One day more… (and it’s not Les Miserables)

One day more…

In twenty four hours my teslamotorsclub.com signature line will be changing from:

Dennis – My Blog (mainly Active E for now and Tesla stuff as it grows…)
BMW Active E, Signature Green Roadster #40, and an 85kwh Tesla Model S with delivery of early November in Blue/Tan, Pano Roof, WITH Sub-zero Package in Southern California… Because COLD is a relative term.

To something closer to:

Dennis – My Blog (mainly Active E for now and Tesla stuff as it grows…)
BMW Active E, Signature Green Roadster #40, and an 85kwh Tesla Model S in Blue/Tan, Pano Roof, WITH Sub-zero Package in Southern California… Because COLD is a relative term.

Stay tuned. I’ll probably be updating the blog more often and/or teslamotorsclub.com and my new Flickr group – Tesla Model S Delivery weekend.

Until we pick it up and start uploading pictures, I’m using a picture of me at the Hawthorne supercharger as a place holder.

Can you tell that I’m excited?

Austin… Or should I say the outskirts of Austin…

So, quick whirlwind trip to Austin this weekend. Arrived Friday, left Sunday morning, but spent a little time in the city and mostly the outskirts of Austin.

I wanted to rent an EV, but there were none available at the airport, so we ended up with a Prius. As we were drove our rental Prius, I commented, to my better half, that there seemed to be a good number of EV charging stations near us on Plugshare, but was disappointed that I haven’t spotted any EVs in our quick trip from L.A..

As we drove toward the wedding around 12:45pm on Saturday, October 26, my wife and I spotted the following Grey P85+ as it turned to 360N, then to 2222, then on North Ranch Road 620…

Spotted my first privately owned Texan EV. Tesla Motors Model S P85+

I posted on teslamotorsclub.com to see if I can find the owner. Normally, I wouldn’t track an owner down, but this particular one did something rather peculiar. As we turned into North Ranch Road 620, the driver made a right turn into a gas station (a Shell station, I believe…) I just found it to be an amusing thing.

Aside from the Grey P85+ that was in front of us. We also spotted a Red (not Signature Red) Model S going the other direction on 2222. It’s always fun to see EVs on the road, especially in Texas, where one has to appreciate the hassle that the owners would have gone through to get their Teslas. I really appreciate living in California… I never have to worry about the fact that a car is “only” a compliance car. Heck, it’s a compliance car that got me into EVs in the first place and we’ll be driving at least two EVs in this household from now on.

National Plug in Day 2013… Over 200+ EVs in Long Beach

Been on a trip for a few weeks and finally had the time to do my homage to National Plug in Day… Apparently, this is the third year of the event, so I’ve attended three of these events over the past three years… However, I did TWO events last year, so not really the same, is it.

In 2012, I went to two events in two different locations in the same day. The El Segundo one and the Cypress one. This year, I had a flight to catch to Dubai later in the evening, so I could only attend one event.

So, I picked the one in Long Beach.

They did a really cool thing at this event and had a space in the front of the event to highlight one of each vehicle that came by for the event.

National Plug-in Day 2013 - Long Beach 2013-09-28

National Plug-in Day 2013 - Long Beach 2013-09-28

It was definitely much bigger than either event last year.

The event was well attended and well organized. Adopt-A-Charger was opening a new sponsored charger at the California State University Chancellor’s office in Long Beach. They were demonstrating the Tesla Roadster that was listed on eBay as a donation to Plug In America. It’s a pretty sweet little red Roadster.

National Plug-in Day 2013 - Long Beach 2013-09-28

National Plug-in Day 2013 - Long Beach 2013-09-28

There was also a Nissan Nismo Racing Leaf in attendance. Didn’t get to drive it, but got some cool pictures of it.

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There were speakers, including Plug In America’s Paul Scott (also known as the guy who was given his money back when he publicized what he would spend to speak to President Obama).

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and EV Advocate Chelsea Sexton

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and others (this year, I got to meet the “other” Lowenthal that represents me in Long Beach, Bonnie Lowenthal whose ex-husband, Alan Lowenthal, was at last year’s event in Cypress.)

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It’s reassuring to have representatives of my district both in State and Federal level be “EV” friendly. Here’s to hoping that more will represent us in other parts of the country.

The challenge with being in such an EV friendly location is that it skews ones perception of the “challenges” of EV adoption. I suppose, “act locally and think globally” is an appropriate slogan here. However, let’s contrast this once again to the EV situation in the Middle East. It would be foolish to think that we would convince folks in the Middle East to abandon oil. However, there is no reason for the middle of the United States to be as devoid of EVs as the Middle East. However, it is important to note that the challenge will become similar to the Middle East situation as the United States becomes one of the larger net producers of oil and gas with the discoveries of oil reserves throughout the Bakken, Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus Shales and others.

Oh, and for the full flickr set… Click Here

EVs in the Middle East?

So… I was going to post about my Plug In Day 2013 experience in Long Beach this year, but I had a funny thought as I sit in the Club Executive Lounge at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai waiting for my ride (probably a fully kitted out Lincoln Navigator) to the airport to catch my flight to LAX via London.

I was in London for business last week and was disappointed at not seeing any EVs in the Congestion Charging zone and being within a few blocks walk of the Park Lane BMWi dealership. Business does get in the way of my EV obsession.

So what was the funny thought…

I wondered where the nearest “official” Plugshare charging station was from my hotel. I was wondering whether it would be within a BMW Active E, Tesla Roadster, or Tesla Model S range…

Turns out, yes, just not easily!

Plugshare Map of the Middle East ex. Israel

Have to cross borders and find other “un-official” places to charge, but the AC power in the countries in the region would have charged any of the cars as well as any other country, one just needs to carry the EVSE with you. This ability is another thing that Tesla Motors does better than other US EV manufacturers. I say US EV manufacturers because in Europe, they actually carry their plugs with them, so, I suppose that’s similar to the Tesla method.

What do you get when you carry your plug with you? Well, you get to plug in to many different sockets. The Tesla Roadster UMC or Tesla Model S MC are adapters that handle between 110-240v of charging at amperages that go from 12 Amps to 50 Amps continuous. The Active E used to be rated to get 7.2 kw per hour charging from a compatible J1772 station (this has since been hobbled via software to ensure compatibility with more public charging stations.)

So, have I seen any EVs in Dubai. Expectedly not. However, I was disappointed in not seeing any in Central London. My British EV friends really need some help to convince their fellow countrymen to step up.

UPDATE FIVE HOURS AFTER INITIAL POST:

Nissan Leaf ad inside Dubai International Airport

Saw an Advertisement for Nissan Leaf at the Dubai International Airport Departures Terminal 1… Strange… Then again, they may be advertising CarWings… (does Nissan use Carwings on ICE vehicles?)

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.