A month later: The electric car

January 31, 2016 | Filed under: Uncategorized

So last year I treated myself to my dream car, a black Tesla model S. An 85D, to be precise (Range was my top priority, not speed, as I live in a rural location). So I’ve owned it for about a month, here is my thoughts on what its like. First the bad, then the good.

tesla

BAD:

The range is NOT as good as they claim. This shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, MPG figures are bullshit, as has been definitively proven, but its still a bit of a disappointment. Without acting like an asthmatic snail, I can happily just jump in and drive 200 miles, which means I can go to London AND back without worrying about recharging anywhere. Still…it would be good to have a higher figure, AND to see more transparency from Tesla on the real world range.

The in-car maps for the satnav are NOT that good if you live somewhere rural. They are dependent on internet connection, and that isn’t that good here. To be fair, the actual sat nav is better than my previous car, AND it has voice-aware satnav that *works* so I can say ‘Drive to Oxford’, and it will set up the satnav without me once taking my eye off the road, which is cool.

Its BIG. It’s much too big a car for me. I don’t need this space, and it means that I have to be a bit careful when parking. UK roads are not as wide, I live down a country lane, in an ideal world, it would be 20% smaller all-round.

Actually recharging at public charging points is a pain. They all (except teslas) require swipe-cards from different networks, and they charge some fees. How about a universal system that just lets me pay with a flipping contactless card please? Tesla may well fix this over time as they build more superchargers and make the older networks redundant.

t2

GOOD:

Holy fuck it shifts. I have no idea how ANYONE can have a need for a P90D which apparently has twice the acceleration. Its like owning an X-wing fighter. I think it’s 0-60 in 4.6 seconds? It feels damn fast.

The in-car GUI is just phenomenal. The huge screen quickly becomes normal. I cant imagine going back to a car with a smaller screen or without a touch-interface now. The parking sensors (I have the autopilot option) are amazing, drawing a kind of ‘shield-bubble’ around your car as it approaches things. The energy readout, the rear-camera, all of it is just amazing.

Charging at home is just so convenient. I only plug it in every other day or so, but my car always leaves my house close to 100% full. Its no hassle, easy, and dirt cheap. I actually think the (trivial) cost of getting a car charger installed at the house will pay for itself easily by added value, as everyone with a parking spot is going to end up doing this. It’s awesome.

The phone app is cool, when it connects quickly. Again..I’m rural. But being able to tell my car to warm up because I’m going out soon is awesome. plus the car-finder nav means I never forget where its parked.

Autopilot. This car has traffic-aware cruise control, self-steering and auto-parking. Its like living in the future. Granted its not 100% there yet, and you have to keep your eyes on it, but cruising along a main road at night at 70MPH with no foot on a pedal and no hand on the wheel as you watch it smoothly and perfectly steer around corners is just amazing. It can be a bit scary, and tbh I rarely totally take my hands off the wheel, but its still amazing.

Insurance. This car cost more than double what my last one did, and my insurance went DOWN. Methinks this is a very very safe car.

So yeah…in short its fucking awesome, but then it should be for the price. The good news is the Model 3 is on the way, which will be half the price of the S, and I suspect a MUCH better deal. I just couldn’t wait that long :D

 

 

 

5 Responses to “A month later: The electric car”

  1. Sam Swain says:

    As ubiquity comes up, cost comes down, and options increase we are going to reach some sort of critical mass/turning point/singularity… and it will be amazing. The carpocalypse approaches! I really wish I was closer to it myself.

  2. At home, do you charge the car with power from your solar panels?

  3. Steven says:

    That’s pretty sweet. As for the autopilot, all driver-less capable cars need is the blessing of the law. Good on ya man. You’ve earned it. :)