I have been the proud owner of a 2015 Tesla Model S, P85D for a few weeks now and it has completely changed my life. How so? Following are ten ways how the car, “Ruby,” has made me a Tesla and EV fan for life.
1 – MPH means something new.
We all know that MPH means “miles per hour” and though your speed is certainly still something to be mindful of, what is now more important is how many miles are added to your range per hour of charge.
From a 110 household outlet, my Model S (Ruby) averages 2 – 3 miles per hour. With the NEMA 14-50 outlet (the same you would use for an over or clothes dryer) Ruby averages about 25, and at a Supercharger she gets over 200.
Day-to-day the NEMA outlet is perfect. I plug it in when I get home from work, and the battery is full again before I have a chance to take the dog for a walk, check the mail, and change my clothes.
2 – Other cars feel slow
Ruby is a P85D with Insane mode: 0-60 in 3.1.
Before she came home, my wife’s Audi SQ5 felt fast at 5.1.
Now it feels almost slow.
In July Ruby will be trading Insane mode for Ludicrous (because why settle for 3.1 when you can have 2.4?
It really is a thing of beauty to surprise yourself when “launching,” giggling your way to 60MPH and waiting for your face to catch back up to your body.
3 – Other cars feel like they’re trying too hard
Tesla won the design game.
The interior is elegant, clean, and perfect. After spending time in the cabin of a Model S, all other interiors feel cheap, clunky, and poorly executed. The interface is free of complications, the app works in near real-time, and the lack of buttons (aside from the hazard lights and glove box release) is a thing of beauty.
4 – You become hyper-aware of the fuel you are not consuming
A few years ago I hosted an outdoor adventure TV show and drove a RAM 2500 4×4 Diesel promotional vehicle complete with a lift and all of the accessories.
I loved that truck.
What I didn’t love, even at the time, was the 10-ish MPG that it achieved on a good day.
Now when I see these vehicles I ask myself “why?” The over-consumption is not getting you anything, especially when a Model X can out-pull most any other vehicle.
Rollin’ coal just isn’t cool.
5 – Each morning you have a “full tank”
Before the NEMA outlet was installed I was secretly questioning my decision. It was taking forever to get enough of a charge for a weekend outing, and I was not happy about having to plan short trips around charging options.
Now, it is not even a thought.
Each morning when I wake up, and even after a few short hours parked, I have a full charge and enough range to go anywhere I want. It is so nice to not have to make trips to the gas station at 0600 on a Friday morning to top off.
6 – It’s a Social Ownership Experience
If you own a Tesla, be better be prepared to talk about it.
So many people have sought me out to ask questions about the car and what it’s like to own. People are genuinely curious and excited by these vehicles. I have enjoyed getting to know so many new people based on their attraction to Ruby.
7 – EV Parking
Many businesses and cities now offer convenient EV charging. Because of the cost associated with running power lines to EV charging stations, most EV parking is located close to building (because distance = $$.)
Gotta love preferred parking.
8 – The Hybrid Battle is Real
Before Ruby came home I had lumped EVs and Hybrid vehicles into the same category. Apparently Hybrid owners still do that. Lets be clear, there is a huge difference, and that difference makes it SUPER annoying when Hybrid owners hog EV charging stations for hours on end.
Hybrids are gas powered, with electronic assistance. In a hybrid there is no worry of the battery going dead because the gas engine is constantly charging it. Sure, you can plug in to top off the cells, but you will be able to get where you’re going just fine, even if the battery is dead.
In an EV, a battery is all you have.
Before my NEMA charger was installed, I found myself in an epic battle with two Chevy Volt’s a BMW E 5-Series, and a Ford C-Max.
These folks got to work sometime before 7, and didn’t leave until after 6. They monopolized charging with their Hybrids for 11 hours!
Not cool hybrid owner, not cool.
Though hybrids should clearly not be banned from public charging, there is some basic etiquette that should be observed.
When I use these slots I place a clock on my dashboard that shows the time I anticipate to be done charging, and also include my phone number so that someone can reach me should they need an emergency charge.
I would even move for a hybrid.
9 – Supercharging
Ruby came with an amazing perk: free Supercharging for life. These stations are amazing on road trips. When entering a destination in the Tesla navigation, the computer takes into account the current level of charge and plans the route based on Supercharger access and changing times to make the trip seamless.
Most stops at Supercharging stations are between 15 and 40 minutes (the same amount of time you would spend fueling / bio’ing / etc.) and are strategically located along all major highways in the US.
Again, not to overstate, but this service is FREE.
10 – Autopilot
The first thing my mom said when I bought Ruby was “..I would never want Autopilot. I love to drive!”
Trust me mom, you would get over it fast.
It is amazing how distracted we all are while driving (and I don’t mean with only a phone!) Autopilot has made me a safer, more relaxed driver. Traffic is no longer (much) of an aggravation, construction zones are no longer a point of stress (you know, the ones with the t-wall spaced at only the width of the lane), and for as good of a drive as the Army made me think I was, Ruby’s reaction time is SO MUCH FASTER than my own.
Ruby, I love you. Thank you for being more than a car.
Tesla, I am a loyal customer for life.
Next up, turning the SQ5 into a Model X!
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