Top Seventeen Surprises From The First Year Of Driving A Tesla EV - Forbes

Top Seventeen Surprises From The First Year Of Driving A Tesla EV - Forbes

I thought this article was pretty fair and helpful to those that contemplating getting a Model 3.

Magic 8 Ball | February 12, 2020

Forbes has been "fair" to Tesla in the past.

I just had to post after reading this line early on:

"I knew Tesla would give it regular software improvements, but I suspected they would mostly be software."

WW_spb | February 12, 2020


TickTock | February 12, 2020

That quote isn't as silly as it seems at first - especially when you get to #10:

"10) I expected software upgrades, but I did not expect that they would do things like slightly increase vehicle range and give the car more power and a quicker 0-60 time. That’s a free upgrade of the sort cars have never seen"

Magic 8 Ball | February 12, 2020

He could have said the first time LOL.

His #2 point is something I bring up regularly. Most will save a lot of time being able to fuel at home. The value in that is huge.

spuzzz123 | February 12, 2020

M8b that first awkwardly worded sentence about software expecting to be mostly software — was sort of explained later on. (He should have reworded it though). He meant that the software updates actually improved things that he didn’t expect were possible by software changes ... 0-60 times, range increases, etc.

Big_Ed | February 12, 2020

"Instead of thinking you are buying a 260 mile range car, you should think you are buying a 240 mile range car that, in its first year, will have bonus range."

Good line

yudansha™ | February 12, 2020

How can he fit in model 3? It's a car for teens and women.

Trekman | February 12, 2020

I especially agree with his first point #1, about Public charging stations. My experience and sentiment exactly.

billtphotoman | February 13, 2020

I enjoy all the benefits he mentions and more but I will admit "keyless entry" surprised me as well. At first I found it irritating and/or pointless but now I fully admit to liking it. As for range, for those of us not living in CA or FL and doing a lot of road trips I agree with all of what he said but I was expecting to need to plan my highway trips (even in an LR RWD) and enjoy that.

AWDTesla | February 13, 2020

I use my key fob all the time, but thats because I use the frunk more than the trunk and no one has time to open an app to open a frunk. Cmon now.

kevin_rf | February 13, 2020

How do I know it "keyless entry" will not work and I have to reach for the keycard? My hands are full and it's raining out.

Other than that and a handful of other quirks, I do like the car.

WW_spb | February 13, 2020

Wow Tanya. Teens and women really?

Slonkis | February 13, 2020

I'm 6'2" and feel very comfortable inside. My son is 6'4" and feels fine in the front and in the back.

calvin940 | February 13, 2020

I almost never use the frunk. I don't know under what circumstances I would use that over the trunk. I consider the frunk extra spillover space rather than the main one. Maybe that would be different if it opened like the trunk, but not sure even then. Most of the stuff I would use that kind of storage is larger than the frunk affords anyhow.

Other than a few niggly details in the article, I think people contemplating will benefit from the article.

kevin_rf | February 13, 2020

calvin940, The frunk is for when your wife goes shopping, fills the trunk, trunk well, backseats, passenger seat, and is suspiciously eyeing tying the rest of the shopping bags to the glass roof.... If only they included a trailer hitch.

TexasBob | February 13, 2020

@AWD: "Hey Siri, open the frunk" No app. No issue.

yudansha™ | February 13, 2020

Front trunk is perfect for small things I rarely use, tire repair kit and adaptors. In the back trunk I only have one towel and grocery bags.

jackcolo | February 13, 2020

I use the frunk regularly since I back into the garage to be near the charging cable. Being retired, my grocery purchases are not large. The fob is really handy for opening the frunk.

If I anticipate a larger volume of purchases then will fit into the frunk, I take the Model X. Its frunk is huge!

Big_Ed | February 13, 2020

The frunk is for pizza and Chinese food. | February 13, 2020

Loved the end summary:

"...understanding that the internal combustion engine is a thing of the past that, like the characters in The Sixth Sense, doesn’t know it’s dead. The automakers are finally waking up to that, and realizing they may have woken up too late."

So true!

Haggy | February 13, 2020

I'm surprised at the amount of range loss. He didn't say how much he drove the car, but with average use that seems high to me. With average mileage, and a December 2017 car, I haven't seen range loss. I haven't seen the promised range increase either though.

He's sort of right with restaurants. Tesla has taken to building a lot of supercharger stations where there's little more than fast food. That didn't use to be the case. But these days, there are often many times more supercharger stations to stop at, especially in California. The down side to picking and choosing is that if your trip can be done with a single meal stop and another short break, then moving the location of the meal stop might mean that your charging will finish faster than expected but your later stop could be longer than expected. I don't think that will be much of an issue with a Model 3, but is with an older Model S. I would think that with most all day trips, of the length that I'd consider "all day," I wouldn't need all that much charging.

Range anxiety? I have had trips in the past with range concern more than range anxiety. That was back when there were fewer supercharger stations, and the trip calculator was less accurate. I also had less range back then. This weekend I took a trip, and my meal stop was quicker than I had expected. The car said that I should charge for another 10 minutes but my wife wanted to leave. We figured that we'd be able to stop later if I needed a charge, and there were maybe five supercharger stations between there and home. That was not the case years ago, when I wouldn't have chanced it. Initially the car told me I'd make it with 5%, and I had occasional warnings flash that I should keep my speed at 70 or under, but it turned out not to be a problem. I made it home with about 9% left.

That was on the way back. On the way there, I checked to see where the Superchargers were relative to a hotel I had picked. I found that they were about 10 minutes away, in the parking lot of another hotel. So I looked up that hotel, found the rated slightly cheaper for a hotel that was still a good one, and it meant not having to worry about arriving with little charge. The valet took care of the charging. And the valet parking was less expensive than at the original hotel.

A couple of years ago, I was in a situation where I really should have listened to the car's messages about slowing down. I didn't do that for a while, but eventually realized that I needed to. So I spent perhaps the final hour of that leg heading to a supercharger while driving in the truck lane at 55 mph. That got me there with range to spare, the delay was only a few minutes due to the lower speed, and the charge took only two minutes to get the needed margin of safety, given how fast a Model 3 charges. I might have gotten home with 5-10 miles without a stop, so a two minute charge really gives a lot of comfort room by pushing it up to 40 or so. So I can't say that range anxiety is an issue if you do what the car says, and it's not an issue even if you don't listen if you make sure that there are chargers in between you and your next planned charging stop. And the car is getting better at estimates.

He mentioned break ins but not sentry mode?

I think the article was fair overall, and my wife has coworkers who really did see their electric bill go down instead of up when they got a Model 3.

IHaveArrived | February 14, 2020

The author -- Brad Templeton -- is a blast from the past for the old-school internet crowd.

coselectric | February 14, 2020

The frunk is for my quick grocery store runs. I replaced the struts with the stronger ones that make the hood pop up automatically. It's easy to open using my phone with one hand. Has hooks to hold grocery bags. Stuff doesn't slide around as much as it does in the trunk. Why all the frunk hate?

Earl and Nagin ... | February 15, 2020

Those struts are probably illegal because they are arguably unsafe in the event that you accidentally hit the frunk release while driving. This could cause the trunk to raise, obstructing your view.
You may recall that a secondary release mechanism became required in the early '70's, when internal hood (or 'bonnet' for those speaking English 1.0) release became popular.
The frunk would probably need a secondary release before your strong struts would be legal.

Bighorn | February 15, 2020

Granted, but the frunk can not be opened with the car in drive. Of note though, the Taycan has a second manual release latch for the frunk.

Big_Ed | February 15, 2020

If you could release the frunk while driving at speed, the lid would rise due to airflow, struts or not. Also, there is plenty of room to view the road between the dash and frunk lid, so you would be fine as long as you didn't freak out.

Earl and Nagin ... | February 15, 2020

@BH and Big_Ed,
Agreed. Hence, why I said 'probably' illegal and 'arguably' unsafe.
Laws and people's opinions don't necessary correlate with reality.

coselectric | February 15, 2020

@E&N, this topic was argued to death a year ago when the mod was first proposed, I'm a grown-up who takes full responsibility for my own actions, and in the end you could measure my concern about it in nano-give-a-shites.

AWDTesla | February 15, 2020

TexasBob | February 13, 2020
@AWD: "Hey Siri, open the frunk" No app. No issue.

Whats a Siri?

andy | February 16, 2020

The frunk is perfect for bringing home batches of meat pies from your favourite remote butcher at this time of year, 3 hours in a built-in fridge - perfect.

It's also great for your briefcase. As the car needs to be reversed into spaces then that means that the bonnet is facing out with the boot at the back of the parking place.The frunk is brilliant for quickly picking up your briefcase. It also keeps your water bottle nicely chilled in winter too.

TexasBob | February 16, 2020

@AWD I understand there is also a similar process for android phones. I believe the command is "hey google since you are busy monitoring, tracking, and selling my personal data anyway, could you open the frunk." I am not sure of the exact syntax but it is something like that. :-)

bp | February 16, 2020

Just 8 months & 15k in for me, but I think the article presents a pretty accurate take.