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My Trip To The Tesla Model Y Unveiling: The Day Before The Storm

Why did I come out to California for the Tesla Model Y unveiling? There are so many answers to that question, but none of them had to do with the Model Y.

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This article highlights the reasons I came out to California for the Tesla Model Y unveiling and what a saw the day before the unveiling.

Why Did I Come Out Here?

There are so many answers to that question, but none of them had to do with the Model Y. You see, modern life is such that I know the best way to see a major event (like a political convention or the Super Bowl or an Apple unveiling) is to sit at home like you and read articles and watch livestreams. The first reason I came to the unveiling is simply because I was invited and I could. My wife recently had major surgery and I wasn’t sure if I should leave her alone. I’m in the middle of training a group of internal customers to use the first data mart that I’ve designed in my career. My son is struggling in his second year of college. I’m halfway done with 4 tax returns that will quickly be due.

But I didn’t overthink it. I knew that I had worked hard to get the invite (from the now defunct referral program) and I shouldn’t waste the chance to be here. When my kids were applying to colleges a few years ago, a presenter from an elite school told me something that has stuck with me. He said you shouldn’t go to our school because our campus is great or our teachers are great (although they are), but because our students are great. He said you spend 15 hours a week with the teachers, but 168 hours a week with the other students. He said they could select all students with perfect SAT scores if they wanted to, but to provide the best outcomes, they selected people who had accomplished something. Maybe they were an Olympic athlete, maybe they had started a company or two, maybe they were on a hit TV show — whatever they had done, they would have learned valuable life lessons they could share with their fellow students. That’s the biggest reason to go to the unveiling, to meet and hang around with exceptional people who share my passion for electric cars and Tesla. Each person has a unique story of how they became a fan of the company that has a news cycle that never seems to slow down. Sometimes it is product related, sometimes it is Elon’s tweets, but we all came together to both be part of this historic product announcement and meet in person so many of the people we feel like we know from YouTube or Twitter or the various EV-focused blogs we all follow.

The second reason to go was to spend some time with my son and introduce him to a new part of the tech world that he may not realize exists.

Tesla Hawthorne Design Center

After landing a day before the event, I went to the Design Center to get some pictures and see the preparations before the big day, and to get an In and Out Burger (animal style) from just down the street.

This is the place the Model S, Model X, Model 3, Semi, and new Roadster had all been unveiled. I found a group of four Norwegian Tesla fans and spoke to them about their expectations. They saw the next-generation Roadster go by twice while I was taking these pictures, so maybe that car will be part of tomorrow’s event. I asked them the size of the area for the unveilings (since they had been to several previous events) and they said it was quite small, so they expect only 500 to 1000 people to be at the event.


As I left the design center, I had to get a picture of the tube used by the teams at the annual Hyperloop competition.

I also noticed they had put up signs so people couldn’t park here during certain times. This starts a half hour before the event and goes to 2:00 am. Is this an indication that the event will go to 2:00 am?

Orange County Tesla Club Meetup

Photo from Dennis Pascual, organizer of Orange County Tesla Club

Next I got invited to attend the Orange County Tesla Club meetup at the Grimaldi’s Pizza in El Segunda, where in addition to meeting many great members of the local club (including the organizer, Dennis Pascual), we had several special guests! I got to meet my fellow CleanTechnica writers Kyle Field and Chanan Bos. Trevor Page of Model 3 Owners Club helped organize the event and also has a crew here for the event, so make sure you check out their coverage too! Vincent, originally from Beijing, has emerged as a great source of news and insight in the leading EV market in the world, China, over on Twitter. I enjoyed meeting all folks at the dinner and was glad my son found a video game enthusiast to talk to (since he is not as interested in EVs as I am).


Stay tuned to CleanTechnica, where we will be publishing a flurry of articles on the Model Y and the unveiling event. There is much speculation on whether there will be an Apple-style “One More Thing” at the event. Let us know in the comments below what “One More Thing” you are hoping for.

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Written By

I have been a software engineer for over 30 years, first developing EDI software, then developing data warehouse systems. Along the way, I've also had the chance to help start a software consulting firm and do portfolio management. In 2010, I took an interest in electric cars because gas was getting expensive. In 2015, I started reading CleanTechnica and took an interest in solar, mainly because it was a threat to my oil and gas investments. Follow me on Twitter @atj721 Tesla investor. Tesla referral code:


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