So… It looks like the Active E forums are no more…

Kind of anti-climactic… But, got the following email from BMW today…

BMW Activate the Forum deactivation

Needless to say, looks like the Active E forums are gone.

Never did get to fix it from this rather funny maintenance page notice:

BMW Active E Forum Redirect

These guys sure make it hard for an Electric BMW fan to stay loyal to the brand…

Active E mileage slow down…

As predicted, once a Tesla joins the garage, the Active E mileage seems to be slowing down.

Not much, but still there…

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Still… in keeping up with Laker great mileage homage pictures. Thinking of Jerry West. Never saw him as a player, but man, what a General Manager!

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It doesn’t help that the BMW Active E forums have been down for over a month. It seems like our friends from BMW i really have started to ignore the Active E Electronuts.

Besides, the Tesla Roadster’s been fun to drive (as is evidenced by last weekend’s Tour de Tesla drive.)

Just hoping that BMW steps it up with some sort of offer for the i3 for Electronuts, otherwise, I would predict a lower conversion rate from Active E to i3. There are a lot of choices out there, and the i3 should have tried to hold on to the Active E drivers.

Tour de Tesla 2013

So… No Active E coverage on this post… ALL Tesla!

What fun things can one do with a Tesla Roadster…

Well, this past Sunday, September 8, 2013. I took the time to join some fellow Tesla owners on a 52 mile drive around Los Angeles County whilst escorted by 12 police cars. It was a fun drive that started off at the Tesla Supercharging station.

We took a great route starting off at the Hawthorne Superchargers…

Panoramic view of the Tesla Run.

There were a lot of Model S

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and a few Roadsters

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The route took 125 Teslas about 50 miles around LA and a fun time was had by all.


View Larger Map

The difference between Active E drivers and Tesla drivers is sheer numbers. There are 700 total Active E Electronuts and at this event, there were 125 Tesla drivers. Some came as far as Arizona and Oregon. I think I overheard that someone flew in from Belgium for the event.

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However, I have to say that Tesla folks are also Electronuts! It was nice to meet some folks and I took on a passenger, Jim, who is awaiting delivery of his Black on Black P85+ Model S that I’m going to have to get him to show off when he gets it.

Here is a link to my pictures.

Here is a link to pictures from a thread on www.teslamotorsclub.com.

[edited 2013-09-04… Added this link from my passenger Jim and his friend Mark… Still waiting for Jim’s P85+ to arrive from the factory!]

AND Finally…

Five Days with a Tesla Model S P85+ compared with an Active E

Our Roadster is ready for pick up… So, we’ll be getting it back later today.

So, I don’t know if it’s normal or not, but I was hoping that Tesla would send an update to the P85+ loaner from firmware 4.5 to the latest, but it did not get it during its five days with us.

Aside from the lack of a hook for a jacket or dry cleaning…

So, a few more nits and revisit a nit and positive… Let’s start with combining these two from the three day post:

“4) This might be because it’s a loaner, but I can’t sync my contacts nor recent calls on the car. It is ALWAYS refreshing. I just disabled it. As a result, I have to dial by number or launch the call from my phone. Once again, the car IS a loaner.”

So, these two might be related… But inconsistent. The lack of sync might be a “privacy issue” and ensures that folks with loaners don’t leave their contacts on the car…

However:

“3) Automatically remembers places that one has charged (and what level charger to set up for.)”

This is not consistent because my home (and presumably other homes) are cached in the car.

Lastly, I am unimpressed with how well the guesstimator for the Model S functions. I like to drive in rated range rather than ideal range. This is just too much car to drive at 55 mph.

As a result I compare my rated range with my actual consumption. I find that the Tesla is still too optimistic with my expected range. Now, the effect is minimal considering how big the battery is, however, the Active E is more precise. For example after a few days back from service and consistent duty, the Active E will predict a certain range and when I consume the mileage, the range left over is consistent. Whereas the Model S would be lower than the consumed miles.

I would expect Tesla to have better prediction algorithms than BMW, but it does not seem that way.

Three days with a Tesla Model S P85+ compared with an Active E

So… It looks like we’ve had the loaner Model S P85+ (hobbled) longer than our Roadster.

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Since the Tesla Model S loaners are hobbled in terms of speed (80 mph limit) I would like to state that I am unaware of what other features may be unavailable to drivers of loaner Model S.

Since I spend a lot of time on the road, I make full use of the speakerphone and entertainment systems of the vehicles that I drive. The large touch screen IS pretty cool, but what else?

First point of comparison is the loaner programs between Tesla and BMW. Tesla loaners are cool vs. BMW ones in that BMW currently does not loan out EVs for Active E Electronuts. We have to go ICE. So, major points to Tesla for this. Additionally, loaner vehicles from BMW are limited to 100 miles a day included, there IS a charge for going over the miles; Tesla loaners have no such restriction. Additionally, you don’t have to “fill it up” to the same level as what you picked up.

The P85+ loaner that I’m driving has firmware 4.5, so I’m not sure if some of the idiosyncracies are limited to that, but here are some of my observations.

Aside from the lack of a hook for a jacket or dry cleaning…

1) No access to the Web browsing. It’s just blank. I can stream music, but nothing on the browser.

2) This has been previously reported, but a little irritating for me. I use both an iPod Touch and Blackberry for my services. So, when connecting the iPod Touch to the Model S USB port, it just charges the device. With the Blackberry, it can actually play music that is stored in your Blackberry folders. The Active E can connect to the iPod Touch over USB AND the Blackberry as a USB music drive.

3) Bluetooth connection is limited to ONE device. So, if my Blackberry phone is connected to the Model S, I can only stream from the same device. If I connect the iPod Touch over Bluetooth, the phone gets disconnected. The integration over bluetooth leaves much to be desired. The Active E can support a phone and a bluetooth music player over wireless. In fact, the Active E can support multiple phones (the primary and secondary) connected to the system.

4) This might be because it’s a loaner, but I can’t sync my contacts nor recent calls on the car. It is ALWAYS refreshing. I just disabled it. As a result, I have to dial by number or launch the call from my phone. Once again, the car IS a loaner.

5) The GPS doesn’t seem to adjust for traffic along the route. It’s great to show the traffic on the Google Map, but it seems to still route me through the most traffic. The Active E GPS adjusts for traffic.

Still…

1) The Model S has space and speed (quick, but limited to 80 mph because it’s a loaner.)

2) Supercharging. As I’ve commented on my new favorite forum, www.teslamotorsclub.com, though the superchargers are supposedly “running slowly” by some experienced types, compared to the Active E… It’s plenty fast.

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3) Automatically remembers places that one has charged (and what level charger to set up for.)

This is by no means a complete list, just some nits and the like. Not enough to cancel our order for our Blue/Tan Standard 85, just stuff to mull over.

Two days without Roadster #40…

So, after playing with Roadster #40 for two days, we had to bring it in to Tesla for service because of the aforementioned charging disaster on the first day.

Funny enough, there was a new article on Tesla’s service at greencarreports.com that was published today as well. We must all be bringing our Teslas in for work.

So, initial reactions after one full day in service and being notified that Roadster #40 won’t be coming home after two days in the shop… I guess we’ll have to make do with the slower Tesla for a loaner…

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Basically spent a vacation day driving around LA and giving rides to family members and friends. A day with a loaner Model S is quite fun. The P85+ is really quick (and smooth), but the loaners are limited to 80 miles per hour. 0-60 is plenty quick and it reaches 80 and stops there.

Did over 200 miles of driving yesterday. Even made a stop at Hawthorne for the Supercharger station. It was not charging as fast as when fully operational because three of the five chargers are out of commission. Still, a lot faster than the Active E.

Got there at 4:35pm and started charging at 5:20pm.

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Stopped at 6:39pm. I went for a max charge (or until there was someone waiting for a charge.)

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Not as fast as promised (construction woes), but a heck of a lot faster than the Active E.

The rest on Flickr.

I’ll hold off on reviewing service until they’re done. But I can at least assert that after two days of driving a Model S for my daily drive and a bit more that I am assured that our order for an 85kwh Standard one was the right decision. There are still stuff about the S that bug me, but it is a rather well-built vehicle.

Welcome home Tesla Roadster #40… And first disaster…

So, I announced a few posts ago our intent to bring home Tesla Roadster Signature 78. We hit to visit, test drive, and wait… And wait…

Apparently during the pre-delivery inspection (PDI) process they noticed that the motor was making an out of spec noise. It turns out that the solution to the problem is a replacement motor. It was going to take about three weeks to get tis problem fixed.

So, Tesla made us an offer to swap out #78 for #40.

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If you looked at our initial picture from the previous post on Roadster 78, Roadster 40 is behind me in the picture.

So, what are the differences between 78 and 40? Frankly, color of the interior and 40 did not have a hardtop. Oh… And mileage, 78 was closer to 21,000 miles and 40 has closer to 2,200 miles. Since the problem was found late and prior to delivery, Tesla offered us a swap of 78 for 40. We deliberated and agreed to the swap with some other adjustments. Namely, we wanted the same hardtop to move from 78 to 40, so Tesla agreed to move it with a price adjustment to cover the hardtop.

Front

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Back

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Author with that specialized EV Grin known as a Tesla Grin

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A View of the Tesla Roadster from its sibling in our garage, the current star of this blog, the Active E… Yes, the one that made us Environmental members of the rEVolution.

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Our first day with the Tesla Roadster was awesome. I had planned an ambitious drive and asked the store to charge the vehicle using Range Mode as I was looking at a 170-180 mile range first day to drive around the Los Angeles Basin to show family our new addition. It was suggested by our contact at the sales center (and current Roadster owner) that this might be ambitious for a first day, I capitulate and drove down our itinerary. We ended up with a 120-130 mile drive that was excellent. We arrived home with about 81 miles ideal range (about 70 miles of estimated range).

It was great driving the car around. This warm end of summer day and when we reached home, we decided to try our various charging set-ups. We have an MC240 to use with our Roadster 1.5, this is the pre-cursor to the UMC that has universal ports and supports a NEMA 14-50 on one end and the Roadster plug on another. This runs at 30 Amps and we plugged it in. The port went from white to Red and we encountered the dreaded “Powertrain Problem, Service Required, ID 287” fault. Thinking that we had a bad MC240, we tried using the CAN (a J1772 to Roadster Adapter that is all too elegant) from HCSharp. Adjusted the Amperage to 32A, the maximum that our EVSE can handle, dropped it down to 16A then finally 12. Still the same challenge. This was perplexing and unnerving. We just picked up the car about six hours prior. Numerous attempts and checks with no joy. Even went so far as to use the included 120V mobile charger at 12A (this would be 20-40 hours from empty to charge a Roadster), still with no joy. Same reaction and error.

It would seem that there are a lot of Roadsters with this particular challenge, and Roadster 40 is no exception.

So, called Tesla Service for Ranger Service and was promptly told that the chances were slim to none of getting anyone to pick up until Tuesday. (it is a Holiday on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013). Went scrambling back to Google and read, and read, and read on the teslamotorsclub.com website. And found differing challenges that people had faced and what their resolutions had been. It was a long list of things. And feeling defeated, dejected and downright depressed over the woes of first generation EV car company purchases, we went to sleep.

Flash forward to early morning 9/2/2013. It has been a very hot weekend, and I was jolted awake by the rustling of my better half. I thought to try to just plug the car in. 120V at first. Voila. It worked. 12A, but it started to take the charge. Feeling a little better. I thought to swap out the 120V for the MC240V at 30A, and that started to work as well. Thus, you find me here reporting our success to you, our fine reader. In fact, prior to publishing this post. I went back to the garage to check on the ideal miles on the Roadster (as it still charges), rather noisily compared to our Active E (a negative mark for the Tesla Roadster), shows that it has increased 26 miles since I plugged it in about an hour ago? Not really sure as I was QUITE asleep when I first ventured to plug it in again.

So, what was the resolution? I suppose it was to let the car “cool down” and/or “dry up” before having the charge cycle start. We ran the HVAC unit all day since we got the car and there was a post regarding moisture and the same error (I’ll re-edit a link to this once I find it again.) Or something. Either way, I need to get back to sleep.

So, as the house cools down, I find sleep beckoning again and I think I shall return to slumber.

The tan interior is warm and inviting, so if you don’t see updates on the blog for a while, we’re just busy EVangelizing with our two EV car family!
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For more Tesla Roadster pictures (both 78 and 40), though I suspect there will be more 40 as the years progress. Click here for Flickr.