The good folks over at EV Annex had a great idea — publish the first Tesla Model 3 book*. When I was introduced to the idea, I thought, “That’s a neat idea — smart move,” but I figured it would be a book all about the momentous arrival of the most important electric car in history and the broader auto market. I figured it would be a more blimp-level view of a car that is iconic as a symbol of the unprecedented transition from burning things for energy to not burning things for energy.
As it turns out, Getting Ready for Model 3 is an epic book for other reasons — it’s a tremendously useful book for anyone planning to get a Tesla Model 3, or for anyone thinking about getting an electric car of any kind, for that matter.
My review of the first third of the book was published last year. Finally making it through the second third (after writing our own 93-page EV report, editing thousands of articles, going to too many conferences, planning too many conferences of our own, getting too absorbed in the full-speed political train wreck the USA is in the midst of, and trying to do a decent job of raising two little girls), I’m back with another review article.
The general story is the same as before — Roger Pressman did an amazing job of providing a comprehensive guide to preparing for Model 3. Frankly, I think it’s a must-read for anyone who has a reservation for a Model 3, and that’s even if you already have an electric car. (As it turns out, 23–50% of electric car drivers plan to next buy a Model 3, according to 2,324 surveys we collected from EV drivers in 26 European countries, 49 of 50 US states, and 9 Canadian provinces in the second half of 2017.) I think it’s a much better book than I would have written if I had decided to make that effort.
Without trying to hit the magic number of 3 (it was genuinely an organic accident), while reading the second third of the book, I did highlight 3 reasons I thought the book ended up being so good.
1. Roger is tuned into the market.
I highlighted some statements on page 48 about his experiences and observations waiting in line to reserve the Model 3 in Santa Monica, California**.
“Something interesting happened when we began to talk performance. Some of my new Tesla friends really didn’t care about quickness or road handling at all. They just wanted a sleek, zero emissions vehicle. Impressive zero to 60 times elicited some responses like, ‘Nah, that’s not for me,'” Roger noted.
“But another cohort within my unscientific sample was right out of the Fast and Furious crowd. ‘Man I’m up for a 4 seconds to 60 … and I’ll pay to get it,’ said one young man as a number of people smiled and nodded their heads.”
Looking at a broader sample, but from the population of current EV drivers who regularly read or sometimes swing by CleanTechnica, we can offer a deeper view of these differences, but the general story is the same — many early EV buyers just want a good zero-emissions car that helps to stop global warming and air pollution, whereas others are drawn to EVs (and especially Tesla EVs) because of the instant torque, the exciting new tech, the better driving experience, etc.
Survey results from our new EV report. Responses came from over 2,000 EV drivers across 26 European countries, 49 of 50 US states, and 9 Canadian provinces. Responses were segmented according to region — North America vs Europe — and type of electric car — plug-in hybrid vs Tesla vs non-Tesla fully electric car.
Of course, as one of the first Model S owners, as an active member of the Tesla owner community, and as co-founder of the leading Tesla aftermarket supplies company, Roger has extensive experience talking to Tesla drivers and potential drivers. I think this depth of understanding and awareness shows throughout the Getting Ready for Model 3 book.
2. Roger is tuned into the news.
On page 62, Roger wrote, “Tesla Motors has committed to double the size of North American Infrastructure to about 1200 supercharger stations by the end of 2017 — just in time for the first Model 3 deliveries.”
As a reminder, this book was published in Fall 2016. In late April 2017, Tesla published a blog post saying essentially the same thing. The story blew up across the web as hot and exciting news. But, to be frank, it was news approximately a year earlier and the April 2017 post was essentially just a reminder/update. Roger’s close eye on Tesla news as it comes out, his eye on Tesla’s quarterly reports, and his insightful sense of what’s really important for Tesla owners informs the Getting Ready for Model 3 book and is another reason why it’s so good and so valuable for soon-to-be Model 3 drivers.
3. Roger is tuned into the technology.
Perhaps the most useful factor of all is Roger’s understanding of the technology and superb ability to explain it in clear terms. This hit me early on in the book, as I noted before, but it stood out again in the second third. One interesting bit in regards to that was on page 65.
“Over the years, you’ve heard that hard driving — that is, rocketing away from the stoplight — will kill the mileage in an ICE vehicle. It’s only natural to assume the same holds true for BEVs. But it’s not.
“The internal combustion engine (ICE) is generally inefficient and because it produces torque along a curve (not instantaneously) only after you slam the accelerator, a lot of fuel is required to build up enough torque to make the car accelerate quickly. That’s why hard acceleration kills mileage for an ICE car.
“But that’s not the case for BEVs like Model 3. The reason is that electric motors have extremely high efficiency and produce instantaneous torque from a dead stop. That means the motor in your Model 3 doesn’t have to work especially hard to get your car moving fast. Nick Howe discusses this in the context of the Tesla Model S, when he writes, ‘The amazing efficiency of the electric motor means that driving 70 vs. 50 has a much bigger impact on range than accelerating from 0 – 60 mph in 4 seconds vs. 8 seconds.'”
Regarding that instant torque of EVs vs. the acceleration of a gasmobile, I like to use this graph:
That’s one of those sort of geeky benefits of electric cars that are fun to talk and write about but are really going to sell this tech to normal people only once they put their buttocks into an electric car and enjoy the experience.
Overall, though, Roger’s thoroughness and admirable ability to cleanly and simply explain such topics is a wonderful aspect of Getting Ready for Model 3. Go get the book if you haven’t yet!
*Full Disclosure: EV Annex has a paid sponsorship campaign running with us, but this review is completely separate from that. EV Annex sent me one of the first Getting Ready for Model 3 books, and I committed to reading it and providing my unbiased review.
**Side story: Incidentally, Roger and son Matt, another EV Annex cofounder, were in California — away from their homes in Florida — for the Model 3 unveiling because Roger had magically won one of the tickets, while I was in California — away from my home in Poland, and my birthplace in Florida — to cover the event for CleanTechnica along with one of our top reporters, Kyle Field. Roger and Matt saw me and came over to say hello, making it our first lucky meeting in person — but not our last!
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