, re-charge etc...... and consider myself a Tesla salesman :) The more people know, the more will buy an EV.
    my "confluence" was being unable to wait for the model 3. Kids are older, retiring in 3 years, can afford it, a techie, a car enthusiast, spending $200 a month in gas, 3 upstate trips a month , I can give a long list so I just took the plunge. NO regrets!
     
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  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Great post Bill, thanks. I am 22 days away from my 3 year Model S ownership anniversary. It's been an awesome car and like you, once you go EV you don't go back. After buying the S, less than a year later I sold my Porsche and bought a Roadster. Now I have a Model 3 reservation. Tesla is so far ahead of all the other car companies that I doubt I will ever own anything else.
     
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  7. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

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    We will be at our four year anniversary on December 22. With the charge in supercharger policy I just ordered a 90D to replace our 85. We have had a lot of interesting experiences and learned a lot from all of you. Last spring we went on a 3000 mile trip to the Custer South Dakota rally.
     
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  8. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Thanks for the post. My 3 years are approaching in March. Funny how many of us in that range are still around on TMC. As far as the quoted text above, I have no idea what you mean about geeky fanboys. None at all. :)
     
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  9. djinn1

    djinn1 Member

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    Bill - sorry but regret IS in my vocabulary. I regret that I didn't buy my first Tesla sooner. :)

    Tessie 1 entered our garage and lives Nov 2012. Traded her in for Tessie 2 Aug 2016. Never looked back. Oh yes, there have been a few hiccups along the way but oh what a journey. So fun to be part of history.

    Have met many neat co-owners, created great memories, and enjoy educating others. Enjoy!
     
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  10. Half Dollar Bill

    Half Dollar Bill Traveller, teacher, poet, accountant

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    Doesn't look like you've aged a bit :)
    And just now I noticed that the eyes in the avatar move. THAT is brilliant!
     
  11. Pollux

    Pollux Active Member

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    Freaked me the frick out when I first encountered it. And the eyes don't just blink... sometimes they... well, you'll have to watch for yourself.

    My favorite avatar by far!

    Alan
     
  12. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    It gets better. That is, if he can find where he put his Santa's hat that he put on last year around this time.
     
  13. woof

    woof Model X 75D Blue, 6 seats

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    Our 4 year anniversary is on Dec 24th...but we might not make it. The X is scheduled to arrive on Dec 23rd, and we might trade in! Same DS too, apparently.
     
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  14. Pollux

    Pollux Active Member

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  15. FloridaGary

    FloridaGary Member

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    Outstanding post and thanks for sharing your experiences. I am approaching my 1 year anniversary on 12/23 and like you, will never go back to an internal combusion engine.
     
  16. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    10 days from my 4th anniversary, just over 75k miles.
     
  17. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    41 months and counting. My only problem is owning a Model X with all the technological improvements that my S does not have.
     
  18. JediNinjaLady

    JediNinjaLady Member

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    @djinn1 - Bill - sorry but regret IS in my vocabulary. I regret that I didn't buy my first Tesla sooner. :)

    You stole my reply...
     

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