May 19, 2019 by Guest contributor
The first part of this two-part series consisted of a thorough review of the type of Tesla's business and how it fits into the wider market segments that it serves. This second part discusses the author's personal experience with Tesla vehicles and how these vehicles compare to others on the market, today and tomorrow.
by L.W. Fraise
persUnique experience with Teslas
My personal contact with Tesla took place in 2014 when one of my nephews offered me a book on Elon Musk. It was a fascinating read, and from that moment, I started following SpaceX. I have learned everything about the company. For a while, I even thought about how I could leave the nuclear and work for SpaceX.
At the end of 2017, a few months after renting a Lexus LC500 in June, I started following Tesla. In October 2018, I went to the Tesla website and ordered a Model 3 Performance. I had never driven in an electric car. I made my decision solely on what I had read and seen on YouTube. Basically, I thought that since Musk commanded SpaceX and Tesla, there would probably be correlations with respect to innovation. When I drove my model 3 out of the Tesla store, it was my first electric car experience – secure correlations.
When I was very young, I was a car mechanic. I rebuilt some engines, reworked the brakes of many of my personal cars, exchanged many transmissions, four times with my 1990 Mustang, and at home, I've had a lift for almost 20 years.
During my nuclear career, I have worked in over 20 power plants in over a dozen states. In 22 years of traveling, I've rented a wide variety of sports cars and SUVs, always judging them for their performance, ease of use and maneuverability.
After Model 3, in hindsight, 99% of everything I've driven is just junk. Sorry, Mustang. Sorry, Lexus. They are covered with mobile blankets behind the Tesla.
The model 3 against the model T
Model 3 is a battle ax. It's a million-mile car. The structure of the car is so solid that it is almost inconceivable that anyone build it. It is no wonder that this is the safest car available. In a post-apocalypse, it would be the survivor because of the quality of its construction and the number of moving parts it has compared to a car with internal combustion engine. Think Mad Max. The suspension arms are so ridiculously oversized and solid that they present classic cars as a safety hazard … and now they are. This is not an exaggeration. It's hard to know when the needle has moved so far. Today, it's incomprehensible. Tomorrow it will be: "like Duh".
I own the model 3 for a little over 5 months and has traveled more than 17 500 km. Zero problem, zero maintenance. I shot the tires myself at 10,000 miles. Judging by the feeling of the car, I realize that I could travel it for 100,000 kilometers by replacing only the tires and the wiper blades.
The car is an absolute joy to drive. When you want performance, it's instantaneous, perfectly compliant with demand and surprisingly predictable. There is a guarantee difficult to describe, but it is palpable. It is a category apart. Ironically, my winter time with the car, including two trips from Illinois to Denver, was plagued by some of the worst conditions I have ever visited. An ice storm caused a 1/4 "ice storm on the car. Icy roads alternating with salt spray mists covered the front half-inch of gray ice. The car experienced heavy snowfall, devastating headwinds across Nebraska, temperatures down to 10 degrees below zero, and hours of travel under torrential rains. The car, with just all-season tires, was a charm. The only lesson was, load the car before parking it at the hotel on a very cold night. It took another hour to load it in the morning.
The 3 Performance model is a beast. A comparable car with internal combustion engine (ICE) is maximized in all respects – there is no spare capacity. In the "My other car" category, I rented a Lexus LC 500 16 months before I bought Model 3. Even today, people will slow down and remain speechless in front of the LC 500 when it's on the move. It is a beautiful car and well built. In my opinion, this represents the pinnacle of the ICE automobile. It's an ICE car as over-designed as it probably will never have been. In the Mad Max scenario, there will be Teslas and LC500s until Tesla drives the nose of the LC500, then it's over for the LC500.
It has become clear that Tesla is compressing its products with a spare capacity, a large spare capacity. A few weeks ago, like many, I received a live update increasing the power by 5% and increasing the maximum speed by 7 mph. I have driven many cars at over 100 km / h, but no car feels so safe and solid in acceleration or at high speed. The current story is that there is Tesla, then there are the dinosaurs of the automobile. Tesla is not a car company. it's an engineering company that makes cars. The result is that cars are better than anything available. For me, I had to drive the car for a few weeks and we got past the anxiety so we could really get there.
For years, history after history of the next "Tesla Killer". Other companies in the automotive sector have classic operations, a solid structure, and manufacture their products cheaply. They build cars that, if treated with care, could travel 250,000 kilometers before major maintenance, the type of maintenance for which the cost of repairs usually exceeds the residual value of the car. It is virtually impossible to reverse a stagnant corporate culture. Tesla, as an engineering innovation firm, can transform itself to sell cars, but automakers can not turn into innovation. As a result, most of them will fail. At some point, the public will be aware of what has become of transportation: fun, high-performance driving and automated carting.
The public could be fully aware of automated cars around 2021 when Tesla will enter the carpool market currently dominated by Uber and Lyft. Only, unlike Uber and Lyft, Tesla vehicles will not have drivers; they will be automated. For the first time in history, the automobile will truly be an automobile. By 2025, Tesla's car pooling profit will likely be greater than that of auto manufacturing.
Conventional builders have approached the concept of autonomous driving conventionally, which is quite expected and predictable. Their approach relies on reliable data based on past road images and distance measurement technology to avoid collisions. Tesla tackles it from the point of view of innovation. He uses learned concepts and a network of live neurons. As a human being, he will perform actions based on learned concepts of acting by situation, as opposed to rote actions based on programmed scenarios. Only Tesla collects data on billions of kilometers traveled and integrates this learning into a network of neurons. Only Tesla vehicles will have computer processing technology, combined with learning software, which will make them much safer and more usable in all situations. Tesla's lead is hard to understand and is currently exponential compared to what we think is competition.
Scope of the day vs future reach
At the time of my purchase, the estimated autonomy for a full load of the Model 3 Performance was 310 miles. Like any other car, you do not want to wait until you run out of fuel before refueling. For a battery-powered car, the ideal is often to charge at 90% and discharge at 20%, which in this case gives 247 miles away. Get into driving at higher speeds, 70-75 MPH, and the convenient range is about 185 miles. If you charge completely, the range is about 200 km with a higher speed driving. In the worst case – high speed, extreme cold (up to the point where heating is activated) and unfavorable high winds – the range can be as low as 130 miles. Even in the worst case, the Model 3 can not be beaten like a suburban car.
For long-haul travel, which typically uses interstate highways, the Tesla Supercharger network has chargers spaced a typical maximum of about 110 miles apart. Thus, even if more time is needed for a long distance trip, this can be done without much concern, especially since Tesla software automatically tracks your route on the big screen – easy.
What would 30,000 km a year mean for this car in 5 years? Will the range decrease significantly with the wear of the battery? If the history of the Model S indicates, there will remain> 90% of the battery capacity.
But wait!!! Given that battery technology is progressing significantly and that we are talking about the Tesla issue, you can certainly bet that upgrading the battery in 5 to 7 years will double the car's battery life. From the point of view of the workforce, an exchange of battery modules is much simpler than replacing an engine. After more than 100 years of advanced engine and car technology, no ICE cars being manufactured improve with age, and no one else could double its range by integrating a more efficient engine. with equal performance and / or swapping. to a gas tank that has the same physical size. Yet with a Tesla, it will be reality.
Rent my Tesla
The Tesla carpool network will consist of Tesla owned cars and owners who choose to lend their cars to the network for public use. If I choose to lend my car to the network some parts of the day or week, I will make a profit and Tesla will make a profit. Just as if I were driving an electric car, I may be late for this holiday.
Bringing the LC500 home for storage in the winter of October 2018, my friend followed our Kia Niro Hybrid (POS). We stopped at a gas station near the end of our trip to refuel Lexus. It hurt my ears when I saw a kitten looking for food in front of the gas station / Burger King. Worried, she tried to move the kitten out of danger. We ended up keeping the creature after she started crying when I told her to take her to a shelter the next day. In fact, he was a polite and cold traveling companion on the first trip to Denver. It's a proud cat – I have not explained the dog mode yet. He calls himself Scrounge.
What is the quality of model 3?
Model 3 is so good that its value proposition is obvious. Given the rugged construction, the inherent reliability of its electric motors, and the ongoing software upgrades that enhance its performance and capabilities, a 300,000 km Model 3 will remain an incredible car. There may never be a car that stands the test of time, but if we survive a hundred years, those who stay will always see the 100-year-old Model 3 running.
After 6 months of driving and in-depth review of the Model 3 construction, I became so convinced of the value proposition that I bought another Model 3 Performance to replace the Kia. I know I will never buy another ICE car, but what about you?
Do not be surprised by the ICE game of Musical Chairs
Model 3 is the standard that all other manufacturers who understand our new reality will pursue, but will not understand. The transition to electricity will have a difficult consequence. Over time, the majority will not want ICE cars. When this happens, the value of ICE cars will collapse. Given the pace of climate change arguments and their integration into our political processes, it is no exaggeration to think that ICE cars will be socially unacceptable in a decade.
I am not alone in observing Elon Musk as P.T. Barnum of our time. The legendary three-ring circus "The greatest show on earth" has officially ended recently. But history repeats itself. This time, Elon Musk's three-ring show is a practiced sport made visible by the thousands of dedicated visionaries and activists (employees of Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company) who build the story in real time. Understand that every short salesman who strikes Musk is an attack on over 50,000 of the brightest and most dedicated missionaries ever assembled. Two new words have just been created – a proper salute.
Another one who bites the dust
Soon, fake (or maybe even real) compilation videos of RELICS (Performance Really 3) outperforming ICE cars (Really Everyone, Like, Ice Cars Suck).
The only thing that a high performance ICE car has on the 3 model is a soundtrack. What would it take for brilliant people to write audible tapes that move with acceleration, lateral forces and deceleration? Maybe start with rocket sounds! These soundtracks, somewhat muted not to offend and frighten children or the elderly, could also be projected outside the car as an audible safety feature.
Short sellers – Your efforts are in vain
In the movie The fifth Element, a spherical evil moves towards Earth at an incredible speed. The galactic army is convinced that bombarding it with bigger and bigger torpedoes would kill it, but the bombs only make it stronger. Go back to history and the sphere is Tesla, rush to Earth to save her from its polluting ways. Unfortunately, short sellers use all the conventional weapons they have to destroy Tesla, but Tesla's accelerated pace of innovation is unprecedented. The efforts of the short sellers to hurt Tesla's workforce are as futile as throwing snowballs on the sun.
Working in nuclear power allows me to say that I have a nuclear powered Tesla. Thanks to Exelon Nuclear for the free recharge and for encouraging your staff to go green. This view below best sums up the future in my mind. We have the sun, wind and LaSalle County Station in the background.
If you are encouraged to buy or rent a Tesla as a result of this article, please use my referral code to secure the future of your driving experience: https://ts.la/lawrence85896
Best of all and our future,