Edging on 4 months of cruising the new car and since everyone loves to ask – “How do you like the Tesla?” , figured I’d kick out an update.
If you have not already done so, maybe give a read to my last blog post after 10 days of driving the car.
I have been taking notes and it is a long list because of course I over analyze everything, so I will break this up into several posts, so here goes part 1:
1) Since I never put gas in the new car and wake up with a full tank everyday, it is really easy to lose track of how much I drive. Heck, I drive everywhere now, all the time. It not only feels free and environmentally impactlless, it feels like a waste of car not to!
2) I forgot to mention in the last post that the car stereo volume goes to 11, a wonderful ode to Spinaltap. But why stop there? The air conditioning / heater fan speed also goes to 11. These are important details that the designer side of me greatly appeciates. I put hidden connections in nearly all my speaker system designs.
3) Autopilot has different concept of optimum lane position than I do. For me, it swings wide on turns and is equally comfortable next to a car as a semi. Also it is not overly concerned about driving in someone’s blind spot. It has a ways to go before being a hands off nap taking adventure. It is more like having a pall hold the wheel for a bit that will slam on the brakes if you get distracted.
4) Most fast flashy cars are all about “vroom, hey everyone looking at me, I go fast, vroom vroom, hey, me fast look over here!”
The Tesla is more like “Hey, have you heard the new Portugal the Man album? Oh wait a sec, need to say bye bye to a big noisey muscle car, ziiiiing, hello cute little muscle car in the rear view mirror, so yeah their new album awesome“
5) It’s a big car! wide and roomy, I went from an Infiniti EX 35 small SUV to a Tesla model S sedan and I have way more room in every direction. Plus, the Ex35 got a pathetic 20 miles to the gallon. I feel years of mileage wasted regret.
6) Tire pressure matters, in fact everything that would matter to you on a self pedal bicycle on a long ride, probably matters to some degree. If you obsess on trying to get maximum miles per charge, speed, how fast you accelerate, tire pressure, anything on the roof, hills, headwinds, they all matter. Thankfully, compared to gas electricity is either free or super cheap and costs around $10 to $12 for 250 to 300 miles.
6) Backing into the garage does not make the house smell like exhaust.
7) Bluetooth transition from car to phone is super awkward. With a normal car, turning off the car mid phone call, auto switch to handset, all good. With Tesla, you don’t really turn off the car, so park, open door, stereo volume drops making person you are talking to inaudible, get out, close door, person gets loud again but is still inside car and can’t hear you. Walk away, lock car and handset starts working. It really messes me up when I am on the phone at work and go get something from the car.
8) I had to drive my 2008 Infiniti and wow, how easily I became unadapted. It was like switching back to a flip phone where texting required me to press each key multiple time to find the right letter. Most odd was the lack of regenerative braking made it feel like it was trying to crash me into things when I let off the accelerator. It just keeps rolling and going and then I have to actually use the brakes! In a Tesla, brakes are only for emergencies and to stop from rolling after you are nearly stopped.
9) With few exceptions, with a Model S, the car you are replacing is slower, noisier, dumber, smaller or all of the above.
10) Gas cars grunt like they are doing heavy lifting when you gas them, an electric car doesn’t complain, it just effortlessly debits your energy reserve