Tesla Model 3 -- Two Week Report

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Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,577
Location
Richmond Texas USA
Hey Guys,
This is from a pilot friend of mine that just bought a Tesla.
Now let me say I could care less about an electric car, but old time me had no idea that cars of any kind could do this. Remember I'm the old fart that doesn't even have a cell phone :wink: Anyway I thought some of you might find it interesting report coming from an almost normal guy, after all he does fly planes :D
He also has some old collectable cars :wink: 1951 Pontiac Chief, 1972 Vette, Corvair Spyder, and a 1943 GI Jeep so he isn't a complete Geek .

Two 43s :D
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A Little Texas History. Most of you outside of Texas probably don't know about the Whataburger well you are missing a lot :D This is a remake of the first stand started Whataburger in Corpus Christi.
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Tesla Model 3 -- Two Week Report

Well, we've had the car for 14 days. We've driven 700 miles, give or take, mostly around Corpus Christi bay. This includes an equal mix of highway and freeway driving.

Since this car is so different, and so rare, I figure it's time for a PIREP for y'all. (Pilot Report, for you ground pounders.)

Impressions: This car is unlike anything I've ever driven. Actually, it's unlike anything ANYONE has ever driven. It is basically a super-computer surrounded by a car.

To that end, the more comfortable I have become driving it, the more it has come to feel like a completely different task than traditional "driving". Let me try to explain.

Getting in, the car envelopes you. There is no key -- your smartphone gains you entry -- and there's nothing to do when you get in except touch the brake pedal. This triggers a series of events that moves the steering wheel, seat and mirrors into your preferred positions.

The environmental controls come to life, too -- unless you have pre-cooled the car from your smartphone app. (Something we do regularly, since it's already summer here.) The big screen is already on when you get in, displaying your position on a huge GPS map.

To go, you simply click the "shift stalk" down. That puts you in "drive", and the car silently moves away. There is no sound -- none at all -- until you get enough speed to hear the road noise.

Driving in town is uneventful, except for the incredibly tight steering and rocket like (but eminently controllable) acceleration. The only thing you must get used to -- and it took about 30 minutes -- is that the car brakes when you let off the accelerator pedal. This is regenerative braking -- it actually charges the battery and extends your range.

Once you're used to that, it becomes something you love. I almost never use the brakes anymore -- which is why brake pads in a Tesla last 200,000 miles!

Where the car really shines is out on the highway. Click the lever down once, and you engage interactive cruise control. This allows you to set a speed, like a regular cruise control, but uses radar and cameras to maintain a preset distance from the car ahead of you. In stop and go traffic, this is wonderful, as the car will literally stop -- and go -- as needed, without the need to do anything but steer.

The magic really starts when you click the lever down TWICE. That engages "autopilot", and is what turns your Tesla into a science fiction experience. The car is now mostly autonomous, doing everything that "cruise" does but now including STEERING and setting the speed to match the speed limit (plus 5 mph, if you like, as I do). You are now a passenger, monitoring systems, as your car drives you down the road.

Then, you add the coup de grace: You program a destination into the GPS. Your autopilot will now DRIVE YOU TO THE DESTINATION, so long as you are on the freeway. It will follow exits, navigate interchanges -- all while you watch! It's incredible.

Its abilities in city driving are more limited, for now. They are working on stoplight recognition, etc., that will make the dream of full autonomy real. Since software updates are pushed to the car over your wifi, you never know what cool things are coming! (We've already had 3 updates.)

More and more, when I get into one of my classic cars, I understand how revolutionary the Tesla truly is. I've now gone two weeks without buying gas, and the driving experience is more akin to navigating a space ship than traditional driving! It's a truly eye-opening experience.

And, of course, there are the little fun things. "Summon" makes the car move by pushing a button on your cell phone. "Autopark" does just that. Want a fireplace? Click a pic of a fire on the screen, and you'll have just that, on the big screen -- and your seat will start to get warm.

Best of all: When it's 95 degrees on the ferry (where they make you turn your engine off), we are a comfy cool 72 degrees. That right there is worth the price of admission.

The car is loaded with fun stuff like that, all of which adds up to a completely delightful experience.
So far, after 2 weeks, I'm happy. In fact, I've never been more pleased with any other new car. Let me know if you want to go for a test drive -- it's really eye-opening!
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
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Thanks Jim, that's one heck of a review, but all those electronics to fail? No thanks, not for me. I do have a cell phone but it doesn't even work at my residence. I don't even have it on when driving. It's just for emergencies. I don't even know it's number. :lol:
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
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Location
Dallas, TX
Thanks! It sounds impressive. I see about two to three different Tesela’s a day now here around DFW.

A few years ago I bought a Lexus, but with the way we drive it mostly around town, compared to our truck for highway trips, a Tesla would have made more sense. I’m sorry we didn’t get one. Well, maybe for our next car...
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
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My niece's husband works for Oracle and was given one for a few months
as part of a project. He had it here visiting. The car structure was not super
impressive seemed average to slightly cheap from appearance and feel
standpoint. It drove/rode ok.
What was impressive was the acceleration....very quick!
I think they would make a good second or third car.
We used one of my welder outlets for charging.
Dave
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,599
Location
Alaska, Idaho USA
Sounds interesting, but out of my price range, and when I go on a trip it can be a long trip, which I don't see as working to well with an electric car. Plus I am too much of a control freak to let the car have that much control. I'm glad your friend likes his car though.
 

Rick Courtright

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Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,897
Location
Redlands CA USA
Hi,

The "hi-tech" driver in my family is my sister, on her 3rd Prius now. This one's a plug in model: the way I understand it, the system's like a Chevy Volt in that you start off electric only. When the battery runs down, the Volt switches to pure gasoline power, the Prius goes to its normal hybrid behavior. That makes more sense than a pure electric car to me. But if someone's got the money for such a toy, let 'em go play if they want!

Rick C
 

SAJohn

Hunter
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Jan 6, 2007
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Terrebonne, Oregon, USA
I am not a big fan of the idea of touch screen car dashboards. I am certain that it would be distracting for me. I dislike my after market radio for the same reason. I much prefer knobs, switches, and single function buttons. Tachometers and speedometers should be straight ahead at just below eye level.

Backup cameras are a great idea as are navigation devices with speaker voice assistance and heads up displays for giving us information while still watching where we are going.

Autonomous devices for breaking and steering all lead to inattentive driving. Sometimes dangerous situations call for acceleration, not computer breaking commands. There are times when it is best to cross a highway double line (can any computer program figure at those situations).

i.e., Once I was driving at a safe speed in fog when an oncoming car suddenly turned in front of me and stopped. Would that computer have allowed me to cross the double line into oncoming traffic and then accelerate to regain control and turn back into my lane? I will wager it would have applied the breaks and I now would be dead.

John
 
Joined
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Reading, Pa
My favorite piece of technology on our new cars is adaptive speed control, you set the distance you want between you and the car in front of you, then you set your speed. If your cruise is set at 65 and you’re behind someone set at 64 1/2 your car will stay behind the car in front of you by the amount of car lengths you set, it’s convenient out on the highway. Most features on a Tesla are found on almost every other new car out there in one way or another. If you want a plug in only vehicle I have no problem with that but the charging technology is not very good right now and autonomous driving is decades away.
 

Pat-inCO

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In the AZ oven (Phoenix basin)
Well . . . . . I guess I need to win the lotto. That would accomplish two
things: 1) Provide enough money to get one of those and 2) Keep my
daughter happy in that she could track where I am and know I would get
where ever I am going, and back. :wink:

You didn't mention the price, nor the battery charge time.
 

Armybrat

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Feb 22, 2007
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Round Rock, Texas
In his area the power source is either natural gas or nuke.

Here in the Austin area the place is crawling with Teslas, and charging stations are everywhere. Even along our interstates, so I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable traveling around the eastern half of Texas in one.

However, the price point is $10,000 too high for the average guy like me.
 
Joined
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Armybrat said:
In his area the power source is either natural gas or nuke.

Here in the Austin area the place is crawling with Teslas, and charging stations are everywhere. Even along our interstates, so I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable traveling around the eastern half of Texas in one.

However, the price point is $10,000 too high for the average guy like me.

Ok, the charging stations are everywhere but how long does it take to charge one? How far can you get on a quick charge whatever that would be?
 

Colonialgirl

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WHO PAYS for the electricity to recharge at those "stations"? Just imagine the pollution from the plants required ti generate all that electricity. Tesla and electric cars are a giant farce and ripoff; NOT to mention all the pollution from the mining and refining the materials needed to manufacture those "lithium" batteries; WORSE than lead batteries and NOT recyclable.
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
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In the AZ oven (Phoenix basin)
Went over to Car and Driver for their reviews/information:

Price: START at $36,200.

Standard Range Battery: $36,600
Standard Range Plus Battery: $41,100
Long Range Battery: $51,100
Performance: $61,100

How far can I drive?:

The available driving range starts at 240 miles for the base Standard
Range Plus Battery model to 325 for the rear-wheel drive Long Range
Battery model.

What about recharge time?:

The Model 3 offers several different options for charging, including Tesla's
network of fast-charging stations called Superchargers; adapters for DC
public-charging stations and 240-volt and 120-volt outlets; and a home-
charging station.

Full charge = 12 hours. ( :shock: ! )

As they used to say on Laugh In: Velly Intellesting.

Like I said, IF I win the Lotto. :wink:
 
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