Tesla Model 3’s Official Birthday — CleanTechnica’s Day At The Santa Monica & Unplugged Performance Hot Spots

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I rolled into Los Angeles at 1:00am on March 31, catching sleep on the flights from Frankfurt to DC and DC to LA in order to be rested for an early arrival at a Tesla store, so that I could to put down an early Tesla Model 3 reservation (or 2). Meeting Kyle Field at the Santa Monica Tesla store at about 6:30am, we found ourselves in a decent spot in the line. We were able to put down reservations for 2 cars each, which seemed to be numbers 41, 42, 43, and 44 at this location.

A cool surprise walking up was immediately spotting Paul Scott, a founding member of Plug In America and one of the most legendary EV advocates out there, and then Zan Dubin Scott, who works the communications lines for Plug In America and a number of cleantech companies (and is always wonderful to work with).

We spent some time interviewing the first 7 people in line. (The first couple of guys arrived ~40 hours early!) Then we also interviewed Paul, another founding Plug In America board member (Dency Nelson), an enthusiast who came down from Alaska, and the people just in front and behind us in line. Right after that, the guys from Evannex spotted us and we had a fun, long chat… and then it was time to quickly put down reservations.

After putting down reservations, we also spotted Bjorn Nyland and the founder of Tesla Motors Club Norway — the first official Tesla Motors Club in the world. We spent a little time interviewing them, but left Bjorn to spend some quality vacation time with his wife, who came over with him.

The line at Santa Monica seemed to have reached ~300 people by the time we left. Not too shabby….


After spending many hours there, we heard that Elon Musk was over at the Century City store (he was apparently even putting in reservations for a few people, and giving high fives to the stream of people lined up at that store). We missed the big guy, but got to enjoy another epic line of Tesla Model 3 reservationists, and then a nice outdoor eating and coffee area in the beautiful California weather.

We had some time to spare, so we shot over to a Fiat dealer to test drive a 500e, one of the only places in the world where you can find one. It was fun to drive, but a story for another day.

We then drove in Kyle’s Model S to Unplugged Performance, which we toured for a while with founder Ben Schaffer. A number of cool EV dudes and ladies came by, and we got to explore the beautiful Tesla Model X of Teslarati founder Gene Liu.

Unplugged Performance sits right next to the Tesla design studio and SpaceX, and was hosting a BBQ event where the Model 3 unveiling would be projected on a large screen. I’m watching that right this moment, and will turn over the coverage to Kyle Field, who is standing next to me and feverishly typing away.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7292 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan