My Experience With Tesla Model 3 (In Brief)
My wife and I bought our Tesla Model 3 in October 2019 and have now driven over 77,000 miles, including travel from coast to coast with our Tesla Model 3. We are still crazy about our car. We fully enjoy being one of 100,000 drivers, out of 1.5 billion on the road in the world, who can put an address into our navigation and have our car drive there 100% automatically (at least, under ideal conditions). Most of the time, we have complete confidence in the system and we know when it’s likely to screw up, so we are watching to take over instantaneously if it does. I love being part of a fascinating experiment with artificial intelligence.
Encouraging Nell To Buy A Tesla And Helping Her With Her New Car
I consider myself an EV evangelist, and specifically a Tesla evangelist, and Nell gives me some credit for convincing her to buy her Model Y.
Nell ordered her Model Y in October of 2021 and took delivery 11 months later, on September 17, 2022. Nell traded in her 2011 Honda Accord at a local Minneapolis Honda dealership because they gave her the best price for her used car. The owner of the dealership says he purchased a Tesla for himself, his wife, and one of his kids. He has also invested in Tesla stock.
Nell was looking forward to her delivery at the Eden Prairie Minneapolis Tesla Sales Center with considerable trepidation, because she had read and watched YouTube videos which told her about all the faults that people have found with their new Teslas and that warned her not to take delivery if she found those problems with her new car.
My advice to her: Do a quick inspection of the car for major faults, like you would do picking up a rental car at the airport. If she didn’t see anything major, take the car home and any other faults can be taken care of by Tesla Service later. Her Model Y looked great and she hasn’t found anything wrong with the car yet.
Charging/Delivery: Nell had a J1772 charger put in her garage, which she uses with the adapter supplied with the car. Also, there are numerous Superchargers near her home in the Minneapolis area, so charging should not be a problem. However, when she comes to her cabin on Laurel Lake in Northern Wisconsin, it will be a different situation. Tesla is no longer supplying an Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE) cable with their cars. Tesla calls it the Mobile Connector or Corded Mobile Connector. Since Nell hasn’t had time to put in a dedicated charger at the Wisconsin cabin, she will be screwed if she can’t get the cable. I told her to order one ahead of time, and if it hadn’t come yet, be sure to pick one up from Tesla Sales.
Nell was overwhelmed with everything going on with the delivery and didn’t manage to order the cable in time. Also, the personnel at Tesla Sales Eden Prairie were not helpful. You might think that when you are 72 and have just spent $65,000 for a car, they might hold your hand a little. They didn’t mention the cable and didn’t even walk her out to her car. They had turned on the flashers, so she would know which car belonged to her. However, Nell sat in her car for 20 min, afraid she might break something, and had to walk back into the showroom to get instructions on how to turn them off. They never ever walked out to her car with her.
Our cabin is only a half-mile from Nell’s cabin and we would be happy to let Nell use our EVSE cable at our house. Unfortunately, we will be on the road back to Utah for the winter exactly on September 27, when Nell is planning to arrive here. However, we are fortunate to have three Tesla destination chargers in our tiny town at the Three Lakes Winery only 4 miles from her cabin. I told her that when she comes to Wisconsin on September 27, if she still doesn’t have the cable, a bike would easily fit in her Model Y and she could leave her car charging at the winery overnight and bike home and back the next morning. She bikes that route routinely, so that wouldn’t be a problem.
Really Tesla? You are letting people pick up their cars without even discussing the Mobile Connecter? You really don’t have them in stock to take with them if they need one?
Tesla’s EVSE/Corded Mobile Connecter, the bad: It’s really hard to find the cable on Tesla’s inscrutable website, even if you know what Tesla calls it. Only after extended browsing could I find a search function on the website to help. Worse: it’s out of stock! The good: If you can get one, it only costs $200 and it comes with both the 110V adapter and a NEMA 14-50 adapter. The price for an EVSE cable on my Nissan Leaf (my previous EV) cost about $1,000. With the Tesla Mobile Cable, Nell could charge on 110V at the cabin if she wasn’t doing much local driving. If she has 220V service at the cabin garage, she can put in a NEMA 14-50 outlet for ~$200 like I have done at my cabin and my daughter’s house in St. George, Utah. You do have to order the Mobile Connecter, not the Corded Mobile Connecter, if you want both adapters.
I found a third party EVSE cable on Amazon for $375 which has immediate delivery, but only has the NEMA 14-50 adapter, not the 110 V adaptor. I also suggested she buy a second J1772-to-Tesla adapter for her car so she could leave one adapter in her garage and keep the other in her car. I couldn’t even find one on the Tesla website.
Nell has a wonderful sense of humor and has really enjoyed getting to know her car. She has given it the name LC for learning curve. She tells me the car is really designed for 12 year olds.
She has spent much time in the car showing her kids and grandkids how you can make fart noises in any seat position. It turns out her father had some issues with flatulence, but has since passed on. Her joke: Our father who farts in heaven. …
After numerous attempts, Nell hasn’t been able to reach the Tesla Sales Center where she picked up the car. She will drive there shortly to get answers to some questions, like how to buy a second J1772-to-Tesla adapter.
Fortunately, we still love our Teslas, even if dealing with Tesla isn’t always what we wish.
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