When I bought my new Tesla Model S in May 2016 and for months before I was proud to be part of ?accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy.? I talked it up with my friends and family and even with strangers I met at Starbucks. I got 2 of my kids to pre-order the Model 3. Then I ran over a truck tire tread on the freeway, causing $6k of damage to the bumper and undercarriage. Since then, the car has been at Kniesl's Repair Shop in Roseville, CA, a Tesla-authorized repair shop. It has been there for 6 weeks now awaiting repair parts, with no ETA for those parts. In fact, Kniesl's tells me that they have 3 other Teslas in their shop in similar condition awaiting parts for as much as 3 months. After 4 weeks, I contacted Tesla using the form on their web site. No response. At all. If ?the world's transition....? involves no repair parts, I want no part of it, and neither should you. If ?the world's transition....? includes the inability to forecast a delivery date for repair parts, I am ashamed to be a part of it. If ?the world's transition....? entails a complete lack of interest in post-sales customer service, I am afraid of it. What would you do if your car was unavailable for 6 weeks with no forecast for when it would be available again? Would you feel like you were accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy?
We have 2 MS. The first one I ordered a smaller battery 60, with only 2 options, leather interior and pano roof. We received the car in May 2013. That car now has over 85k miles and has only been in the shop for one repair very early. Some guide clips on the Pano roof broke. It was quickly repaired and I was given a new MS to drive while the repair was being done. The car looks and runs like it did new and we have only lost 3 miles of range in the battery! We are told to charge the car 90% every night, and when new it totaled 185 miles and now it charges to 182 miles at 90%. My wife drives that car about 90 miles per day, round trip to work. I purchased a used one in Nov 2014, with 15k miles. It is a MS P85, at that time it was just about the most powerful car in the lineup. Today they offer 90D and P100D models. But I don't think they have anything on mine. The car charges to 230 miles each night at 90%. Realistically when driving at or above normal highway speeds you will only get about 80% of the range, so need to be careful when doing long distance trips. But around town, you never need to be concerned with range. The only weak point about the car is that it is rather plain on the interior. I don't mind it is nice enough for me. And the advanced technology over rides the lack of pizzaz. Like many people who own this car, I doubt I would ever go back to a gas car as my primary vehicle. Overall it is an amazing car.
I was very enthused by the videos on the tesla website and the fact that the driver did not have to do anything, the test drive was very different. First off, on AP, it kept going over the double yellow line and the third time it did it the car coming towards me honked...I was scared for my life in the first 5 min of my drive ! Then the limitation of 35mph on back roads ! So there is no point A to B self drive yet. That was a con in the videos. Whole AP tech is still in beta mode. Self park was a joke. It just went half-way and then the dealer says he doesnt want it to hit bushes so self-parks it. Car essentially needs data and they give you 4 years for free after which you have to pay for it. Wasn't the least bit impressed, it was just a polished version of what my $30k Forester could also do; but going over the double yellow, 3 times, was a bummer.
Electric cars are here to stay. Amazing range, acceleration and handling. If you can afford the hefty price tag, these cars have little to no maintenance so the actual cost during ownership is small in comparison to non-electric cars. The autopilot feature is a game changer for folks who drive daily in traffic. Your right foot will be bored and your blood pressure will drop. It takes the stress out of driving while being stuck for hours in traffic. That alone is worth the hefty entry price for these cars!
I have never loved a car before I started driving my 85 Model S three years ago. (I grew up in a dealer's family and had to drive one clunker after another every six weeks). The no-pressure, 12-minute buying experience has to be experienced to be believed -- it's like buying a computer (with wheels). NOTHING HAS EVER GONE WRONG WITH MY TESLA! And the two annual test-check-ups in my home's garage were a dream. Ownership is so cheap that it's like buying a $200,000 car for half the price -- if you keep it for 5 to 7 years. Okay, that's the biggest problem with owning a Tesla. Sure, the car gets better every month with every overnight software release, but the damn hardware innovations entice most owners to buy a new one in a couple of years!