3 Months with Model 3

It’s been 3 months since I took delivery of my Model 3, so I’ve had plenty of time with it. It’s an incredible vehicle and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to get one.

A few interesting things:

  • Michigan has an electric vehicle (EV) surcharge on their license plate registration of $135 per year, because you’re not buying gas. Registration fees are also 20% higher! Glad we’re penalizing people for trying to save our environment. So dumb.
  • No, there is no engine and no transmission. I get asked this a lot. You don’t put gas or oil in a Tesla.
  • Due to no engine, under the hood is a small storage area called the front truck (frunk). There is still a full size trunk in the back.

Some great things about the car:

  • Not having to go to gas stations. The last time I bought gas was over 3 months ago for my truck.
  • Charging in my garage has worked out fine without upgrading to one of the really big outlets.
  • It has heated seats everywhere and the front seats remember your setting for the next time you get in.
  • Auto adjusting cruise control is probably my favorite feature. Takes so much stress out of driving when you don’t have to manually speed up or slow down for traffic. You set how many car lengths you want between you and the car in front of you and Tesla handles the rest.
  • The car keeps getting better and better because there are software updates. I’ve probably had 5 or 6 so far.
  • If you start crossing a line without a blinker on, that side of the steering wheel vibrates to alert you.
  • Due to regenerative braking, you almost never need to use the brakes. As you let off the accelerator the car slows down much faster than an internal combustion engine. The calipers should last the life of the car.
  • In addition to Park, there is also a gear/mode called Hold. When you come to a complete stop the can locks in the brake and you’re in Hold. You can take your foot off the brake pedal and the car won’t move until you press on the accelerator. I’m still getting used to this after having to stay on the brake for 20+ years at stop lights.
  • Not having to carry keys is so nice. The car lets me in and runs based on a Bluetooth connection with my phone. I’ve been carrying around the keycard, but haven’t had to use it since setting up the Tesla iOS app.
  • Super chargers are great. It can slow down your trip and you have to plan things out a little more, but in general I think this is a good thing. We’re in a rush too often and this lets you explore some new places while you wait an hour for the car to charge on long trips.
  • Being able to heat the car, open the frunk, check on charging, and do a bunch of stuff from the iOS app is extremely useful.
  • Last but certainly not least is the speed. When you hit that accelerator, instant torque is applied to the wheels and BOOM you’re off the line. I still laugh when I take off from a stop light and leave everyone in the dust. It’s so fun to drive.

A few things I don’t like:

  • The range estimate doesn’t take the bigger wheels into account, so I have to remember that I can’t travel as far as the car suggests. Hopefully they’ll improve this with a software update.
  • The scroll wheels on the steering wheel are good for some things, but not great for music volume. Several times a week I accidentally nudge the wheel while making a turn and the volumes shoots up or down.
  • If you’re using the cruise and someone driving the opposite way makes a turn across your lane, the car often thinks you’re in danger. It’ll alert you and start slowing down even if there was no chance you were going to hit that vehicle. I’m sure this will get better over time. If it wasn’t for this I think I’d activate cruise in the city a lot more.

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