25,000 Mile Model S Service, and a replacement drivetrain

It’s been nine days since we celebrated our Model S First Year Anniversary.

With the Active E, we would’ve been in for five service calls at this point, the Model S has a more generous 12,500 or annually service plan.


I try to time these appointments to be “on the dot”. This was a lot easier with the Active E, however, with the Model S, Tesla comes out to the office to pick up my car for the service, so I get it close and let the valet drive the car to the Service Center.

What is involved with the 25,000 mile (or two year service). Apparently more than the 12,500 mile/one year service. Tesla picked up the car earlier today. When I scheduled the appointment, I was advised that more things are done on the 25,000 mile than the 12,500 mile service, so I was prepared for the possibility that our car would spend the night at the Service Center. Aside from this normal service, I had a weird sound happen with the car about four to six weeks ago that I felt I can wait for the 25,000 mile service to have it taken care of.

Apparently, it’s a good thing that the car has an “unlimited” mile warranty on the drive train. Apparently the noise that I noticed in the car was a drive train error that requires Tesla to swap out the drive train and was given a late tomorrow estimate. I have an early dinner scheduled that may push the delivery of our Model S back another day, but it’s interesting to hear that Tesla chose to replace the drive train.

I hope to get more information when our Model S is returned to us.

It’s impressive to have Tesla make such a major component repair be approximately 24 hours for the work. I remember when similar challenges were occurring with the Active E community that many Electronauts had to wait a week or longer.

This repair just makes me think of things that Tesla doesn’t cover… Like a battery degradation warranty? Let’s get that going Tesla!

On another note… How do you get across the country without charging?


Need to go downhill all the way… 999 Mile estimate? It’s kind of a cool graphic.

One Year Model S Anniversary


A year and about thirty minutes ago we picked up our Model S.

In that time, we’ve amassed 24,264 miles on the Model S. Less than we did with the Active E, but considering we’ve had our Roadster for about 14.25 months, we also got about 11,379 miles on the Roadster, that’s really a greater total of EV miles than we did after our first Active E year.

[One thing I noticed after updating with a picture of the mileage is my actual driven miles (Trip A is 24,242… Funny)]

I’ll sit and think about it later. But for now!


(If you’re interested in reliving our Model S weekend… It starts here. Or when we actually picked up the Model S.)

Less than a year, and already wanting the new Model S


On October 9, 2014 the world saw the formal announcement of the dual drive Model S.


Living in Southern California, I don’t really need a 4×4 unless I go to the mountain when the snow is fresh and I’m lugging skis up to ski the fresh powder. It’s been a drought and therefore, not too many of the days have been happening for a while. We made the decision that since we’re already driving two pretty awesome EVs that we’re probably not going to spend the money on a Model X when those come out to replace our ICE 2001 BMW X5. Why would we? It’s paid in full, still pretty comfortable and does the things that we want it to do.

I’m not nearly as good as Peder Norby in my quest to be environmental. Remember, I found myself Accidentally Environmental and still do plenty of things that are not so friendly. (namely, I really want the convenience of “free” plastic bags when I shop or at least the paper ones instead of force me to have lug around my own bags. But I digress…)

So. We went to the event with the desire to find out what the heck the “D” was. Along the way, we ended up helping some of our EV community friends at SpeakEV, Teslarati, and TransportEvolved with various things. We also got to hang out with a lot of folks who we’ve met from the Active E community to the Orange County Tesla Club. It was a fun way to spend a Thursday night.

Ever since we decided to refuse our i3 Allocation I’ve been second-guessing myself. I really like the Driver Assist functions of the vehicle and truly wanted the “tractor beam” control that the i3 provided. However, the lack of AM radio and my general adaptation to the comfort and feel of the Model S has convinced us to stay with Tesla. Besides, with a little under a year of driving, we’ve really gotten used to the Model S.


We just put in 22,222 miles in the car and still enjoying it.

So, the Auto Pilot features that Elon Musk announced on Thursday intrigued us. Granted hitting 60 miles per hour in about 3.2 seconds is a rush. But, do we really need a car to go .7 seconds faster than the Roadster? Not really. There was a reason we stuck with an S85 in our original configuration and those reasons are still valid today. However, that Auto Pilot feature is pretty exciting. Additionally, because of the way that the Dual Drive motors work in a Standard Model S85D, the car gains thirty more standard range miles. Both of these factors are quite compelling. Compelling enough to take the hit on depreciation? Probably not. However, I did ask Tesla to provide us with what they would take our vehicle in trade for a S85D in our current configuration. So, who knows.

Then again, we’re hoping for a battery degradation warranty from Tesla, so, perhaps we pull the trigger closer to when they announce something about that.

So, tempting. However, the decision to go for it is not a very “rational” or “fiscally responsible one” at first glance. Who knows if we’ll get another glance at it, but you know that I’ll be writing about it if we do.

Here’s the video of our test ride in the new P85D with the 3.2 second 0-60 Rush and Auto Pilot.

[Update 2014-10-13 0750 PDT

I was asked on G+ if the car can be retrofitted. This was one of the first questions that I asked the Tesla employees at the event and was told that current models can not be retroffited.]

The Model S just past 21… thousand miles!

Our family is approximately 12-13,000 miles away from our 100,000 miles of EV driving.

It’s so funny, if you read earlier postings on this blog of a little over two years, all the mileage milestone posts that I did. Catching miles on the Model S is harder because of the display screen vs. the manual counter of the Active E. Photographing a display screen is inherently more difficult.

As I was getting in the car yesterday to proceed to drive home, I noticed that I was leaving the office at 21,003 miles.


It’s interesting to note that over the past few weeks, the lifetime rated consumption (Trip A on the pictures) dropped from 311 Wh/mile to 310 Wh/mile on our Model S (meaning we’re just driving more efficiently).

So, after getting home, in traffic,


It just shows how much more efficient I am at driving the car is in traffic than on the open road (the 291 Wh/mile figure). Still not as efficient as I’ve been with the Active E (at 5.0 Miles/kWh (or 200 Wh/mile).

Still gathering Battery Degradation stuff, but did find out that we’re on a D Pack, and that’s at least the latest version reported (as of the writing of this post.)


Definitely on pace to get to at least 24,000 miles by the 1 year anniversary of the car, and that is lower than the Active E. Then again, most of the time that we had the Active E, it was the only EV in the family.

Battery Degradation and Tesla’s “Warranty”

[The original version of this post was written as a response on SpeakEV.com forum a few days ago.]

All EV batteries degrade. The important thing is to warrant what is acceptable degradation and what is not. Lacking the guidelines sucks, for lack of a better word, but it isn’t fatal. It’s just part of the equation.

We own our two Teslas and I am disturbed by Kevin Sharpe’s Experience, but the published guidelines did say 30% in five years… All this means is caveat emptor.

Our Roadster was already five years old when we bought it, so, I would love to know what I get with the CPO Warranty or what we would get with purchase of the 400 mile upgrade batteries. How long will the car run up to 400 miles.

On Twitter, Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield (@aminorjourney), has postulated that battery packs are the consumable portion of EVs.

Like it or not, she has a valid, and yet expensive point. However, unlike gasoline/petrol we don’t have to replace every time we charge, only as long as the batteries are useful for us. In which case, it’s eventually time to change.

Tesla’s Roadster warranty had defined that in a binary situation, so, if one were to make the case to swap it out under Tesla’s warranty, it can’t be done based on degradation, it is because of a full battery/system failure. This sucks, unfortunately that is what was warranted.

Now the valid question for Model S owners (and guess what, I’m one of those too) is what about our battery packs? Well.. We’ll need to see if degradation is covered.

[This is where new information, or should I say OLD information was posted on the Model S Warranty (including the current “unlimited” Model S warranty) also specifically excludes battery degradation. As was pointed out on both TeslaMotorsClub.com and SpeakEV.com forums, see page 35 and 36 (pages marked 33 and 34 due to other unumbered pages) of this PDF.

The particular language excerpted from the PDF link above:

“The Battery, like all lithium-ion batteries, will experience gradual energy or power loss with time and
use. Loss of Battery energy or power over time or due to or resulting from Battery usage, is NOT
covered under this Battery Limited Warranty. See your owner documentation for important
information on how to maximize the life and capacity of the Battery.”]

Otherwise, prepare to save for a replacement battery pack in the future. I have always recommended (often in the early years of my blog and in forums) that new EV owners put aside half of what their “fuel” savings aside for the future need to buy a replacement pack IF they do as I do with most of my cars (and that’s keep them for a LONG while) (my hybrid garage has a 2001 BMW X5, my non-green, I have to get to the mountains for Fresh Snow car.)

Guess what, that advice still holds. I’ve lost five miles of rated range from 265 max charge to 260 max charge. Ideal miles lost 3 miles. And I’m less than a year AND over 20,000 miles. However, it must be noted that Tesla delivered the car with greater than 300 miles of ideal miles and I’m just around 299-300 miles ideal now. Yes, it’s hotter in California than the UK and we do have active thermal management, but it’s still the case that degradation happens. I still made it to Barstow, then Vegas on SCs. The car is still awesome, the Roadster is still fun, and Tesla is not perfect. I never thought they were (if BMW i didn’t piss me off as much, I might still have picked up the i3 I ordered.)

[end of almost original forum post.]

After a day of mulling over the lack of battery degradation and comparing the Nissan Warranty, BMW’s match of said warranty and the fact that Tesla’s two competitors include battery degradation, I believe that it is time to call out Tesla and tell them that they need to include battery degradation into the equation. Spell it out. If it is the same specifics as the 2006 Roadster blog post that says 30% after five years, then that’s what it is. It’s not very impressive and I would ask that CPO Roadsters be provided with a modification to this, but that’s at least something. Additionally, AFTER providing such guidance, give us a price on replacement batteries. Nissan gave a $5,500 rate for their cars, why can’t Tesla do it now? With the pending Gigafactory, surely the economics only gets to improve.

C’mon Tesla, be awesome again!

EV Spotting on trips… Hong Kong International Airport and Nissan Leaf

I have a problem.

I’m an EV Geek.

Around May 2014, I took a trip to Malaysia for a deeply personal reason and this trip from Southern California required a stop at Hong Kong Airport. At that time, our layover enroute to Kuala Lumpur was a few hours and after a brutal fourteen hour flight from LAX in last minute booked Economy seats on Cathay Pacific, I was pleasantly awoken by the site of a Nissan Leaf just outside the transfer security for in transit passengers.

I enjoyed it so much that I tweeted the following picture giving credit to EVa Air (pun intended.)

Spotted a Leaf at HKG Airport. Well done EVa Air! #EV

These two particular photos that I shot with my Blackberry had garnered hundreds of hits on my Flickr stream which were still unaccounted for.



That was back in May.

This September, I found myself back in Hong Kong enroute to a more fun reason (vacation) and spotted a fleet of the same colored Leaf by the Taxi Rank at Arrival level.

So, I tweeted the following picture out. We were heading into the city, so it was not the best picture in the world… You basically have to blow the picture up and look in the horizon of the background.

Nissan Leaf fleet charging at Hong Kong International, by the taxi rank

Well, today was payback time. We got to the airport early for our onward journey and I was able to take some cool pictures of the Silver Nissan Leaf EV Fleet in Hong Kong.

So, first set of pictures are from the Lantau Island Taxi Line (across from the lot)




Then, I figured to see if I can actually go to the lot that the EVs park at (then thought I better haul out of here, ’cause it wasn’t really “accessible”)






There are a few more pictures on flickr (just click on any of the pictures and click around…)

Either way… Kudos to Hong Kong International Airport for using Nissan Leafs.

[update from the plane… Spotted outside the window as we were preparing to leave HKG]