Reflections on the Model S Fremont Factory pickup experience…

It has been two weeks since we first got our Model S.

So… would we do it again?

A resounding Yes.

Unfortunately, I as with other members of the public that have gone on the Tesla Factory tour, I have agreed to a non-disclosure. I can disclose that it was very interesting and quite impressive. The gentleman that led the tour, Anish, was very informative and engaging. He addressed fellow tour group members questions, pointed out interesting things in the factory and was lively.


As for the Model S pickup experience. There are definitely things that can be improved. I lucked out in that Anish, our tour group leader, was actually the Delivery Specialist to hand over the keys to us. He was a good sport regarding the last $1 that I owed Tesla being paid in cash. He took some time with us throughout the process but it definitely felt like he was hurrying us along.

Wanting to learn from previous Model S owners, I printed out the very handy Delivery Checklist that was compiled by @NickJHowe. Anish saw the list and was dismissive of it and told us to just “get him at his desk” after we’re done doing the presentation “his way.” Though I appreciate his time (as well as mine), I had a few things on the list I wanted to cover and I felt that the guide was a good way to tackle this.

My wife had a question on the way the Panoramic Roof was installed and Anish brushed us off and said that this was a minor thing that should “settle”, if not, take it to the Tesla Service Center for repair. Guess what… That turns out to be a two day job that we now have to schedule and do when the Service Center can get to it.

[added these photos November 27, 2013]



[The glass does not sit in place properly and the gasket is sunken in.]

Lastly… The downside to the “soft-sell” aspect of Tesla’s program is that I didn’t even realize that there is a 4 year or 4+4 year Service Plan (or 50,000 to 100,000 mile Service Plan) that Tesla offers. As well as an extension of the warranty for an additional 4 years. Apparently this option has to be exercised at up to thirty days after taking delivery of the car. I stumbled upon this when I logged into my account and now have to figure out what that means and whether or not it’s worth it for me.

Taking the long drive last weekend from Fremont to Santa Rosa and back down to Southern California is definitely a good way to “shake down” the car and get the feel for it at distance (as well as some traffic.) We encountered some “wind noise” from the front driver’s window that turned out to be a misaligned glass. After less than two weeks of driving the car, this is what the glass has done to the gasket around the window.


We’re on waiting for parts and service tech mode, so it’s going to be another couple of weeks to resolve this as well.

I have a few nits that will probably continue to reiterate itself as I write about the Model S ownership experience, so please bear with me. (I will probably keep complaining about the missing coat hook.)

The entertainment system is very well integrated. However, it seems strange to me that it only handles one bluetooth input. The Active E and other vehicles can handle multiple bluetooth devices connected at a time and it is disappointing that the vehicle can only handle being connected to one device at a time. Now, I am not saying that the Active E can play two different bluetooth sources at the same time. What I am saying is that the Active E can connect and switch between two devices at a time. Whereas the Model S has to be manually connected and disconnected.

We took the 101 route back to Southern California as an overnight drive and we could have done this drive quicker had I pushed the car and hit only a couple of Superchargers along the way and not the five stops that we took.

The only real negative as for the pickup experience has been the “one on one” with Anish. We felt hurried and that he didn’t really adress concerns. I felt that my mother had a better experience with Jeb from Nissan of Duarte when she picked up her Leaf a few months ago.

Follow up to the City of Industry Metrolink charging stations, and uncovering a hidden EV benefit for a select few.

So, it would seem that the 32 charging stations at the City of Industry Metrolink station is a great benefit for some Metrolink commuters around the City of Industry.

Sure, the station is closed on the weekends (from 7:30 pm Friday until approximately 5:00am Monday) which is a schedule that I have found to be irksome.  But apparently, after digging through some articles and being made aware of a program by Puente Hills Nissan’s Internet Sales Director specifically geared for Metrolink commuters of that same station.  The City of Industry and Metrolink are looking to support some folks into switching their vehicles to some Nissan Leafs.

A parking lot of EV chargers on a late Friday afternoon (closes at 7:30 pm)





These chargers were announced (and looked to be available) about a year ago as evidenced by a couple of articles on from last year as well as a related article on the local paper, San Gabriel Valley Tribune.  It’s a rather impressive PV installation and the Accidentally Environmental in me commends them on it.  However, what really is striking is the incentive that Metrolink and the City of Industry has done since installing the PVs last year.

What is the incentive?  An additional subsidy on top of the Federal and California rebates directly available to 28 commuters (initially) from the City of Industry station.  Additionally, these 28 commuters will receive RESERVED parking at the station (the EV chargers will then be charging each of their Leafs whilst they commute onward in the Metrolink Trains.  The article from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune does a better job than I in writing this subsidy.  Additionally, the direct program information can be found at their website

For the financial aspects of the program, this is what I gleamed.  There is an initial purchase rebate for $2,000 toward the initial capital reduction of the lease PLUS $125 a month for 24 months off the lease price for a Nissan Leaf from three participating dealers (so if you use the station to commute to Los Angeles for 24 months, you get $3,000 over the whole 24 months as Metrolink and the City of Industry will pay for a good chunk of your lease.)  This is a total $5,000 savings in addition to the Federal and State incentives (if you lease for 3 years.)  I suggest that those that travel to Los Angeles from the City of Industry apply for this program and join the rEVolution!  (I did not factor in the approximately $220 per month price for a monthly pass from the City of Industry to Los Angeles that an eligible commuter is ALREADY PAYING FOR as that is still required to participate in this program.)

If you are eligible for this program, I can tell you that in my experience – AVOID Puente Hills Nissan.  Their pricing and tactics more than make up for this $125 difference and you’re better off trying to get the vehicle elsewhere.  I went to Puente Hills Nissan under the AAA (American Automobile Association) program and found their prices to be grossly inflated compared to others that participate in the AAA program.  Additionally, the gentleman that I worked with (the Assistant Internet Director) was constrained by “dealership policy” into including a $1,995 “”Multi-Shield Protection Package”” that is NOT optional for vehicles obtained at this dealership (oh, I was lucky, as an AAA member, I got a discount off this unnecessary ad-on that dropped the price to $1,495.)  Even if they did not add this “Multi-Shield Protection Package”, their pricing would have still been over $2,000 for the car.  Guess what, this option DOES eat into whatever savings you would have had with this rebate by getting a Leaf from any other location.  There are two other dealerships listed for this Metrolink program and I have no experience with either of them (Empire Nissan and Fontana Nissan).  Since we were not eligible for this program, we did get a deal from Nissan of Duarte that was approximately $4,000 less than the aforementioned dealer with less attitude.  Additionally, looking through the eligibility for the program, it looks like an individual CAN choose a different dealership and the program will reimburse the $2,000 down-payment that they would have provided to the three dealerships.

Now, if only Metrolink and the City of Industry would leave the parking lot available to the EV community over the weekend for those that need a Level 2 charge when the trains are not running.  Luckily the Diamond Bar SCAQMD is open, but that’s up a hill and further from the freeway.