Horrible Second Week of Ownerships

Horrible Second Week of Ownerships

While I thoroughly enjoyed receiving my Tesla Model S and the first week I drove it, my experience during the second week was in stark contrast. While I blame it all on Elon Musk, it’s not what you think. Our Tesla Model S has ruined me. We cheated on her and went to Maui without her. Left in a cold garage, we were in the warm sun of Maui driving an internal combustion rental car.

After only one week driving Elon’s dream machine my relationship with cars has changed for life. It’s amazing how quickly you can adapt to a better way of commuting. Almost every part of the rental car driving experience seemed pathetic, old-fashioned and of the last millennium. It all started with the key. A key, what’s that? As I approached our rental car it just sat there, dead to the world. No auto presentation, no door handles popping out, and certainly no lights illuminating my way. Then, once I sat in the seat, I had to put the key in the ignition and start the car. The engine turned over in what sounded to us as an almost primal belching adding as much noise pollution as air pollution out of the exhaust pipes. One could accept the primitiveness of a key if it worked reliably, however his car had a key and a fob. When our fob died, we tried to get in the car with the key. We succeeded in accessing the car and tripping the car alarm. We called Chevy and the rental car company, but neither could remotely shut off the alarm. Instead, the solution was to tow it away and get a replacement car. No nice Tesla people to call who could remotely access all aspects of the car.

Our uncomfortable experience didn’t end there. Forget for a moment I had to turn the radio on and that it wasn’t waiting on my favorite station, I can excuse that. However, once on, we had to listen to terrestrial radio. Granted an invention of Nikola Tesla himself, but very passé nowadays. Ear rupturing dribble spewed out of one morning DJ’s mouth after another. Where was slacker or at least a USB stick to listen to unencumbered by the dumbed down speech of morning jocks?

I would love to say our pain ended there, but once the drive began I had to contend with using the brake. A brake, really? Sadly, instead of the one-pedal driving I became accustomed to with my Model S, I had to constantly shift from the gas pedal (ok, that’s another issue), to the brake and back.

The icing on the cake was we had range anxiety! When headed to the Road to Hana, one review after another warned you to fill up before you left because there were no gas stations in route. The irony was that had we run low on electrons there was electricity in the far off towns. Score another for Tesla.

I could go on and one about the countless features the Model S has that our rental car didn’t (auto dimming mirrors, rear view mirrors that reposition on reverse, etc), but it’s obvious: the Tesla Model S has set a new standard. Sure there are some considerations when you drive an electric vehicle, but there are always considerations when you drive. Pick your poison, I’ll pick the one that doesn’t pollute the air.

Jeff Salvage
Loving Life with my New Tesla
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info | 06. April 2013

Get used to it. I drive the Tesla, talk about the Tesla, write about the Tesla, look at the Tesla, read about the Tesla. It's a good thing I'm past my child-bearing years because if I had kids I'd name them Tesla and Model S. I noticed when I went to get office supplies at Staples that Staples actually spells PS TESLA, if you arrange the letters correctly. My wife has a new SUV. Prior to the Tesla I had several cars that were long in the tooth. When I drove my wife's car I thought that it was great to have a new car. Now if I have to get in the thing to move it so I can put the Tesla in the garage I can't understand why anyone would buy anything but a Tesla. Sell a kidney but get this car.

PS: After the first week we put in a reservation for the MOdel X.

Tomas | 06. April 2013

I, too, cheated on my Model S while it was at the "spa" (paint shop) for a few days. I drove a MB E350. What a piece of junk.
In addition to the things that you discussed about an old-fashioned car, what's with that huge delay in acceleration when you "step on it". Since we were all raised on ICE cars we are used to and it seems normal... Until you experience the immediate acceleration of the Model S. In the ICE car, you step on it and nothing! The engine roars and then it takes off.. And what's with that engine roar? I guess that noise of the explosions and cranks and gears is supposed to illicit some macho adrenaline rush? It sounds ridiculous. Pathetic, actually, when you realize how slow the car is.... All bark and no bite.

I think that if the situation was reversed, that is, if we all grew up with electric cars and somebody introduced an ICE, we would all look at and say, WTF is this? What a noicey, smelly, sluggish piece of sh@t.

campsalvage | 06. April 2013

Ha, yeah the list goes on and on. I actually stopped by my mechanic this morning with my wife's Jetta TDI and I felt like I had cheated on him. He realized I would never be bringing the Tesla there. That said, he did appreciate how sexy the car was. It was clear he didn't know much about them, which is a good sign for Telsa, there's still a large untapped market of people that do not know about them.

Brian H | 06. April 2013

Do readers a favor and enable word wrap on your site. Using scroll bars to scan the full length of EVERY line is more fuss than it's worth.

campsalvage | 07. April 2013

Wordwrap is enabled. I just optimized the site for screens 1280 pixels wide. There are different approaches to web design. I don't like most of the resolution independent solutions out there. Were you on a smaller than 1280 device? I could bump it back to 1024 which would prevent the scrolling from right to left, just seems, so turn of the millennium for a tesla site.

campsalvage | 07. April 2013

I checked, only 12% of visitors have a screen res below what I set, so unfortunately, those visitors will have to side scroll.

Brian H | 07. April 2013

Every line? Nice. Thanks. Not.

SSL161 | 07. April 2013

I feel your pain!

Had to send the car in for it's DueBill items last week and had to go back to the old nag.

I can't wait until there are enough MS' (or other Tesla types) to go around that we can start renting them on trips!!!!

ghawkinz | 07. April 2013

Ahhhhhh the road to Hana. Such a beautiful drive...

Jken3 | 07. April 2013

Oh man, do I feel your pain. I managed to scrape the rear fender pulling into the garage on Day 5 of ownership. A few days later it was in the shop and two weeks later I still don't have it back. They've had the car longer than I did! Getting it back tomorrow, though! Counting the minutes...

campsalvage | 07. April 2013

Jken, so sorry. It's tight coming in and out of my garage. I am uber careful. I can't imagine how bad I would feel if I took out the side mirrors.

Ghawkiz, It really is. We did a photo project along the way, wish I had the Tesla on the drive though.

Brian, sorry, I understand. It's an issue with websites. Everything is a trade off. Most of the sites I've created were geared toward 1024, but I am starting the migration. Obviously, you can lose a few people along the way. It was not different back when screens were 640 x 480, 800x 600, etc. I wish resolution independent sites worked better. Unfortunately, I put out a lot of material and need to hit a sweet spot.


jillalameda | 07. April 2013

I just got back from a vacation involving a rental Yaris. When I stepped on the accelerator nothing much happened except a whole lot of noise. So glad to be back to my S.

Hogfighter | 07. April 2013

I really feel that the Model S is the future, and why Tesla is going to sell a million of these things. Once you drive one of these gorgeous machines, climbing into an ICE car is like climbing backwards in history, and not in a good way.

Brian H | 07. April 2013

My 19W screem is quite capable, but my aged eyes don't like the result. Fussing with resizing everything is too much of a PITA. My compromise is about 1164, IIRC.

Flexible sizing is the responsibility of the site, not the viewer.

campsalvage | 08. April 2013

Brian, I hear you loud and clear. However, I am selling nothing and if you think flexibility comes without a price you are naïve. Choices are made in life. I understand my choices cost me a few viewers and it is a price I am willing to pay. My day job is as a computer science professor, so my choices are made very consciously. I for one hate what most sites do on tablets. They don't use the extra real estate. I check the resolution of my viewers and make an educated call. While you are vocal you are in a vocal minority. Windows XP is no longer supported. Therefore even if you have capable machine you can't get certain upgrades to programs. The world moves forward. Best of luck.

Brian H | 08. April 2013

No program will do more than reduce font to fit your full line in. My 19W has as many horizontal pixels as your screen, I betcha. But the text won't wrap. Bad design.

sometimelater | 08. April 2013

i had a very similar experience. i had to leave town the very next day after she was delivered. we got a nissan murano as a rental. brand new. i think only a tesla owner could fully understand the bewilderment and disappointment of having to drive a primitive gas beast like that with a brand new S85 with 25 miles sitting at home, after all that waiting.

when i got back home to LA from SxSw very late at night, i went down and just sat in it for an hour or so.