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.

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.

I guess BMWi has not forgotten about the Active E Electronuts

So, even though the ActiveE forums are still down…

At least BMW i has started to communicate with us again –

Probably better a little late than never…

 

BMW

BMW ActiveE Field Trial Updates.     View Online
BMW
ActiveE FIELD TRIAL DEVELOPMENTS.
Dear Electronaut,

With the recent worldwide announcement of the BMW i3, we would like to update you on some of the advances that have been made during the BMW ActiveE Field Trial. Your valued collective inputs have resulted in lessons which can only be learned by doing and driving.

You may be aware of some technical challenges encountered during the field trial and we want to assure you that each instance has been an experience where we have learned and applied change, either to the ActiveE or toward the development of BMW i vehicles. Such beneficial experiences are not restricted to the vehicles themselves, but also pertain to the systems and processes which support them and to the knowledge of those who implement them. As an Electronaut, you are an integral part of this knowledge chain.

As we approach the final months of the ActiveE Field Trial, we have gained the ability to extract the most from the vehicles. Some of you have encountered issues and have patiently collaborated with us to achieve solutions. For example, a number of problems were encountered with variations in charging equipment and related vehicle functions. Your feedback and creativity in helping us resolve some of these issues have been genuinely inspiring.

In the environment of the field trial, changes have been made to certain ActiveE components, software, and also in the support processes. At this stage in the field trial, we are moving forward with the refinement of our support structure for electric drive vehicles and continue to implement software updates. Such an update is currently being rolled out to BMW ActiveE Centers and will be uploaded on your next service visit. Enhancements are primarily centered on charging and other functions used to prepare the ActiveE for driving. Notable revisions include:

    • Preconditioning: Previously limited to 60 minutes while connected to a Level 2 charging station, this update will enable 90 minutes of preconditioning: 60 minutes for the HV (High Voltage) battery in order to better prepare it for colder weather and 30 minutes for the passenger cabin, compared to the previous 30 minutes for each function. The ability to cool the passenger cabin during preconditioning has also been made more reliable.

 

    • Energy Recovery Indicator: When driving off at 100% SOC (State of Charge), the Energy Recovery Indicator in the instrument panel might illuminate when releasing the accelerator pedal, warning that Energy Recovery or “Regeneration” is not possible. Also, the SOC indicator should now show 100% when fully charged, particularly in cold weather.

 

    • Charging: Optimization of the active thermal management system for the HV system improves performance in high ambient temperatures; for instance, you may notice the underhood cooling fan operating more frequently. Additionally, the charging rate has been revised to reduce heat levels in the onboard charger. This may result in extended charging times for the ActiveE, depending on the charging station being used and its available electrical supply. Finally, the HV system has been reprogrammed to “stay awake” for a longer period, to help alleviate reset issues with various charging equipment systems.

 

  • Service Maintenance Interval: Lastly, the maintenance interval for the ActiveE has been revised from once every three months or 5,000 miles, to every six months or 5,000 miles, whichever comes first. This feature should coincide with your next scheduled maintenance reset.

Should you have any concerns, please contact your local BMW ActiveE Center, or the BMW ActiveE Customer Relations Team at 855.236.1025 or ActiveECustomerRelations@bmwusa.com. Thank you once again for your invaluable cooperation in the BMW ActiveE Field Trial. Together, we have made remarkable progress toward an exciting future.

Best regards,

The BMW ActiveE Team

Efficient Dynamics

 

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We want your experience with the BMW website to be as smooth and reassuring as driving a BMW. Accordingly, we diligently safeguard your privacy. If you wish to review our Privacy Policy at any time, please click on the link below, or copy and paste it into your Web browser’s location window. http://www.bmwusa.com/about/privacy.html

We’d like to keep you up-to-date on the latest BMW electric vehicle products, news and events via email. If, however, you’d like to stop receiving them, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Please note that we are located at 300 Chestnut Ridge Road, Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677. ©2013 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. For more information call 1-800-831-1117 or go to www.bmwusa.com.

 

I’m pretty sure that I’ve already noticed the change in the charging behavior. I haven’t noticed the near 100% SOC regen note (warning). The change in the maintenance schedule won’t affect us. With the number of miles that we drive in our Active E, we’re still at the every 5,000 mile intervals rather than the monthly intervals. In fact, our Active E is in the shop right now with the front tires being replaced…

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18 months of the 24 month program and about 43,251 miles (which is as jumbled up as 12345 can get)… It was time to replace them.

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All I know is BMW i needs to step up. It’s BMW i’s move to keep on the 700 of us that participated in the Active E program.

We would’ve been such an easy sale for them. Now, it looks like Tesla will be winning us over for the immediate future. It’s nice to see that they have learned a lot from our trials and I am happy to have paid for the privilege to help. It was a good symbiosis. If only I had participated in the Mini E trials sooner, perhaps they would not have assumed that 80-100 mile range would be “ideal.” I still propose a 200 mile range vehicle (at 80% of 160 miles for better battery life, etc.)…

Instead of the i3, I still propose to BMW i that they should just sell me our Active E. There is an emotional attachment that was formed between driver and vehicle. The folks at Tesla have been really friendly and some have been quite empowered to provide top-notch service. The Model S does feel like a luxury car, just not as luxurious as other makes that it competes with.

The Roadster is a driver’s car. It matches well with the drive of many a small BMW that we’ve driven in the past (and frankly blows away the ActiveE in performance.) But, it has even less usable space. But, boy is it fun to drive. There is a certain joy in driving it and hopefully, we’ll be welcoming the Tesla Roadster home tomorrow.

Pondering a Blog Name Change…

I’ve been a loyal BMW customer over twelve years.

Not quite like others in the Active E community, Gerald Belton (Mr. BMW), but we’ve been loyal. There were several years where we had a Honda Civic Hybrid in our garage, but it was surrounded by BMWs. When the California legislature writes laws that allow solo HOV access, I tend to follow them. Regardless of performance, etc. time is valuable and solo HOV access is like gold.

I’ve documented our journey to EV ownership the last eighteen (18) months of driving electric as we just passed 42,500 miles. Had we been allowed to, we would have purchased the Active E, but BMW wants the car back.

Not one car that I’ve driven has spoken to both myself and my better half as well as our Active E has. The Model S was the closest for a lot of things, but its price has been hard to swallow. However, if any EV is worth the money Tesla is charging (even with price increases) it is the Model S. After owning one EV, we decided that we will have at least two EVs. We placed a reservation for the Model S last year (after several months with the Active E) and that was what we’ve decided to be one of our two EVs by the time we return our Active E in February 2014. The Model S was designated to be my better half’s car. All was set and we had a plan. We’ve been through the BASE price change and decided to stick with the Model S reservation and not finalize at the beginning of 2013. Furthermore, we’ve been through several accessory price changes, and stuck with the vehicle. This last accessory price change made us re-evaluate a few things that were marginal and decided that we didn’t really need some options, but some of the additional options were of interest, so we were generally pleased with some of the additional options in the new accessory package in the current version of the Design Studio. The Model S is a BIG car as it compares to the Active E and other EVs that we’ve been looking at. After all this time, we finally decided to confirm our Model S reservation last week for a delivery later this year.

I have been rooting for the i3, but BMW has had numerous missteps on it.

Misstep #1 –

The largest misstep is the aesthetics. It does not look like a BMW to me (and to others). We’ve been lucky enough to have had several BMWs. The design of the i3 has grown on me, so that was a BIG issue that was alleviated for me; however, to swap out the Active E with the i3 was made possible by the fact that we will have a Model S in the garage/driveway for first EV. The i3 will be my daily driver. The devil is in the details, but after the multi-year exposure to the i3, I’ve adjusted to its radically different styling from its ICE brethren. However, the i3 aesthetic is a compromise for me. It would not have been my first choice, but, knowing the drivetrain and battery pack that I’ve been driving is the same one on the i3 as my Active E, with nearly 2000 pounds less, this car will be fun to drive.

Misstep #2 –

I’ve already proven that I’m fine with driving 102 mile roundtrips on a daily basis in the Active E. The generosity of Pacific BMW is appreciated as I do my charge around the 51 mile point at a dealership 3/4 of a mile away from my office. And the policy to provide charging for Active E drivers at dealerships that participate in the program at no cost did help me these past 18 months. However, misstep number two was letting me know that the convenience and subsidized charging that I enjoyed in the past will be revoked as the i3 is launched and I will have to budget in a daily charge at the dealership, I am not complaining about this, just have to consider it in my i3 purchase. Nissan and Tesla are offering subsidized charging, at Level 3 at that at several locations/dealerships and this provides the customer with some comfort. Or in my case enough range to really use an 80-100 mile car to its maximum. Specific to my location, the Nissan dealership across the street from Pacific BMW (Glendale Nissan) offers 8 hours of L2 or an hour of CHAdeMO at no cost. Something to consider. Now that there’s a Leaf in the family, I am getting more familiar with the Leaf and see the benefits of the 2013 model.

Misstep #3 –

REx as the only option to increase the range from 80-100 miles when there is good “space” to add batteries. Give me the option to pay for additional battery capacity to 150 to 200 miles.

Now, I understand that the i3 has a REx with it, optional, but I do not want to drive gasoline if possible. I have a hybrid garage, and do drive ICE at times, but it’s on my choice. I would have enjoyed a LARGER battery pack and range option for the i3, much the same way that Tesla had marketed the Model S with three battery pack options (originally.). The 22 kWh battery pack of the i3 with a 80-100 mile range is fine, for the most part, but I do need to charge to make it work. Additionally, as Tom Moloughney has pointed out (as well as others in the EV community), to ensure long battery life, it is recommended to charge a pack at 80% (or less). If I were to do such a setting on an i3, I would need to have an effective 64-80 mile range. BMW i missed the opportunity abdicated by Tesla Model S when Tesla stopped producing 40 kWh Model S. BMW should have filled in the gap and come out with a 22 kWh and greater (one or two options) battery pack range. Two options at 150 and 200 mile max ranges come to mind. That way we can charge at 80% and get the subsequent 120 to 160 daily range.

In fact, Nicholas Zart, has pondered

I don’t agree, but he does pose an interesting observation in his writings.

Misstep #4 –

It would seem that BMW has decided to abandon the BMW Electronaut community.

Perhaps this is a little strong, but let’s face it. Some of us don’t want to be on Facebook and my main Active E resource has been our little forums has been my place to correspond with fellow Electronuts. And I feel abandoned. The site went down a few weeks prior to the i3 launch and has stayed down. BMW had a funny quote on the site:

BMW Active E Forum Redirect

But let’s be serious… If the website is any indication of the reliability of the BMW i brands and the focus that they’re getting, this is unacceptable. I’ve been in the technology field for too long to forgive this sort of outage. Though the Active E program was a test program, a website is not.

Additionally, the originally touted Electronaut effect website has gone stale. It does NOT auto update any longer. And it would seem that it, too stopped around the i3 launch.

Electronaut Effect Stagnant

Now, I still want to hear what sort of “compelling” offer they will have to remaining Electronauts to get us to convert, but it will have to be really good for me to jump on it…

So, why am I pondering a blog name change?

I am faced with the sad reality that the Active E will be going back to BMW in six months (and a few days as of the writing of this post.)

Additionally, I’m not convinced that the i3 IS the right vehicle for me, so the blog after February 2014 won’t have an Active E or possibly an i3 to write about.

I spent a little time on eBay and the Tesla Motors website and found this section. Yes, several of these are still pricey, but a CPO Roadster at the right price just needs to pop up…

Well…

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A picture is worth a thousand words… I’ve been so focused on the second EV Active E replacement being a new EV that I will be driving, I didn’t think of getting one for my wife as we’ve already decided that she will drive the Model S when it arrives later in the year. If we flip the switch and get an EV that SHE would prefer over the Model S, and, even used, the Tesla Roadster is such a vehicle. Which means our finalized Model S will be the Active E replacement.

Now, there is no guarantee that we “won’t” get an i3 as well. It just makes it more difficult for BMW i to convince me to get one. A CPO is STILL a used car, but Tesla offered a 37 month, 37,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Guess what, that includes EVERYTHING. AND it doesn’t include a $50 co-pay like our friends at BMW (ICE, not BMW i) had offered on previous vehicles that we’ve had.

The Model S and Roadster are not perfect. One of my biggest complaints involves picking up the dry cleaning or going to a business meeting with a suit; neither Tesla provides a good place to hang a jacket. Both Teslas make me feel like Goldilocks in that I feel the Roadster is a little bit too small (no space for Costco items,except for multiple trips) and the Model S is a bit too big (I feel like a kid putting on a suit that is two sizes bigger.)

Our Roadster is a signature one… That means it’s one of the first one hundred issued to customers. It is the 1.5 spec and has some idiosyncrasies specific to that version of the Roadster. First, 1.5 Roadsters have a shifter, whereas the 2.0 and 2.5 have push button gear shifter. I like having a park setting on the gear shift. The 1.5 that we have doesn’t have one. It’s like a manual car, have to put it in neutral, then pull up the parking brake.

It would also seem that Tesla owners set the Amperage of the charging plug that they plug into. It’s not automatic like we expect on the Active E. For example, the Active E supposedly will draw up to 7.2 killowatts per hour from a 40A Breaker/32A capable EVSE. So, we’re going to have to adjust our behavior when it comes to charging the Roadster. I suppose we’ll see if this becomes an issue when we finally take delivery of our Roadster. (wonder if the Model S behaves in the same manner.)

The Certified Pre-owned Tesla process for the Roadster is not ideal. As of the writing of this post (August 26, 2013 and still awaiting a fourth or is it fifth promise date), we still have yet to take delivery of our Tesla Roadster. We’ve been through this whole process since we put down our deposit on August 12, 2013. We were told the process would take around a week (best case), since we started on a Monday, there was a chance that we would get the car by the weekend (August 16-18.)

Tesla does not have a financing partner readily available as they do for the Model S. The delivery is slow as the product had to be shipped from Fremont and the PDI (pre-delivery inspection) took longer than the first promised date of 19th of August. The picture above was actually taken over a third or fourth revised “promised” date of 24th of August (which would have been poetic, because that is exactly six months until we have to return our Active E to BMW). And since the financing is not integrated to the process, we continue to find ourselves being charged interest on a car that we did not yet “possess”. Granted in the longer scheme of ownership, what’s an extra X days of waiting. However, though the torque is instantaneous in all EVs, waiting for delivery of the order of an already built Tesla does take some time. Our Roadster took a while to get from Fremont to Southern California and we are still waiting a longer time to get through PDI. Patience is a virtue, and boy are we “virtuous”, though losing patience.

Here are some pictures from our visit this past Saturday.

Ordering a Model S was also without its challenges. I placed my reservation in 2012 with the expectation to finalize the design, etc. in August 2013 based on the delays at the time I gave my initial deposit. I was then approached in February 2013 with a requirement to finalize my order or be subject to the base price increase. We accepted the price increase at that time to delay until August only to find ourselves subject to several accessory price changes. Granted, some of the additional options that were added on were ones that we opted for, it is still somewhat disingenuous to be inconsistent with price increases for those of us who put down a deposit a while back. We will be taking delivery of our Model S sooner than I had originally anticipated. However, with the constant price increases and the fact that if we were to take delivery of the Model S as we return our Active E in February would introduce at least a 14 month delay for receipt of the Federal Tax Rebate vs. a five to six month delay if we took delivery of the car in late 2013.

Now the question is, being that I am currently second in the nation for Active E mileage. Do I keep going on the Active E or do I start driving Model S more. I don’t have the answer to that. The “contest” with Tom Moloughney took an unfortunate turn when he got into an accident two weeks ago in Active E #1. No matter what mileage I end up with, if I happen to surpass Tom’s total mileage in in his Active E, the “victory” will be a hollow one. Perhaps I will attempt to come in exactly on the same mileage as his car as an homage to all that Tom has done for the rEVolution and BMW EV fans in particular. That is a lot tougher call to do the match of miles. Or I can honor Tom by taking on the mantle of mileage lead and hold off all challengers. I haven’t decided yet, and will have to wait until our Model S arrives.

So, if I start to blog more about my experiences with Tesla Motors… Can I still give my blog by its current title? Should I change the blog title? I am currently unsure and uncertain. Granted, it was still the Active E that made me Environmental… But Tesla seems to be delivering the vehicles that BMW should have provided to me, even five years ago when our “new” Roadster was produced; I would have been such an easy sale for BMW with the Active E.