Wow, I can’t believe four years has gone by already. I still remember picking up the Model S at Tesla in Trondheim. Driving it back home it was clear to me that cars would never be the same again. It was a big smile on my face. So, how do I feel about the Tesla now four years and 67 000 km later?
That’s is what I am going to talk about in this post.
For our family the Tesla Model S has been the main car since we got it. We have driven it down Europe to Austria with five people and luggage. We have driven up north in Norway to Lofoten with five people and a dog. We have done multiple trips over 1000km. We also have used it for daily commute within the city.
Before we got the delivery of the car, we mounted a charger in our garage. Usually when we park for the night, we will connect the charger, but normally we would probably just need to charge once or twice a week.
Let me tell you upfront before we go further that I still have a smile on my face driving this car. I love it. It has not been without issues, however, in our experience, Tesla Service has been good.
What do I love about the Tesla?
Frankly speaking, there is a lot to love about the Tesla. The range, how it handles, the fun acceleration, how quickly it gets warm in the winter and more.
Our experienced real-life range for a full charge on our 85kwh is around 380km. Now, we have driven it down to close to zero, but usually, we will recharge around 50km-80km left. There has been a couple of near zero situations, but the GPS is also great at letting us know how much charge is left when we arrive our destination. For we don’t have any range-anxiety, however, when we drove to Austria we did do some validation that we were able to charge at our hotel.
Tesla Super Chargers
Another thing we really enjoyed when traveling far with the Tesla was the super charger network. For us, having a break and recharge was never an issue. In our experience, we usually got what we needed to drive to the next location within 20-30 minutes of charging. This of course changes when you are not able to do a supercharger. In those situations, we usually just charge up enough to get us to the nearest supercharger. I can remember a couple of situations where we had to wait for an hour to get enough juice when not using super charger. However, usually we planned this out with some shopping or eating.
When you get used to the immediate response from the pedal, nothing ever comes close. The air suspension also helps with the handling, and makes it a very comfortable car. For the long trips we never felt tired – even fully loaded with five people. It is a heavy car, but you forget that when you drive it. Passing cars and trucks is quick.
We have the rear-wheel drive, and I was skeptical driving the car on ice and snow. I must say I have been positively surprised. It handles very well, and we never had any issues with the car on icy or snowy roads in Norway. Another bonus is how quickly the car get warmed up. And you can do it from the app. I almost forgotten how it is to enter a cold car in the winter time.
Tesla operates as a Silicon Valley tech company. They ship often, and with over-the-air updates the car will tell us that an update is waiting. We will acknowledge the update, and it will install. After the update is installed it will tell us what is the new features or updates in this release. When the car has been serviced, they also report that they updated components to a newer version.
Cost of ownership
Over the four years we had the car, the only cost we had was new tires. When the car has been serviced we always got an rental car. Sometimes the service has been slow, but we never been without a car. And we never had to pay for anything. For us, the cost of ownership, has been very predictable.
Tesla owners and Tesla community
I would say that being a Tesla owner is also about joining the Tesla community. Often when at a super charger we would talk to other Tesla owners. It is a connection, though I must admit this has become less in the last two years than the previous. It’s not just a car. It’s a lifestyle 🙂
Ok, not everything could be that perfect?
You are right – even I will say that the Tesla is the best car I ever owned, there is room for improvements. And if you read some of the forums about being a Tesla owner, you will see that some people have more problems than I had.
Every problem has been promptly fixed at the Tesla Service Center as needed:
- Supercharger stopped working once. Was able to charge slower, but the speedy super charging suddenly stopped working.
- Brakes had to be fixed once as they got less efficient.
- 12V battery replaced once.
The only time we had to wait significant was for normal scheduled service for some reason.
Here is what I believe could be improved:
Service and support waiting time
When it comes to service and support I must say it could be improved. When you really need it (like road assistance) they have been very responsive and I love how they can remotely log in and look through the logs of the car to help identify problems.
However, if you want to schedule a service with the service center, you better just go there. They are hard to reach on email and phone. We also had a situation once where the car was at a normal service for 3 weeks. We did get a loaner Tesla during the time, so not really a big problem for us. Overall though, the people we have interacted with at Tesla has been good.
More support for hardware upgrades for older models
As the newer Model S comes with faster computer and better screen, it would be awesome if older Model S could be upgraded for a fee. I know that some parts are upgradeable, and I do understand that some of the upgrades require sensors and cameras that is not on the older version. But it would be awesome if they had upgrade kits!
The head lights could have been more powerful. In Norway, where it is really dark half of the year, great headlights are really helpful. I know people to replacements, but we didn’t go that far. I know there is better headlights on the newer versions, but I have not tested that yet.
Sometimes you meet the person who is filled with hate for Tesla. They will show this by driving aggressively, or just being rude. These people are the ones that think they know better than anyone else, and that they by design just hate everyone who do not agree with them. People are different, and for one thing I never got the Tesla because of free parking or not paying tolls. I rarely use the bus lanes as well. But if you do, you need to be aware that there will be someone out there that would hate you.
Four years, and 66 000km we really love the Tesla. Over the last four years there has been made many small and larger improvements to the Model S. Improvements to the range, computer and screen. The newer Model S has gotten four wheel drive and autopilot. So, when Tesla offered us a trade in for a new Model S 100D, we accepted.
We got the 100D with the following extras:
- Premium upgrade
- Enhanced autopilot
- Black leather interior
- Carbon interior upgrade
- 21” wheels
The premium upgrade includes the upgraded audio system, bioweapon defence mode and winter package with heated seats for every passenger, heated steering wheel, wiper blade defroster and washer nozzle heaters – perfect for Norway.
The enhanced autopilot includes four cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors providing 360 degrees coverage around the car. This enhanced autopilot will match the speed with the traffic conditions, and is able to keep the car within the lane, change lanes and transition from one freeway to the other. It also includes self-parking and a function to summon the car to and from the garage.
It is time to welcome our second Tesla Model S – Hello Blue