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.

Tesla Model 3 Timeline

Buying a car from Tesla has been quite the experience. I’ve never had such poor communication and customer service from a company. The last couple of months have been a complete shit show. Since I read so many other horror stories, I was prepared for it and kept notes of the entire process.

When Tesla can nail down their communications and delivery processes, their car buying experience will be light years better than walking into a dealership and playing games with salespeople.

Anyway, here is how everything went for me…

October 10, 2014 – I posted “Will someone buy me a Tesla?” on Facebook. This is the first mention I could find. I’m pretty sure this was right after seeing videos of Insane Mode on a Tesla Model S.

March 31, 2016Tesla unveils the Model 3.

October 29, 2016 – I learned that deposits on a Model 3 reservation could be cancelled any time. Forked over $1,000 for a place in line, with an expected delivery of mid 2018.

November 1, 2017 – Got an email about delays, pushing the estimated delivery back. I want to say the estimated delivery was June 2018 – July 2018 at this point, because it was going to be right around the time my Ford Fusion lease would end.

February 7, 2018 – Got an email delaying the estimated delivery again. The estimate moved to August 2018 – October 2018.

June 27, 2018 – Tesla opened up the Configurator to all reservation holders. I configured my car, handed over another $2,500 (no longer refundable) and got a new delivery estimate of September 2018 – November 2018.

August 17, 2018 – I got an email that the white interior was available (or maybe it was just a reminder?) for an upgrade. It looks sweet and gets rid of the strip of wood across the dash, which always looked out-of-place to me. I had been contemplating changing the exterior color anyway and after looking at some examples of the white online I made up my mind. Switched from the Obsidian Black Metallic with black interior to the Deep Blue Metallic with white interior. I figured if I’m spending that much I might as well get exactly what I want. The changes moved my estimated delivered out to October 2018 – December 2018.

August 25, 2018 – Logged in to my Tesla account and the estimated delivery moved up to September 2018 – November 2018 again.

September 6, 2018 – A Delivery Scheduling Advisor (DSA) sent me an email, which included the following:

Your pick-up location will be at our Cleveland-Lyndhurst location.

Your Model 3 will be available between Wednesday, September 19 through Wednesday, September 26.

Except it was supposed to be delivered to my house, so I replied to clear things up. Wasn’t expecting anything for another month or more, so this was a nice surprise.

September 10, 2018 – The Edit Design link disappeared from my account and it started prompting for my loan info even though I haven’t been giving a VIN yet.

September 11, 2018 – Applied for a loan at COPOCO Community Credit Union.

A Home Delivery Specialist (HDS) emailed to confirm payment via third-party loan, no trade-in, and delivery center (where home delivery comes from) before submitting final documents and scheduling delivery. Never did get a response from the DSA.

September 12, 2018 – Loan approved for 71 months at 2.25%.

An email from the HDS told me to respond to some items in my account, which I’d already done earlier in the day. My selections had all reverted and I know they had saved because I accessed my account several times after updating. Updated the options again.

September 13, 2018 – Got the VIN number via email from the HDS.

Called to start checking on insurance.

Later the HDS called to give a delivery update. Was looking like the first week of October, but I’d be in Orlando, so probably the week of October 8th. A lot still depends on when it gets to Cleveland, inspection, etc.

September 17, 2018 – HDS let me know the car wouldn’t be to Cleveland until the beginning of October, so no chance of driving down to pick up the car before my trip to Orlando. Delivery should be the week of the 8th.

September 26, 2018 – Received the Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement (MVPA), but the financed amount was too high so it showed a negative balance due.

September 28, 2018 – Called the HDS who I hadn’t heard from in 11 days and left a voicemail. Called the Cleveland-Lyndhurst Tesla service center. They told me someone from the delivery team would call me back that day. Never got a call.

October 1, 2018 – Still no response from Tesla, but my account now shows my VIN and has significantly changed. Was able to change my financed amount, so hopefully they’ll send the updated MVPA.

October 2, 2018 – Called the Cleveland-Lyndhurst Tesla service center again. Delivery is still on schedule for some time next week and I’ll get more info as it gets closer. They’ll get me the updated MVPA in the next day or so.

October 4, 2018 – Called the service center again and pretty sure I talked to the same guy as the last call. He said he’ll nudge the delivery specialist again, but there wasn’t anything he could directly do. I should be getting contact soon to schedule the delivery though. Well I sure hope so because I’m supposed to get the car next week and I still don’t have the correct paperwork to give my bank.

October 8, 2018 – Logged in and my account now shows “Estimated delivery Sept. ’18 – Nov. ’18” again. I’m guessing this is automatic since it had said today at midnight, which passed by. Still waiting to hear from the HDS to schedule the actual delivery. Decided to call him directly and he picked right up after seeing my name on the called ID. Has been trying to get the contract folks to update the agreement for me so we can process final payment. My car is ready and waiting in Cleveland. He even called me back before his day was over to let me know he is still putting pressure on the contract folks.

October 9, 2018 – Didn’t hear from the HDS. I called at the end of the day with no answer and a full voicemail box. Sent an email. How hard is it to change one number on a contract?

October 10, 2018 – Called the HDS, no answer and voicemail was still full. Called Cleveland but must be closed for the day. Called the main Tesla Sales number and was floored when it went right through! Got passed around a little, but explained I’ve been waiting 2 weeks for a correct MVPA. After he was trying to tell me there is nothing he could do to push it along, I told him that’s the same thing the HDS told me and I’m still waiting. Asked if there was any way to expedite it and obviously there was. He also let me know they need a copy of my current insurance, so while waiting I sent in a copy. Maybe 30 minutes later the HDS called and had the updated MVPA!

October 11, 2018 – Took care of insurance and signed the loan at a local credit union.

October 12, 2018 – Wire transfer was sent in the morning.

October 14, 2018 – My account updated to show the payment step has been completed.

October 15, 2018 – In the morning my account was back to showing Sept-Nov since 12am on the 15th had passed. In the afternoon it showed October 17, 2018 at 12:00am. I called Cleveland later and was told that tentatively the car is scheduled to get on a truck on Wednesday. If that happens, the truck driver will call me with an expected time. I had been under the impression the home delivery had to be scheduled.

October 17, 2018 – No word from anyone and my account is back to showing a Sept-Nov delivery. Called Cleveland and this guy said the last status shows there was a hold because of the incorrect MVPA, though he does see payment was made and everything should be ready. I’m supposed to be contacted by their delivery coordinator. So the guy I talked to on Monday was full of shit about the car getting on a truck today. Today’s guy flagged my account for the delivery coordinator to look at. Hopefully I hear back soon.

In the afternoon I called the main Tesla Sales number to escalate. I finally got a very helpful woman who seemed to care. Apparently in their system, my account showed I would be picking the car up in Cleveland! No wonder those idiots weren’t scheduling my home delivery. She said it was really odd that they’d be putting 12am in for the scheduled deliveries and she reached out to the HDS and his manager. I was on hold for a while, but she wasn’t getting a response, so she said she would call me back.

After waiting 3 hours, I tried calling the HDS. No answer. Started calling the main Tesla Sales number again. While waiting, the HDS called me apologizing and basically saying the other people I’ve talked to are full of shit. My car is on the list for home delivery. Sounded like maybe the woman did get ahold of the manager and got up his ass. He’s waiting for a transport truck to be available for my car. I explained I’m already paying insurance for a vehicle I don’t have. He said he’d talk to his manager to see if they could do something there. I’m hoping for at least a Super Charge credit like others have gotten. I asked when I could expect an update on the delivery and he said he’d call me every day until we get it scheduled.

October 18, 2018 – Started thinking more and who knows, it could be another week or two of waiting! Emailed the HDS in the morning to ask if it’s not going to be delivered this week, would they get me a rental car so I could drive down to Cleveland and pick up the car Friday or Saturday.

The HDS called me in the evening and said they have a truck confirmed for Monday, so I’ll have my car within a few days after that. Once it’s loaded, the driver will call me with a better date and time estimate. My account updated to show a delivery appointment of Oct. 24, 2018 at 12:00 AM.

October 22, 2018 – Called Cleveland at 10:30 to see if things were still on schedule. Was told the truck was almost there to start loading up. At 2pm I checked my Tesla account and it was back to saying Estimated delivery Sept.’18 – Nov.’18. How can their systems be so messed up? Hoping it means the car got on the truck and hasn’t been properly updated with an estimated delivery yet.

At 6:30pm I still hadn’t heard anything, so I called the HDS. He got the truck driver’s number, called him, and then called me back. I’m set to be the first stop in the morning! The truck driver called me at 8:30pm to make sure I’d be home in the morning around 9am.

October 23, 2018 – The truck arrived shortly after 9am. It was finally here! Read all about my first day with the car. Six days before the two year anniversary of my reservation.

October 24, 2018 – Still can’t use the app and my account doesn’t show it as delivered. I called support and they confirmed it’s marked as delivered. He said it can take 48-72 hours before everything updates where I see things reflected in my account and start using the app on my phone. I can’t help but think about those email unsubscribe messages that say “it may take up to a week for changes to be processed.”

October 26, 2018 – Called Cleveland because my account is still incorrect with no access to the app. It shows a Delivery Appointment at Cleveland-Lyndhurst on Oct. 27, 2018 at 12:00 AM. WTF!! He said the status of my account still had the car in transit, but confirmed it was at my house by checking the location. Gee, thanks, I wasn’t aware that I already had it. He pushed some changes that should update everything.

October 27, 2018 – Took a road trip down to Cedar Point and back. Still no update to my account and didn’t have access to the app to monitor the supercharging status.

October 28, 2018 – My account shows a delivery appointment for Nov. 1, 2018 at 12:00 AM.

October 29, 2019 – Called Cleveland again and this guy instantly marked the car as delivered. I was able to use the app as soon as I got off the phone. I also received an email “Tesla Quick Guide to Ownership.” Why didn’t the guy I talked to on Friday do that? Interesting that it is exactly 2 years after I placed my reservation.

Update

November 6, 2019 – Received the title and other documents needed for registration via FedEx.

One Day with my Tesla Model 3

Almost exactly 2 years (more on that process in an upcoming post) after reserving the Model 3, she arrived yesterday just after 9am. It came in a big delivery truck.

After giving it a thorough inspection (with some great help from a neighbor), I signed and figured out how to move it from the end of the street to my driveway.

56199587637__997DB207-D84D-4E04-86CD-5A20F55343F0

56199588713__278672D7-BF49-4614-A1D7-D34A9B9EF7C9

56199592167__0B4CB826-7F72-421A-BE3B-24755742601B

56199589985__2014B3BF-05A4-4CAA-B7C4-B108AC42D859

56199590978__8DD4C4A5-0CF9-4D57-9227-D19B506E4B94

56199763181__EF5F8294-335A-4F88-8506-6E2AE5E02EE3

As you can see above, it estimated there were 215 miles of range charged in the batteries, which is about 70%.

I’m so glad I changed from black with black to blue with white. The colors are badass. It took me awhile to sort through the papers, put on the temp plate, and configure the car. Then it was time to hit the road, which can’t really be explained. I watched a ton of videos and read so many things about the acceleration, but you have to experience it.

AMAZING!

I’ve never been in anything so smooth, fast, and fun to drive. When you hit the pedal it goes. With all of the weight being across the bottom, the handling is phenomenal and it corners unlike anything I’ve ever ridden in.

Rarely ever having to use the brake takes some getting used to. Within the first 20 miles I was already used to my speed being on the screen off to the side instead of directly in front of me.

I cruised around to get used to it and then headed over to Midland to pick up my buddy Casey for lunch.

44756371_10101995799763590_1297876247119921152_o

After dropping him off I headed down to the Oakley Vault in Birth Run to buy some new sunglasses to keep in the car. The style is different, but very comfortable. The arms (also knowns as temples I learned) of the shades are blue (my favorite color and of course match the car) and can be swapped out for a second set they came with.

IMG_1744

After a workout at the gym and taking a few friends for a ride, “Betty Boost” was getting power hungry so I headed home for the day and plugged her in.

IMG_1745

The NEMA 6-20 outlet charges as expected, which I think will be fine for my driving habits.

IMG_1749

I racked up 138 miles on the day. I plugged in for about a half hour, while getting ready for the gym, which got me 7 miles of range back. So that would bump the estimated range up to 222 for the day. With 32 miles of remaining range my used mileage came up 52 shy of the estimate. Not bad considering she was launched many times today, which drains the batteries a lot, and a bunch of miles were on the freeway.

When I checked the status this morning after 14 hours of charging, the range was up to 232 miles, which averages out to a recharge rate of 14.3 mi/hr.

Start Designing

Look what showed up in my Tesla account last night!

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 7.11.03 PM.png

I designed my car and paid the $2,500 deposit. I’m committed now. Since the dual motor all-wheel drive had the same delivery estimate as the single motor it was a pretty easy choice; it’ll be really nice for Michigan winters and the faster acceleration will be fun.

Here are my build details with a delivery window of September – November, which is another delay from the most recent August – October estimate my account showed.

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 7.37.05 PM.png

Once I get my car it’ll have been about 2 years since I put in a reservation (October 29, 2016).

Tesla Model 3 Delay

On Wednesday I received an email form Tesla.

Thank you again for your continued support as a Model 3 reservation holder. In the past few months, we’ve made significant progress in production and have started delivering Model 3 to customers in over twenty states.

As we work hard to meet demand, we wanted to let you know that your estimated delivery timing has been adjusted to a slightly later window. You can log into your Tesla Account to view your current delivery estimate at any time.

Thank you for your patience. We can’t wait for you to get your Model 3.

I can’t wait either! The estimate in my account is Aug – Oct 2018, which is 2 or 3 months later than it was. Quite the wait considering I placed my reservation on October 29, 2016.

It doesn’t look like I can extend the lease on my Ford Fusion, which is up near the end of May. I guess I need to get a second vehicle in the next few months that can serve as a primary set of wheels when I turn in the Fusion.

In My Car

I’ve had a deck of cards and multi-tool in the center console of my vehicle for years. Not sure I’ve ever used either. The flashlight is something I put in there a couple of years ago.

Drive a Hybrid

  
The amount of money I’m saving on gas is pretty nice. The average MPG calculated in this GasTracker+ iOS app has been lower than the 41.8 the car’s dashboard shows.