5 days living with a Tesla

5 days living with a Tesla
5 Jan 18

My wife very kindly got me a 5 day hire of a Tesla S so that I could sample the technology and see how a Tesla fitted into our life.

I picked up the car from White Car at a hotel near Manchester airport after having driven from a 2 days visit to my folks in Scotland.
Met with Matt, from White Car, very friendly chap, even if the hotel staff were sending me on a wild goose chase to find him.

The car had been freshly valeted but a pity that the previous person in the car had been a smoker !!
Matt took him time to ensure that I was fully aware of the cars features and controls including charging, some of them were rather overwhelming, so I hadn’t planned to try the autonomous driving option, especially as it was still in Beta.

The Tesla S key fob is shaped like the car, which is cool, but I’d suggest that its not so responsive, as it didn’t give clean feedback that you had clicked the right part of the button.

Press the roof twice to open the car, once to lock it, press the front to open the “trunk” or the rear to open the normal boot.

My first drive was to the Trafford Centre, not too far away, 10miles away. The car was very smooth to drive, and of course quiet.

I wasn’t stupid with a very heavy right foot, (your left foot is redundant in a 2 pedal car), but I did want to get an idea of the acceleration from say 30mph to 55mph, OMG, just as well the headrests are very padded !!

The ride was a bit bumpy, especially in the back seats and not as smooth as I had expected for such an expensive car, it didn’t have the optional air suspension.

Parked the car up as far away from any other car that I could manage, well it is a £70k vehicle and I had a whopping £3500 excess, but luckily White Car had suggested taking out an Excess Insurance package at £3.99 per day, (I have the car for 5 days so a lot better than paying out £3500 !!)

Needless to say we parked our other car in front of it on the drive to keep the Tesla safe.

I had a bit of driving to, Ellsemere Port round trip 40miles and then a trip to Liverpool and back another 30miles, so with not choosing to use the 3 pin plug at home to do a trickle charge, I brought the car 5 miles down the road to an Electricity charger at the M62 Burtonwood Services, that WhiteCar had provided the logon and payment details for, so it was free for me at least. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to use the charger, Whitecar had given me multiple charger adaptors in the boot to use, (of course they are not all standard sockets), but it worked ok, 30mins charge added 30miles range. I could also use the Tesla app on my phone to check the charge being added to the batteries which was useful.

There are 8 Tesla Superchargers lined up, but not any commissioned at all, according to Tesla these are not due to be fully operational until late 2018 !!! Not sure what the hold up is, but as these are not too far from home and would be useful in the future… possibly.

Yes I’ve already started to look at buying a Tesla myself, with some of their used Teslas costing about the same as an Audi Q5 for example.

In the next 2 years or so, every mainstream car manufacturer will have a number of non-combustion powered cars, Audi, BMW, Jaguar all have cars ready for release in 2018 and beyond.

Right better go and pick up my wife and son, ready for our trip to Cheshire Oaks to meet my old boss.

Took my son out for a drive to see how Tesla Superchargers work. The nearest working Superchargers were 20miles away, on the M6 towards Preston at Charnock Richards Services. For some reason North-bound only, and you have to have the eyes of a hawk, as I missed the very small Tesla sign and the entrance road to where 12 Superchargers were sitting waiting. The car did direct me to the Superchargers sort of, but not with enough details clearly, or I’m just a crap driver!

Eventually I found a way to get there, and oh my goodness are the Superchargers fast, they will get a car to 80% of battery capacity in 30mins, so just enough time to get a coffee. You can also track the charge amount via an iOS app, which was very useful, as well as open, vent the sunroof, and control the climate in the car all remotely.

Connecting my iPhone to the car was a breeze, and worked well, as it was to the home wifi.

You could easily drain the battery but you would be reminded of your foolishness with numerous, expensive letters from DVLA a few days after your “fun” in the form of fines.

Whilst I had the car, the weather was rather wet on most days, which meant using the wipers a lot. What I was most surprised at was that there was no automatic wiper mode, even my Qashqui has those. I’ve been following a few Tesla related Twitter streams for a while now, as well as watching a few related YouTube channels, FullyCharged being my favourite. Overnight on the last day that I had the Tesla S, there had been an over-the-air update released to add camera sensing automatic wipers to all Teslas. Pretty cool !!

In summary, yes it’s an expensive vehicle, and I do think that this form of fuelling the future of motoring is what will happen, there just needs to be some changes made, as in:

reduced cost of ownership,
rapid charging for all electric vehicles,
higher capacity batteries, hence more range
and one from my son, with regards the Tesla S, rear seat cup holders.

Welcome to the future…

All the best,

Gary, a very fortunate and lucky person to have been able to sample the Tesla S 90D All Wheel Drive.

Some more images:

Author

Paul Wright

Comments

Ken Dodge

Thanks for this. Pretty cool review of a “normal” person driving one of these. Interesting.

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