Tesla Solar and Electric Cars

The 3 offers a firmer ride. I prefer the S. The Y is a great vehicle on the 3 platform, but make sure that you are comfortable with the ride during your test drive.

Well got the itch and decided to take advantage of the free supercharging for a year if I took delivery by end of 2020. Had fully intended to get a model Y but after test driving both a Y and a 3, I decided to go with the 3. It was just more fun to drive and I was surprised by how much room it actually had.

Early days but damn this is the most fun driving a car I’ve ever had!

Anyone on here have a Mach-E on order? Mine's currently getting built and curious if there's anyone here that's been following their development.

I want one so bad. Bad enough to actually consider a car that's not a Honda or Toyota that I know will last 200K+ miles (my Honda Ridgeline is just about to hit 200K and shows no signs of falling apart).

I've driven Fords my whole life.... A 90 Taurus, 2001 F150, 2008 Edge, 2016 Edge, and all of them easily hit 200k... The F150 has needed some repairs at this point, but my dad still drives it as his 'work' truck... the 08 edge is a friends daughter's college car right now...

I know in general they are not considered the most reliable... but I have had no issues I blame on the automaker.

I want a Lightning, but I think I am going Hybrid next vehicle as my car is the long trip car... 400+ mile trips still aren't the best for charging vehicles. On a related note... looking at reviews... I might buy my first Hyundai to get a comfortably sized hybrid.

manta173 wrote:

I want a Lightning, but I think I am going Hybrid next vehicle as my car is the long trip car... 400+ mile trips still aren't the best for charging vehicles.

This is quickly becoming not an issue. Check out good ol' Technology Connections as he drives a Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV on a 1185 mile road trip from ~Chicago to ~Orlando. That's an 18 hour drive, stopping theoretically for only 1 hour of total charging time (4-5 stops of 10-15 minute charges - which you'd probably want to do anyway for personal health reasons).

I'm not saying (nor is he) that this is 100% a solved problem in the US, but it's definitely getting there. I've been driving a Toyota Camry Hybrid since 2014 (115k miles and counting) and I'm strongly considering a pure EV as my next vehicle.

Infrastructure just needs to catch up. In my area (NW Seattle) the fastest public charger is like 9kW. One video in the UK estimated at any given time about 40% of public EV chargers are out of order.

Still, Im in the process of trying to buy that Ioniq 5. Supply is extremely limited.

I'm not knocking the charging at this point... just saying it's not there for my random drives through and into rural locations.

On the way to Disney I'd probably be fine but have to go through Atlanta instead of rural Georgia... On my way to my parents in nowheresville IL... no way I could make it back.

We just drove a thousand miles in our Ioniq5 from Wisconsin to Vermont and had almost no problems charging. The slowest charger we came across was 60 or 70 but most were around 150. All of them were working until the last two charging stations where half of them were out.

We did make a 150 mile road trip up to northern Wisconsin last month and had to get creative with the charging as there aren’t any dedicated charging stations north of Milwaukee. We ended up hitting up Chevy dealers and using their DC chargers.

manta173 wrote:

I've driven Fords my whole life.... A 90 Taurus, 2001 F150, 2008 Edge, 2016 Edge, and all of them easily hit 200k... The F150 has needed some repairs at this point, but my dad still drives it as his 'work' truck... the 08 edge is a friends daughter's college car right now...

I know in general they are not considered the most reliable... but I have had no issues I blame on the automaker.

From what I've seen, the F-150 is usually next on the list (or close to it) after you get past the Honda and Toyota pickups in the longevity surveys. Not at their level, but in that next-best tier. If I'm gonna consider getting something other than the Toyota I had my eye on, that's where the F-150 would need to be, and it apparently is there. (Obviously, the electric part is new territory for everyone and will bring its own complications to the longevity outcomes, but the fact that the Lightning is just a plain F-150 in all the other parts helps my confidence in the reliability of all those non-EV specific parts)

manta173 wrote:

I'm not knocking the charging at this point... just saying it's not there for my random drives through and into rural locations.

On the way to Disney I'd probably be fine but have to go through Atlanta instead of rural Georgia... On my way to my parents in nowheresville IL... no way I could make it back.

Yeah, one of the things that has me OK with buying electric is that I live and do my driving in California. EV charging is pretty much everywhere I have any intention of going. And it's only going to get better, so if I can survive the state it's in now, it's only gonna be easier 5 years from now.

I bet the wave of electric pickups that are coming from all the major manufacturers will help spur along EV chargers popping up in more of those remote, rural settings.

polypusher wrote:

Infrastructure just needs to catch up. In my area (NW Seattle) the fastest public charger is like 9kW. One video in the UK estimated at any given time about 40% of public EV chargers are out of order.

Still, Im in the process of trying to buy that Ioniq 5. Supply is extremely limited.

Also an EV owner in Seattle. Have you checked out the City Light stations or the Electrify America stations? Both are Level III DC fast chargers. I have a Level II in my house and it works great.

manta173 wrote:

I'm not knocking the charging at this point... just saying it's not there for my random drives through and into rural locations.

On the way to Disney I'd probably be fine but have to go through Atlanta instead of rural Georgia... On my way to my parents in nowheresville IL... no way I could make it back.

A quick look at Electrify America's map shows a route from Huntsville through Nashville and or Clarksville, Paducah and Mount Vernon where the longest stretch between chargers is 110 miles. If your folks are closer to Indiana, you could hit Bowling Green and Louisville before topping off in Terre Haute or Effingham.

For your Disney trip, Oxford, Auburn, Cordele, Valdosta, Gainesville.

And that's just the EA network and before the coming opening of the Tesla network and doesn't account for any hotels or Airbnb that offer level 2 for overnight charging.

I'm sure there are places where it might be hard to plan a route, but a lot less than you might think and those destinations are decreasing in number by the day.

Ars Technica did have a good point recently though: just because a charging station exists doesn't mean the chargers will actually be working when you arrive.

At each charging stop, in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York, I ran into problems. A five-minute wait to see if the car and charger would establish communications was invariably the case. Waiting 10 minutes was not uncommon. Even then, there was no time to relax; more than once, an error somewhere in the loop shut everything down after just a few kWh.

Only one of six charging stops was painless, and I found similar problems whether the station was operated by Electrify America or Shell Recharge. Frustration often got the better of me and I berated the white monoliths, channeling the spirit of Basil Fawlty to summon down all manner of ills upon them and their circuitry, to my shame. (But seriously, it's all just so opaque. Why don't they just bloody work?)

Then there was the problem of whether or not all of the chargers at a given location were even functional. At one EA station with a Plugshare rating of 9.8, two of four chargers were completely inoperable and a third was reduced to just 50 kW. Four days later, nothing had changed other than its Plugshare rating, which had increased by 0.2 points to the maximum score of 10, with a note in italics about the reduced-power machine.

*Legion* wrote:

Ars Technica did have a good point recently though: just because a charging station exists doesn't mean the chargers will actually be working when you arrive.

This was my one trip outside of my car's range. Charging at the half way point was fine, but when I got the where I was staying the night, the chargers didn't work. I had to take a slow drive over the hills to the next valley over to the next working charger, worrying the entire time that I wouldn't make it (I ended up at the charger with around 10% of my battery remaining, much closer than I would have liked).

Mantid wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

Ars Technica did have a good point recently though: just because a charging station exists doesn't mean the chargers will actually be working when you arrive.

This was my one trip outside of my car's range. Charging at the half way point was fine, but when I got the where I was staying the night, the chargers didn't work. I had to take a slow drive over the hills to the next valley over to the next working charger, worrying the entire time that I wouldn't make it (I ended up at the charger with around 10% of my battery remaining, much closer than I would have liked).

Redundancy and reliability of the networks needs to be better, no doubt. Opening up the Tesla system would help as a stop gap but the entire infrastructure is going to be hard to balance. Home charging will eventually nuke local gas stations. Solid state batteries will possibly limit the needed number of travel charge points but that's assuming that tech rolls out in the next decade.

Good thing the US has a great history of transportation planning...

Don't they have a bunch of asshole truckers blocking charging stations in some areas/states too?

Badferret wrote:
Mantid wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

Ars Technica did have a good point recently though: just because a charging station exists doesn't mean the chargers will actually be working when you arrive.

This was my one trip outside of my car's range. Charging at the half way point was fine, but when I got the where I was staying the night, the chargers didn't work. I had to take a slow drive over the hills to the next valley over to the next working charger, worrying the entire time that I wouldn't make it (I ended up at the charger with around 10% of my battery remaining, much closer than I would have liked).

Redundancy and reliability of the networks needs to be better, no doubt. Opening up the Tesla system would help as a stop gap but the entire infrastructure is going to be hard to balance. Home charging will eventually nuke local gas stations. Solid state batteries will possibly limit the needed number of travel charge points but that's assuming that tech rolls out in the next decade.

Good thing the US has a great history of transportation planning...

This is really what I meant, I have read more than one horror story. My folks live about 45 miles from Effingham assuming that charging station works, although I am a bit surprised it exists... Which is good news that the network is growing, although it is a major intersection of important highways, it really is the middle of nowhere. It would add a significant amount of time to go that far to charge up though. If I could make it from Clarksville to my parents, then to Effingham later while I am in town, then that might be viable... But no back up locations is a bit dodgy with kids travelling with me.

I've been driving an electric car since 2017 and I would hesitate to buy any electronic car that isn't a Tesla...simply because of the supercharger network Tesla has built out. It eliminates range anxiety. 100%.

My impression is that the non-tesla network (across the US at least) is at about the same level as Tesla's was in 2018 when I first got my Model 3. Usable for cross-country travel, but you need to do a bit of planning rather than just assuming things will work.

The number of non-Tesla electric cars coming out now means there's going to be demand for building it out more, so fingers crossed that it will improve the same way the supercharger network has.

I will say, as much as I love my Model 3 -- it is by far the best car I've ever owned -- I am tempted to get something else just to avoid giving Elon Musk any more money, and also because it appears Tesla is never going to learn to service the vehicles after they put them out on the road. Their service center load is terrible, and pretty much has been terrible since they first ramped up 3 production, and all signs point to it continuing to get more overloaded, with no improvement on the horizon.

I will say that after 4 years with it, there isn't much of the actual car I would want changed:

  • The HVAC filter is not friendly to NC's high humidity, and starts to smell after 3-4 months in the spring/summer.
  • I wish the trunk had a bigger opening; the car itself has lots of space but it's trouble getting larger things through.

At one point, I thought the Y would solve my space issue, and then I found it that even though they had plenty of time to fix the design of the air filter since the 3, they just copied it wholesale for the Y.

It is sad that as much as I was frustrated with Volkswagen with the whole Jetta fiasco, the ID.Buzz actually looks like a lot of fun, and they are legally obligated to invest in electric because of Dieselgate and I'm tempted to look into it for my next car when they come to the states. It's coming out first in Europe so presumably they'll have a chance to work out the worst issues before it comes here.

I would want something more sedan-sized, for which things are still kind of limited; a lot of the manufacturers are pushing trucks, bigger SUVs, or crossovers for their electrics first. If I'm gonna get something as big as a crossover, I might as well get the VW van with lots of storage.

That said, if the Hyundai concept car comes out, it looks pretty damn cool. Will be keeping an eye out.

I'm not planning on switching any time soon, but I'm starting to keep up with what's new again expecting to not be holding on to this M3 forever.

Ranger Rick wrote:

I will say, as much as I love my Model 3 -- it is by far the best car I've ever owned -- I am tempted to get something else just to avoid giving Elon Musk any more money

Elon is such a chud that I find myself cheering for the establishment auto manufacturers that smothered generations of EV babies in their cribs. They have no right to reap the eventual EV rewards, yet somehow Elon enjoying the success is even more untenable.

We love our ioniq hybrid. (2021 or 2022) The new ioniq 6 looks absolutely sick!

Ranger Rick wrote:

I will say, as much as I love my Model 3 -- it is by far the best car I've ever owned -- I am tempted to get something else just to avoid giving Elon Musk any more money, and also because it appears Tesla is never going to learn to service the vehicles after they put them out on the road. Their service center load is terrible, and pretty much has been terrible since they first ramped up 3 production, and all signs point to it continuing to get more overloaded, with no improvement on the horizon.

That is really interesting as I am also in NC (Raleigh), and have found the service experience to be head and shoulders better than any other dealership service department.

Ranger Rick wrote:

I will say that after 4 years with it, there isn't much of the actual car I would want changed:
[list]
[*] The HVAC filter is not friendly to NC's high humidity, and starts to smell after 3-4 months in the spring/summer.

WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE. I had my filter changed out around the end of last summer and it is already getting "that smell" again.

That aside, I love my Model 3. Best car I've ever owned.