May 13, 2013
We recently performed the first track-test of our long-term 2013 Tesla Model S, and during the 60-0 mph braking test, this message flashed up on the screen and on the instrument panel as well.
May 10, 2013
Yup, our 2013 Tesla Model S is an exceptional car for myriad reasons, but just like any other car, sometimes a vigorous washing or cracked lens allows moisture to get behind or condense onto the lenses of lights. I'm not going to attempt the repair myself. We'll put it on the list for the next scheduled service visit.
May 9, 2013
I sat in the car. It awoke and alerted me that it wanted a new software update. Neato. Even neater, you don't need to visit the dealer/service technician and it does it wirelessly. Because it requires the car be parked for up to two hours, the car allows the update to be scheduled during the wee hours of the night. I assume it all worked at 1:00 a.m. as it was programmed to do.
Click through to see what the software update entailed.
May 8, 2013
After driving our 2013 Tesla Model S home, I snapped this photo and sent it to Director of Vehicle Testing, Dan Edmunds along with "We don't have clearance Clarence. I'll check the garage for a nearby outlet minus cover." To which Dan replied, "If nothing pans out, I guess you'll have to charge without recording."
It turns out our "Kill A Watt EZ" gauge we use to record how much electricity goes into the car's batteries won't mate with my outdoor outlet with the big, flappy rain cover.
Click through to see what my electricity usage looked like after I plugged in the Tesla.
May 7, 2013
Only eagle-eyed readers will spot what's wrong with this photo. Can you?
April 26, 2013
There I was, taking the long way to Moab, Utah in our 2012 Jeep Wrangler. My first stop was Buttonwillow Raceway to help out at the SCCA road races, but before I got there I peeled off Interstate 5 at Laval Road in Tejon Ranch for some sustenance.
"There's a Tesla Supercharger around here somewhere," I thought to myself.
April 23, 2013
What if you went to a mall and there was a gas pump with a sign saying, "Go ahead and fill up! It's free!" That's what it was like to drive the Tesla to Las Vegas. Free fuel in Barstow. Free fuel in Las Vegas.
And how much is that worth? Gas for a 2013 BMW 7 Series getting 22 mpg combined and requiring premium at $4.17 a gallon would be $123 for the 650-mile trip. For the Tesla, fuel costs would be $0. But there is the time and hassle of charging.
April 22, 2013
I'm a big fan of cruise control for two reasons: it reduces fatigue on long drives and it helps keep you at a legal speed. On my trip to Las Vegas I discovered that our Tesla Model S has a super cruise control system. The graphics are great and the system actually offers two speeds. One bump gives you the customary 1 mph increase/decrease. But if you push it through a detent, you get an approximately 5 mph plus or minus jump.
There was one other feature of the cruise control that I liked.
April 19, 2013
I felt a little apprehensive when I left my house early on a Sunday morning. I had to reach Tesla's supercharger in Barstow 128 miles away over the Cajon Pass, elevation 4,190 feet. I dialed down the cruise control to 65 mph as I climbed the long grade. But other than that, I cruised at 70 mph.
It was a good thing I read the Tesla forums because there were no signs directing me to the superchargers. They were, as other owners had posted, behind the Chili's restaurant. I pulled in, hooked up and checked the charge screen: jackpot! I was getting 300 miles of charge every hour.
April 17, 2013
If you take a Tesla Model S to an automatic car wash, leave a little extra time for the staff to freak out.
Since you have to be sitting in the Tesla's seat for it to move forward, someone really has to ride in it. After a bit of conversation, where they tried to decide who would be the rider, I volunteered to be the one sitting in the car.
April 16, 2013
With a car this expensive and this beautiful we couldn't bring ourselves to drill holes in the front bumper for the license plate bracket. So we called the Tesla service center in Los Angeles and asked if they could do it. The cheerful receptionist checked with the techs and said to just stop by any old time.
The service center is only accessible down a tight alley so we just parked at a meter and waltzed into the service center unannounced.
April 10, 2013
Part of the appeal of driving an electric vehicle is that you never have to worry about oil changes, smog checks and spark plugs. "With just one moving piece in the motor, compared to hundreds in a gas engine, there are fewer things that can go wrong," says the Tesla site. "That translates to less maintenance and service over time."
Nissan also uses this as a selling point in this Leaf commercial called the "New Maintenance."
But a closer look at Tesla's service pricing shows that less maintenance doesn't necessarily equal less cost.
April 8, 2013
It started slow. The Tesla's web-based navigation seemed to miss a couple of sections as it updated. Then more gray squares kept appearing as I made my way home. On the drive into Edmunds HQ in the morning, the whole navigation map was one big gray square.
March 8, 2013
Really? I thought we were done with this. I'm looking at the new replacement touchscreen on our 2013 Tesla Model S and I can hardly believe my eyes.
Oh, it works. It hasn't burnt out (or whatever) again. But just look at the camera image.
Don't see it? Look closer. The image is misaligned, out of its designated window. And its new unauthorized position has it partially obscuring important virtual touchscreen buttons. Plus it looks gross.
Only the camera does this. If I turn it off and choose any other display screen it all works normally.
March 2, 2013
In a recent interview/product show-off with Bloomberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off a feature of the Model S even we as owners didn't know about: Press and hold the voice button, and the Tesla Model S will play any song you ask it for.
Of course, the Tesla doesn't have the world's largest hard drive, rather, the Model S is constantly connected to the Internet where it can take advantage of Stitcher Internet radio. It works great when Elon is demo'ing it for a smitten TV reporter. Does it work as well when we try?
February 25, 2013
Like virtually everything else having to do with the 2013 Tesla Model S, the folks at Tesla have decided that a normal key wasn't good enough and have given us this.
Look at it. It's slick, it's shiny and it has no visible buttons. It does, however, just like a fresh baby, have a bunch of soft spots on its dome that are made for pressing.
Pressing the front squishy spot opens the frunk. Double tapping the rear "button" opens the powered trunk (it stops with a single tap) and the top one locks/unlocks the door. Holding the middle button down for a few seconds will open all the windows. Of course, with the Tech Package, the Tesla Model S automatically locks/unlocks the doors, so the key may not ever be necessary.
But, with the exception of the faux buttonlessness of it all, it's kind of old hat. What makes this one unique is that there's no spare key hidden inside.