Delivery Stories

Delivery Stories

I thought it would be nice to share delivery and first week driving experience / learnings.

I am currently driving home to LA from factory delivery! Writing from the Tejon Ranch charging station.

Loved the tour and the car is great. They were out of 21" wheels so I have 19" until they get 21's in stock. Only other punch list item, like many, is the rear carbon spoiler.

What have I learned in my first 200 miles of highway driving? I left Fremont with a full charge and drove from to the Harris Ranch supercharging station via 198 (GREAT ROAD!) Arrived Harris Ranch with 17 miles range remaining and the realization that I use juice faster than the computer models it. Charged with 160 miles range for the 118 mile drive to Tejon Ranch and thought "No Problem"

Arrived Tejon with 0 miles and car flashing message to "Charge Immediately" The charging station has no sign, was hard to find and the Nav system lost it about 500 yards away. Power was so low that we parked and my son and I separated and walked around to find the station. When I shut the car off, it warned that it "may not restart" We found the charging station and the car did make the final 300 yard ride to juice. I'm planning to sit here for 40 minutes to get at least 200 miles of range for the 100 mile drive home over Tejon Pass. I do not need that stress again.

Car is comfortable, fast and fun. Replacing a Cayenne Turbo and it corners better and accelerates faster (sub 100mph anyways). Lack of engine weight in front means it understeers lightly through fast corners. Feels very stable.

At >80mph, range is reduced pretty significantly. More than a gas vehicle I think. It would be nice if the range estimate accommodated my actual driving behaviors a little better... or I could slow down. Actually, I started drafting a semi ablout 30 miles from Tejon Ranch when I relaized it was going to be really tight.

The charging stations only have one active space so do not plan a caravan with another Tesla.

I'm looking forward to driving in LA but have to say that this is not really a roadtrip car, even with the superchargers.

If I were advising a friend, I would say
1. There is a reason for the Gilroy supercharging station - use it
2. Start each segment with 50% more range than you need - expect to spend 1.5 hours charging on drive from LA to SF
3. Speed impact range more than in a gas vehicle.

Enjoy the acceleration. It's a blast

Albert B | 08. Dezember 2012

It should get smarter about range estimation after you own it a while. It learns how you drive over time and estimates accordingly. Sounds like it's set up initially based on Tesla's (optimistic) estimates.

Note this is second hand. I've still got a LONG wait for my car P13,487.

Volker.Berlin | 10. Dezember 2012

At >80mph, range is reduced pretty significantly. More than a gas vehicle I think. (sdietz11)

Crossposting from:

The reason is that the ICE is so inefficient in the first place. At lower speeds, the engine's inefficiencies far outweigh any effects from aero drag or rolling resistance. When the engine runs at its sweet spot in terms of RPM and load (most cars are designed to arrive at their engine's sweet spot at around 55 mph) it is so much more efficient than running at slower speeds, that the internal efficiency gain outweighs the additional aero drag and rolling resistance. It is only at even higher speeds that aero drag builds up very quickly and starts dominating all other factors.

Since the electric motor does not have any significant inefficiencies inherent with RPM or load (for a very wide range of those parameters -- there are some upper limits, of course), the external factors like rolling resistance and aero drag dominate from the start. In other words, only with an electric motor can you leverage the efficiency gains that are inherent with very low speeds. The ICE is so inefficient to begin with, and it's deliberately designed to be particularly inefficient at low speeds as a compromise to allow acceptable mileage at medium to high speeds, that it wouldn't let you tap into the energy savings that lower speeds offer.

Volker.Berlin | 10. Dezember 2012

Also, see Tesla's new website section:

Unfortunately, the "How far can I go" web app doesn't allow speeds beyond 65 mph, but the chart immediately below goes to 115 mph.