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Re: Hatched a Tesla

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:47 am
by jray3
I appreciate driving diversity, so could probably get used to jumping between a Tesla and the i-MiEV as Fiddler John and JoeS do, though what a night and day difference! I had the privilege of using a friend's Model S 60 for the weekend. We went to a wedding 130 miles away and also spent a long day ferrying a summer reunion gaggle of 12 y/o girls around for a day of roller skating, playground hopping, ice cream, movie and dinner out. I was reminded of Beldar Conehead's daughter driving sequence..., but had a blast instead!

I've driven a Model S 85P before, but the plain Jane S 60 had all the power and speed I could ever use while remaining a semi-responsible citizen.....what a car! The stalk controls are reversed from an i-MiEV, so I kept shifting out of Drive while trying to pulse the windshield wipers, and I didn't care for the front headrests, which are more like a ball to balance on rather than a cradle for your cranium. My wife couldn't manage a nap in the passenger seat since her head could not rest. One other gripe was that the two energy management displays were not in sync. Range Remaining estimates on the dash were often upwards 30 miles different from the center display, even when choosing the closest of several different averaging options (Last 5 miles, 15, 30, etc.). Of course, the instantaneous RR readings were crazy, between 20 and many hundreds of miles remaining...

The S60 started a SuperCharge session from very low SOC at 90 kW, and continued pulling big amps for far longer than I expected. When I disconnected 73 minutes later at 94% SOC it was still drawing 10 kW! (just because I was curious, and it enabled one long charging stop rather than two stops.)

Lastly, my woman of pure logic refused to drive the car because "There's no way we're buying one, so why should I try what I can't have?"..... :lol:

Re: Hatched a Tesla

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:19 pm
by Don
jray3 wrote:Lastly, my woman of pure logic refused to drive the car because "There's no way we're buying one, so why should I try what I can't have?"..... :lol:
What a practical gal!! - That's been my motto for most of my life

Our new Volt came with a 3 month free trial with OnStar (including turn by turn Nav and 4G WiFi data) plus a 3 month trial for Sirius XM Radio and I've not activated either. I suppose there are things about both that I *might* like and maybe even occasionally use (I don't know that for a fact as I've never tried either) but as infrequently as we use the car and as ridiculous as their monthly (or annual) charges are for either service, why get used to something I'll never be willing to pay for. My wife is like yours - Made perfect sense to her too


Re: Hatched a Tesla

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:57 pm
by JoeS
Hi jray3, glad you had a chance for an extended Tesla test drive - with a gaggle of 12-y/o girls notwithstanding.

I found your comments interesting - certainly more insightful than talking with typical (around here) suburban Tesla owners who appear clueless... I mean, some of them don't understand so many of the car's programmable features available to them and some are fearful of taking a 'long' trip of a couple of hundred miles to Tahoe. Anyway, to a few points you made -

1. Alternating between the i-MiEV and our Tesla S85 has both my wife and myself turning on the windshield wipers on the i-MiEV (that's where the shift stalk is on the Tesla) or grabbing the wrong lever on the Tesla to signal a turn - evidence that we sure quickly become creatures of habit. By far, the most significant difference is in the need for a nuanced accelerator foot on the Tesla, contrasted with my i-MiEV leadfoot (except when hypermiling). Our plain-vanilla Tesla has better acceleration than any normal everyday driver needs, IMO... that said, sometimes it is soooo satisfying. :roll:

2. Headrests - hadn't noticed anything untoward, but at least they're not pushing our heads forward like the i-MiEV's, nor are the back ones intruding into our field of view. Haven't been rear-ended, so I might change my tune... Rearward visibility on the Tesla S is not good, but it does have a rear-view camera that can be engaged at any time - some drivers swear by it and always have it engaged.

3. Regarding energy management: Tesla allows you to configure the dashboard display to show either %SoC or "distance" (and 'distance' to be either 'ideal' or 'rated'). I have mine set to SoC, and rely on it implicitly. For the life of me I don't understand why people use that dashboard number as a RR, because, as we all know, that number can change all over the map depending on how the car is driven. In contrast, the main display has this wonderful graph which, on any given trip to a destination entered into the Nav system, incredibly accurately predicts what the SoC will be when one arrives at the destination while driving 'normally' (a little above the speed limit seems to match) - I'm told its algorithm takes into account changes of elevation, speed, inside/outside air temps, and I've been told (but I'm skeptical) windspeed and wind direction. Absolutely reliable, and has totally done away with any 'range anxiety' anyone may have, especially as this graph also displays how one is performing relative to the prediction during the passage. In contrast, I've never paid any attention to the 'range' numbers in the other graph on the main display - the one that shows energy consumption graphs over the various timeframes you indicated. Let's suss that out when you visit.

4. Charging - I've never yet charged our Tesla to 100% and only charged it to 95% a few times; otherwise, it's usually no more than 80% on our trips, and have only dropped slightly below 15%SoC a couple of times. Your 73 minutes at a SuperCharger is longer than I've ever spent at one! I still need to do a 100% slow balance charge one of these days...

My wife loves 'her' Tesla, but is occasionally wistful over the brilliant red color of her previous Gen1 Honda Insight... happily, she also loves her i-MiEV and she's getting better than me at setting the mechanical charging timer to have it stop at 13 bars.

We've now done over 50,000 miles in two years on our 'used' Tesla, and consider it second-to-none as the ideal long-distance cruiser. Wife just came back from Medford with it and I'll be going up to Oregon again in a week or so for a quick fresh California apricot delivery trip as soon as they're ripe (don't ask). Never use the Tesla locally, except to pick up multiple friends at the airport.

Hope not to jinx this, but so far our Tesla maintenance has been one set of windshield wipers. The tires were brand new when I bought the car (the previous owner wanted to keep his 21" wheels so he gave me the brand-new 19" wheels and tires off his new Tesla), and the Michelin tires with 50K miles on them are still good. The major items Tesla replaced on my car under warranty were the sunroof (it chattered a bit, so they gave me the latest-generation new one) and the motor/drivetrain after our Florida trip (it had a barely-audible hum which they recorded and Tesla Engineering said to replace the whole thing). Uh, no other costs, although I bought some high-end windshield wipers which I have yet to replace. I haven't taken the car in for service, but do need to crawl under it and change the brake fluid and drivetrain fluid (just as I need to do on the i-MiEVs).

The big negatives are both insurance (which is affected by mileage driven) and California DMV registration costs (which just went up).

i still think I have the best of both worlds: a city car (i-MiEV) and a country car (Tesla S). :D

Re: Hatched a Tesla

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:31 am
by JoeS
On the road again... exploring and visiting friends.

From San Francisco Peninsula, up the coast to avoid the Interstate 5 road closure (fire) into Medford Oregon to retrieve wife, then back up the coast to Astoria, in Washington missed connecting with jray3 by one day, then over to Vancouver Island where we met up with Sandange north of Nanaimo (it's a small world, as they missed us at home by a day), over to the mainland and visited a 101-year-old (!) friend in Sechelt, into Vancouver and up to Whistler (had no idea mountain biking was so popular). We were heading for Banff and Canada's Jasper National Park but the forecast was for snow and since my Tesla's tires are now approaching 60,000 miles (but still good tread) we turned south driving through some incredibly scenic country and are now in eastern Washington slowly heading home, far short of our 12,000-mile trip last year. :(

British Columbia has a very well-developed electric car charging network and my CHAdeMO adapter has been getting a real workout. Interestingly, lots of venturesome Bolts are logging into PlugShare. All the DCFC stations I've come across are combined CHAdeMO/CCS.

Making good use of the TeslaWinds app on the Tesla browser which gives a real-time calculated vector-resultant of prevailing winds. Disconcerting to be travelling at 65 mph with the display showing the apparent wind as 80mph (15mph headwind). :o Our lifetime battery-to-wheels consumption is 295Wh/mi which I'm told is pretty good for a Tesla S, and on this trip so far we're at 278Wh/mi.

Still carrying the spare tire with me, but swapped out the huge floor jack for a small lightweight 12v scissor jack. Have a couple of brand-new expensive top-of-the line recommended windshield wipers in the frunk, just in case. I need to cull my huge heavy box of adapters as J1772 stations are everywhere, with most of them being free (for now).

Knocking on wood (resoundingly) we have had zero maintenance and zero issues and zero battery degradation with our Tesla after the warranty expired. Before that, Tesla had replaced the drivetrain and sunroof under warranty. Just get in and drive it. Simply a decadent way to travel long distances...