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New Wired Magazine Article: 4 Day Model S Test Drive

New Wired Magazine Article: 4 Day Model S Test Drive

pbrulott | September 24, 2012

Rated 8/10... Excellent, with room to kvetch

two quotes I liked:

+

"the Model S feels and drives like the future. It’s a rolling testament to the potential of automotive innovation, and a massive leap forward for an industry struggling to stake a claim in the 21st century."

-

" TIRED Lack of voice controls are a massive misstep. Sun visors are so small, you’ll be lucky to block out a candle. Volume and climate controls could still use some polish."

Schlermie | September 24, 2012

"Performance Plus" upgrade.

TikiMan | September 24, 2012

Too bad we will have to wait for 'voice command', as I have gotten use to using VC for on the go Nav changes, etc. on my last couple vehicles (I hate having to stop, and pull over to work the Nav). However, I am glad it will be added later in an automatic software upgrade (as I am sure many other future features will).

Either way, great review, and very honust for real-world use.

Alex K | September 24, 2012

And Elon says on Twitter:
Totally agree with criticisms. Corrections coming soon.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/250291772859752449

olanmills | September 24, 2012

sweet

olanmills | September 24, 2012

Their video should be the commercial.

nickjhowe | September 24, 2012

Soooo....based on Elon's tweet, what is going to be fixed? Wired calls out:

Lack of voice controls are a massive misstep.
Sun visors are so small, you’ll be lucky to block out a candle.
Volume and climate controls could still use some polish.

1 and 3 are software so assume they'll be fixed by an OTA update. As for the visors...??

Cattledog | September 24, 2012

"And it’s more exhilarating than anything I’ve driven out of Sant’Agata, Stuttgart or even Maranello."

That's Lamborghini, Porsche, and Ferrari.

In case you were wondering.

But I know you weren't doubting.

ColinBowern | September 24, 2012

The joys of software - outside of sun visors the other two items can be corrected with an update.

Docrob | September 24, 2012

Even this "glowing review" plays into the range anxiety mentality. He made it sound like on the way home from Altamont he was nearly stranded and had no choice but to limp home with one mile left in the tank. What he either failed to realise or failed to mention is that between Altamont and San Fran there are about 25 public charging stations (double that if you are willing to stray off the most direct route by a few miles) at a variety of locations where he could have stopped for a cold drink and a stretch of the legs and added 20-30 milles of range in half an hour or even more if he stopped for a meal and driven home with no anxiety at all.

Volker.Berlin | September 25, 2012

The sun visors are due for a change, anyway. Lighted mirrors have been promised and will be retrofitted to any cars that were delivered without them. If Tesla sees fit to use a different/larger sun visor shape, they have the opportunity to fix that at the same time.

Brian H | September 25, 2012

@Docrob;
True, but as a testing case, he was investigating the general proposition, not just his own circumstances.

olanmills | September 25, 2012

Yes, there's that funny quote about Elon demanding better than the best sun visors in the world lol, and supposedly owners will get a free upgrade to them whenever they figure that out.

@Docrob, I didn't take it that way to be honest. It's a valid... perhaps not "criticism" per se (it's just where the tech is right now)... but it's a valid concern that you don't deal with in an ICE car. With an ICE car no such planning or moderation of your driving behaviour is necessary.

The superchargers go a long way in addressing that, but still I think it's worth mentioning, especially since most Wired readers probably haven't been reading every single article about the Model S that exists.

You are mentioning that range limit is close enough that he has to plan for a 30 minute stop and find a particular charging location. In an ICE car, your stop would only be a few minutes and you will find a gas station almost anywhere. It's a different experience, and it's worth mentioning, especially since the risk you run is much worse than running out of gas.

If you run out of gas, you can walk to, or get a ride to gas stations which are practically everywhere and buy a gallon of gas and fill it up.

If you are running alarmingly low in the Model S, first of all you should have planned better (not as necessary with ICE), but now your options are:
-if you're lucky, there's a Blink or something nearby, as you mentioned, you can stop and hopefully get enough charge within 30 minutes or so to make it home. That's not so bad
-in dire straits, you could park anywhere get permission from the property owner, and plug into a 110V outlet. These are more prevalent than gas stations, but the downside is it will take hours and hours of charging to get enough juice.
-or the worst case, is that the car dies. Now you need an expensive tow, which is even a bigger hastle than normal since the Model S can only be towed in a particular way.

----------

I'm super excited to take delivery of a Model S this year (I hope) and I think the car will be really practical and imporve my life.

That said, it still has some disadvantages commpare to ICE, and journalists should defitely call them out fairly.

olanmills | September 25, 2012

excuse the typos (>'.')>

Docrob | September 25, 2012

But the general proposition is that there are now over 5,000 public chargers scattered around the US, most densely in CA, pretending that you have no public charging options is not a fair representation of the general proposition of buying or owning an EV today. It simply reinforces a completely misleading idea that there is little to no support infrastructure for electric vehicles. He could have stopped at over 20 public arguing stations along his route home, even a 10 min charge would have given him a buffer.

Brian H | September 25, 2012

Heh; "autocorrect"? 'public arguing stations' is a funny image ...

rmitchum | September 25, 2012

Fond memories of Monty Python evoked!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

Brian H | September 25, 2012

Why does my head hurt after watching that? <;(

Captain_Zap | September 25, 2012

"... but it's a valid concern that you don't deal with in an ICE car. With an ICE car no such planning or moderation of your driving behaviour is necessary."

I beg to differ. I have to plan and strategize every time I needed to fill my tank while driving in unfamiliar territory. I have been stuck in traffic jams and traffic rabbit holes looking for fuel after exiting the interstate. I've gone easy on the A/C and slowed down so that I might make it into the next state that has much lower gas prices. At least with the Tesla I start out with a full "tank" each morning.

dahtye | September 25, 2012

I seem to recall that AAA was planning to deploy Electric charging trucks in certain areas. This would be helpful if someone found themselves with less than 1 mile range left.

Does anyone recall that?

rd2 | September 25, 2012

Indeed, AAA in California (not sure about rest of the country) is deploying their trucks with emergency vehicle chargers to help in the rare cases of stranded EV drivers. And there is the Ranger service, which I'm sure would be quite helpful in these cases, although pricier.