My Trip In A Tampa Airport Tesla Shuttle — Model 3 Performance Edition

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As some of you know, I recently had to make a trip over to Brussels to provide a presentation at a major EV conference there. Such is the life of an International Gasmobile Troll (agent 043).

To get to the airport, my mom drove me up in her Nissan LEAF, fast charging on the way just over the bridge. A special treat was meeting a young couple at a fast charging station in St. Pete who had bought a BMW i3 based in large part on my previous reviews of the car (a car I clearly love). Naturally, they loved the car and were happy with the purchase.

Upon my return to Florida, I needed a different electric solution to get home. Where to turn? Where to turn?

Ah! The Tesla Shuttle network I co-founded! Yes, I was particularly happy to book a Tesla Shuttle ride again, and to meet the Tesla Shuttle Indies operating vehicles in the Tampa Bay region. Additionally, I was excited for a long ride as a passenger in a Tesla Model 3. I had a hunch about what it would be like, but hunches aren’t always correct.

One of the supersplendulous features of the Tesla Model 3 is its glass roof. The roof (only available with the Premium Upgrade Package, which is the only package you can order today) actually means you get more headroom in the back of the Model 3 than in the back of the Model S. It also provides a beautifully open feel. Well, that was the sense I got from pictures and a few short experiences in Model 3s.

For this trip, I didn’t have a view like the stunning example in the Tesla tweet above, because it was nighttime. I was a little disappointed because I’d love to gaze at some beautiful Florida skies from the back seat of the car in the daytime. However, the good part is that I got to experience the roof in the dark and see if it provided much difference then.

It did. It felt super open, super luxurious, and unlike anything I’ve experienced in any other car (after far too many trips in premium taxis in the UAE, India, Europe, and the US). It was really in a league of its own.

Aside from the luxury on top, there was also luxury on the bottom. The white vegan leather is super soft, smooth, and beautiful in the dark.

The car I was picked up in was a Performance model, but the driver didn’t throw me back in my seat. I’m not sure why I didn’t ask for it — perhaps the jet lag.

Naturally, since he didn’t decide to throw me around the back seat of the 3, the ride was smooth, quiet, and relaxing.

Well, I was tired and excited about the trip, so it wasn’t that quiet — I was rambling like the bat in FernGully. The guys who picked me up are, of course, Tesla enthusiasts as well. The driver has been following Tesla longer than me, has been a shareholder since the early days, and had an early Tesla Model S. Hearing him talk about the transition from those early days to today, a period of presumably peak FUD just as Tesla is delivering a stunning number of cars and its most superb vehicles to date, was a pleasure and an honor. There are only so many of those early, early, early fans out there. It’s also humbling to have such a forward thinking leader join our Tesla Shuttle network.

His partner, the other passenger in the car, also has a Model 3 but got to play passenger on this trip. He pointed out some of the cool changes to the touchscreen as we expressed awe at how much better Tesla’s vehicles are and how stunning Elon Musk’s progress has been — as well as his humility through it all, a characteristic the two of us think is far too under-recognized and underrated in general.

I forgot to ask about their dog! Next time.

Of course, I’m as biased about using Tesla Shuttle as I could be, but I launched the service with a few colleagues specifically because I thought it would be such a useful and enjoyable service. Yet again, I was not disappointed, and I was particularly happy to have my first Tesla Shuttle ride both in the United States and in a Model 3.

The only real downside? It made me want a Tesla Model 3 Performance that much more!

Despite that, I more heartily than ever can recommend booking a Tesla Shuttle if you are flying in or out of Tampa, Florida, for some reason. Of course, there are plenty of other places where Tesla drivers can also shuttle you around in the cleanest, coolest, quickest luxury on the ground. And we have new routes opening soon.

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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 7400 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan