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Monday, May 29, 2023

Confessions of an EV/Tesla Fanboy: Who’s Dumber, Me or My Tesla?

I’m an enormous EV fanboy and have been driving electrical automobiles now for 8 years. I even have photo voltaic panels on my home, so I can brag that I’m driving on sunshine. I owned three Nissan Leafs, with ranges of 81 miles, 115 miles, and 150 miles. My first Nissan Leaf had a 24 kWh battery. I now personal a Tesla Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary with an EPA vary score of 310 miles and a 75 kWh battery. It has 93,112 miles on the odometer. The longest journey I dared to make with my 3rd Nissan Leaf was 265 miles. Nevertheless, I now routinely make 1500-mile cross-country journeys with my Mannequin 3, driving 500 miles/day similar to I did with my gasmobile.

My newly repaired Tesla Mannequin 3 on the Tesla Service Middle in Nice Grove, Utah. April 5, 2023. Picture by Fritz Hasler

I paid $6000 further for Full Self Driving (FSD) once I bought my Mannequin 3 in October of 2019.

To purchase FSD (beta) now prices $12,000. I used FSD obsessively once I first acquired entry a number of months in the past, however I exceeded the restrict of 5 pressured disengagements and misplaced entry twice. I now solely use FSD for brief native journeys the place it’s of most utility. I think about supervising its use with out as many distractions as come up on longer journeys — like navigation adjustments, consuming, choosing music, and so on. I’ve had no pressured disengagements within the final 3 months.

Till a month in the past, I might brag that I had pushed my Tesla for ~80,000 miles, regularly utilizing Full Self Driving (beta) and by no means had an accident.

Utilizing Tesla’s Site visitors Conscious Cruise Management, I observe that my Tesla slows down for slower shifting automobiles and mechanically stops behind the automobile in entrance of me at cease lights. I even have entry to computerized stopping at stoplights and cease indicators. This function does a really good job apart from stopping ~30 ft too early at some cease indicators. Nevertheless, I’ve additionally learn how Teslas have plowed into the again of stationary firetrucks and emergency automobiles at full pace the place the Site visitors Conscious Cruise Management by no means tried to cease the automobile. How might each situations be true? I’ve additionally noticed that typically once I manually cross the double yellow line in the course of the highway to keep away from a pothole or different obstruction, I get a loud alarm warning and crimson flashing steering wheel on the touchscreen and I’m warned to take fast corrective motion.

Right here comes the half the place I used to be silly. I normally drive with my proper foot resting calmly on the accelerator. Full Self Driving (beta) and even common Site visitors Conscious Cruise Management will sometimes do what we name phantom braking. I attempt to be at all times ready so as to add some acceleration in order that I’m not rear-ended by a automobile following me. Additionally, Full Self Driving (beta) is regularly too timid at cease indicators and I’ve to encourage it with a bit of accelerator strain to merge safely into site visitors on a busy crossing road. This accounts for my proper foot habitually resting calmly on the accelerator.

Crucial second: Site visitors Conscious Cruise Management stopped my automobile mechanically behind a automobile at a stoplight. Whereas I used to be ready for the sunshine to show inexperienced, I had a mind fart and was distracted. With my slight strain on the accelerator I drove into the again of the automobile in entrance of me at, say, 3 mph. Luckily, the automobile in entrance of me was an enormous SUV and I did no injury to it. Sadly, 3 mph was too quick for the entrance facia on my Tesla Mannequin 3. Years in the past, automobiles really had bumpers that will survive a 3 mph collision. Pickup vans nonetheless have sturdy bumpers. For those who marvel why Tesla calls the bumpers on the entrance and rear of the automobile facia and never bumpers, that is the rationale. They’re simply product of plastic and shall be broken by the slightest contact with an object or one other car. From the crash, I had a small dimple in my entrance facia and some scratches within the paint right down to the underlying layers.

Query? With all of the cameras in my automobile, the supercomputer, the ultrasonic sensors in my entrance facia, and Tesla’s sensible software program, why did I get no warning? The identical warning I get when crossing the yellow traces in the course of the highway would have been loads for me to hit the brakes and keep away from the collision.

The small dimple and slight scratches in my entrance facia had been minor sufficient that I might have ignored it if my automobile wasn’t such a brand new (3 years previous) lovely automobile. Tesla won’t do most physique work at their service facilities. Nevertheless, they may change the entrance and rear facia within the case of minor injury. Due to this fact, I took my automobile into the Nice Grove Tesla Service Middle solely 4 miles from my home in Lindon, Utah. The estimate was $950 for a brand new factory-painted entrance facia plus one other ~$150 for labor. I’ve had paint peel off repainted bumpers up to now, so you possibly can perceive the enchantment of manufacturing facility paint to me. Sadly, I had broken the bracket that holds the radar in place, which value me one other ~$227.55. My grievance that I’ve learn quite a few experiences that the radar sensor is not used fell on deaf ears, so my complete invoice was $1498.78 together with tax.

Within the image on the prime, you see my superbly repaired Tesla Mannequin 3 in entrance of the Nice Grove Tesla Service Middle the place the alternative of the entrance facia was performed. This service heart opened across the first of the 12 months. The good half is I’m solely 4 miles from the brand new service heart and not must drive to the Salt Lake Metropolis Service Middle, which is 37 miles away. Sadly, throughout our summers in Northern Wisconsin, the closest service heart is in Madison 224 miles and three.5 hours away. Luckily, we have now family members there who we are able to go to if we have to go there for service.

For those who look carefully on the image on the prime, you possibly can see it’s snowing. We have now had snow right here within the valley now for 7 days straight. The Alta ski resort is at 880 inches of snow for the season. Yet another storm will take it over 900 inches. The earlier all-time report within the final 80 years was 745 inches in 1995. The local weather is altering, and as predicted, extra world warming means extra precipitation, together with extra snow.

The lucky half is that the entrance of my white Tesla Mannequin 3 has no paint chips and now seems to be lovely once more, so my Tesla journey continues.

This expertise brings up one other query? When parking, the ultrasonic sensors on the entrance and rear facia inform me the space to things and warn me to cease on the acceptable time. Why don’t I get computerized braking or no less than an audible warning? I’ve solely tried the Sensible Summon and Computerized Parking options as soon as every. Maybe if I would typically do autoparking in parking tons, I might get some help.

Please inform me your tales of your minor “fender-benders” or main physique work in your Teslas within the feedback part beneath.


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