Why Would You Compare a Tesla Model 3 to a 7-Series BMW? →

November 4, 2019 · 13:10

Simon Alvarez, writing for Teslarati:

The Model 3, for example, was initially announced to have a 0-60 mph time of “less than 6 seconds” during its unveiling event. Even the vehicle’s “slowest” trim, the Standard Range variant that’s available off-menu, has a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds. That’s a hair faster than the BMW 730d M-Sport.

Why would you compare a Model 3, which is roughly the equivalent of a BMW 3-series, to a 7-series, which is a full two size classes higher? Similarly, the Model S was often compared to the Audi A8, Merc S-class and BMW 7-series, while it should have been compared to the A6 or A7, E-class, and 5-series.

Teslas are really interesting cars and what they have done so far is nothing short of amazing, but all the fanboyism is really putting me off.

Horrific Tesla Customer Experience in Europe →

December 13, 2018 · 13:43

When asked what should my employee [do], left in the middle of the road, he answered “take a taxi”, and said he could not help me, and ended the conversation.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, read the whole thing. There are many other such examples in Europe. What’s worse, Tesla actively organizes test drives for Poles, inviting them to buy their cars in Berlin — I took part in one personally. They even went out of their way to collaborate with a Polish company to offer a simple way to lease their cars.

There’s more to being a “luxury” car maker than just selling expensive cars. Tesla obviously has a lot to learn and a long way to go.

via @janmazurczak

Tesla Model S Burns Down in Poland →

September 10, 2018 · 10:54

A Tesla Model S burned down in Poland, as reported by Boguszów Fire Brigade:

We were sent to an electric car fire a few minutes after 17:00 (on September 9, 2018), which was parked outside Dzikowiec Sports & Recreation Centre. We found the car completely engulfed in flames upon arrival at the scene. Three more fire engines arrived at the scene (one carrying GBA-Pr extinguishing powder, because of the specifics of the fire) […]

We (the general public) don’t yet have enough experience with electric cars to fully understand when and how they can burst into flames. This scares people and is one of the many reasons news about electric car problems is controversial and popular. ICE1 car fires? Boring.

You can find more photos of the wreck on the fire brigade’s Facebook profile.

  1. Internal combustion engine.

Tesla, Software and Disruption →

September 3, 2018 · 11:40

Benedict Evans:

When Nokia people looked at the first iPhone, they saw a not-great phone with some cool features that they were going to build too, being produced at a small fraction of the volumes they were selling. They shrugged. “No 3G, and just look at the camera!”

When many car company people look at a Tesla, they see a not-great car with some cool features that they’re going to build too, being produced at a small fraction of the volumes they’re selling. “Look at the fit and finish, and the panel gaps, and the tent!”

The Nokia people were terribly, terribly wrong. Are the car people wrong? We hear that a Tesla is ‘the new iPhone’ – what would that mean?

One of Tesla’s advantages is pushing data about roads that cars have travelled to the cars that didn’t, which allows Autopilot to know the specifics of that road. So when one takes his or her Tesla into new territories, the car will be already aware of its surroundings. Mercedes PR once mentioned clients would get new and updated data for their autonomous systems once every year (during maintenance) or when they buy a new car. This sounds ludicrous (pun intended).

Limited Edition Tesla Surfboard →

July 30, 2018 · 10:14

Designed by the Tesla Design Studio in collaboration with Lost Surfboards and Matt “Mayhem” Biolos, surfboard shaper for World Surf League Championship athletes. The Limited Edition Tesla Surfboard features a mix of the same high-quality matte and gloss finishes used on all our cars. The deck is reinforced with light-weight “Black Dart” carbon fiber, inspired by the interiors in our cars, and featuring tonal logos in subtle contrast gloss.

Model S, X and 3 can comfortably accommodate this surfboard on either the inside or outside of the vehicle.

I know nothing about surfboards but it is beautiful. And sold-out already.

Teslas – (In)Secure by Design →

June 13, 2018 · 14:47

Tomasz Konieczny, on XSolve’s blog:

Tesla has become synonymous for a new trend in the automotive industry. Elon Musk’s electric car is on the lips of the whole world – or even the whole solar system after SpaceX shot it into space. That’s why it’s so shocking that a more “earthly” matter – the security of Tesla software – is far below modern standards.

While I have driven Teslas before, I never owned one, so I didn’t have a reason to bother with the security of the app, the website account or anything related. Quite frankly, I expected much more from Elon’s company, especially since cars from “traditional” manufacturers are known to be insecure for years now and his background would suggest that Tesla would be best equipped to handle security in a satisfactory manner.

P.S. I can’t even play enjoy the full functionality of my Steam games if they’re not secured by 2FA.

Tesla Model 3 Gets CR Recommendation After Braking Update →

June 1, 2018 · 11:31

Patrick Olsen, for Consumer Reports:

The software update came a week after Consumer Reports published test results that showed stopping distances for the Model 3 that were significantly longer than any other contemporary car. That braking performance, along with issues with the Model 3’s controls and ride comfort, initially prevented the car from getting a CR recommendation.

Last week, after CR’s road test was published, Tesla CEO Elon Musk vowed that the automaker would get a fix out within days.

Until now, that type of remote improvement to a car’s basic functionality had been unheard of. “I’ve been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars,” says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, “and I’ve never seen a car that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update.”

Remote firmware updates for a car, which can directly impact key features such as braking systems is one thing which Tesla excels at. Other automakers rely on software updates when a car comes in for service, which is roughly once a year, or when you buy a new one.

I test drove a Tesla Model S P90D (my article in Polish) in Poland in 2016. There are a few Teslas in Poland but since we don’t have a dealership, service centres, or a wide Supercharger network, their Autopilot barely knew any of the roads here. The guys from Tesla Berlin came down a day or two early and rode up and down the country roads, we would be using for the day. Since this was their second trip, I assume the Teslas had already previously gathered a lot of data along the way. When it was my turn, I turned on Autopilot and it acted as if it knew these its surroundings perfectly, even on 2nd tier twisty side streets with barely any markings on them. This “learning” capability is amazing in theory and practice — just imagine what we could accomplish if every single car in the world, whatever their manufacturer, had access to a database of this sort.

Tesla & Nissan Battery Degradation →

April 15, 2018 · 12:17

Fred Lambert, writing for Electrek:

Battery degradation is one of the biggest concerns for electric car owners and potential buyers, but data from Tesla battery packs have been very reassuring so far.

Now the latest data shows less than 10% degradation of the energy capacity after over 160,000 miles on Tesla’s battery packs […]

The data clearly shows that for the first 50,000 miles (100,000 km), most Tesla battery packs will lose about 5% of their capacity, but after the 50,000-mile mark, the capacity levels off and it looks like it could be difficult to make a pack degrade by another 5%.

The trend line currently suggests that the average battery pack could cycle through over 300,000 km (186,000) before coming close to 90% capacity […]

Meanwhile, Nissan has issues with the Leaf:

A recent study shows that with the original 24 kWh pack loses about 20% of their capacity over 5 years and Nissan’s more recent 30 kWh battery pack loses capacity more quickly than the older pack […]

The next few years will be interesting for car buyers. We haven’t had to worry about engines as much so far — they’re more or less reliable enough and don’t lose much power over the years — but battery packs directly influence the usability of an electric car. I privately wanted a Leaf as a city car, but if its pack degrades as quickly as the study above shows, then I will have to reconsider it as an option.

Tesla Model 3 Doesn’t Have a Key →

July 29, 2017 · 09:59

Tamara Warren, writing for The Verge:

And the best part: when I pulled into park, I asked about the key. The car doesn’t haven’t one. You control the car through the Tesla app on your phone. Tesla has succeed in making a car for gadgeteers, and for forgetful people like me that sometimes leave their phones behind. (It does have a small credit card key to hand off to valets, for people that will stunt in their 3.)

I can imagine a few scenarios where that’s a bad idea. They should add one of those rubber band Fitbit-like devices, which you can put on your wrist. I think Range Rover or Volvo does them.

Tesla Model 3 Photos and Specs

July 29, 2017 · 09:43

The Model 3, according to what Elon Musk said, will come in two variants. The standard model will cost $35,000, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 5.6 seconds , and have a range of 220 miles (352 km). The long range model will be more expensive at $44,000, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, and have a range of 310 miles (496 km). Still no word on the “D” models, with AWD.

Continue reading →

The Tesla Model S Is Not Comparable to an Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, or Mercedes S-Class →

October 14, 2016 · 07:30

Fred Lambert:

Tesla shocked the industry earlier this year when it confirmed having delivered 25,202 Model S sedans in the U.S. in 2015, which gave the company a 25% market share in the premium sedan market. For the first time, Tesla had surpassed market leaders like BMW and Mercedes. Furthermore, every single other large luxury sedan has seen its sales decrease during the same period.

Now the electric automaker is increasing its lead on the US luxury sedan market to such a point that the Model S is now twice as popular as the Mercedes S-Class or the BMW 7-Series. Tesla is literally selling more all-electric sedans in the US than Mercedes and BMW are selling S-Class and 7-Series combined.

The Model S Tesla is not an Audi A8, BMW 7-series, nor Mercedes S-class competitor. It’s on par with the A6, 5-series, and E-class. I still don’t understand why it’s being compared to the luxury segment, especially since it’s nowhere near any of the cars listed above in terms of build quality.

Tesla Model S P100D Introduced; 0-60 Times Make for Good Marketing →

August 25, 2016 · 14:17

The Tesla Team:

The Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode is the third fastest accelerating production car ever produced, with a 0-60 mph time of 2.5* seconds. However, both the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder were limited run, million dollar vehicles and cannot be bought new. While those cars are small two seaters with very little luggage space, the pure electric, all-wheel drive Model S P100D has four doors, seats up to 5 adults plus 2 children and has exceptional cargo capacity.

The 0-60 time makes for surprisingly good marketing. In the real world, it’s meaningless for most people. Give me a Tesla, with an interior that matches today’s Audis, BMWs, and Mercs, make it slower (6 seconds to 62 mph is plenty fast), and increase range dramatically. When that happens, I won’t have any more reservations about the car. Oh, and put a set of good brakes on it please.

The War for Autonomous Driving: Mercedes-Benz E-Class vs. Tesla Model S →

August 3, 2016 · 20:22

Alex Roy:

The only good thing about Drive Pilot is that your Mercedes will protect you from it. Did I trust it? Only at a crawl. Did I understand it? I don’t understand how Mercedes-Benz could release this to the public. I hated literally everything about it. It drove like a drunk ten year old, fighting for the wheel with a drunk fourteen year old. It was, in most conditions, dangerous.

This is one very important area where Tesla seems to have a huge advantage over the competition.

Elon Musk’s Master Plan — Part Deux →

July 25, 2016 · 09:48

Elon Musk:

So, in short, Master Plan, Part Deux is:

Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage

Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments

Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning

Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it

There’s no way I would let someone else drive my car. This may or may not change in the future, but I doubt it.

Tesla Model S Finally Gets a Facelift →

April 13, 2016 · 11:50

Alex Kierstein:

From an aesthetic standpoint, the front fascia will be the most obvious and consequential change to the consumer. It brings the styling inline with the Model X, and likely the production version of the Model 3. The headlights also adopt a Model X look. Inside, there are two new woods available to trim the interior: one that Tesla calls “Figured Ash”, and the other simply a dark ash. That rounds out the changes this time around, although Tesla would like you to remember that over-the-air software updates may bring other changes as soon as they’re available.

Love the new look, much prettier than the old one.

A Nerd’s Review of the Tesla Model S — My Comments →

April 5, 2016 · 12:26

I have had my reservations about electric cars for many years now, and for many reasons. David Smith chose to write about his experience, and I’m happy he chose to:

The only real analogy I can think of to describe how different this feels is to compare it to SSD hard-drives. SSD hard drives when they came out were ‘worse’ than traditional spinning disks in a wide variety of ways. They were smaller capacity, sometimes had lower maximum throughput and were considerably more expensive. But, from the moment you first used one it completely ruined computers for you. Going back to spinning disks once you have tasted instantaneous delivery feels broken.

It is the same with driving a Tesla. There is essentially no latency in your driving interaction with the car. I’ve often heard car fanatics (especially those who love manual transmissions) describe the feeling of being ‘connected’ to their car as they drive it. That their desire and the car’s ability to deliver it become closely and completely linked. Tesla delivers that experience but without all the training and skill needed to dance with a transmission.

That’s a unique way of looking at it, and I understood what David’s trying to convey instantly.

However, there are a few things I love about cars, being an enthusiast myself:

  • I love the sound of a good engine (NA V8s especially) and a decent exhaust (here’s mine in quiet mode).
  • I praise low weight in cars — the heavier a car, the worse it handles.
  • I don’t much care for outright speed (despite having a quick car) — cornering is much more important. This is what does it for me.
  • I actually prefer older cars to what the market now offers, apart from a few models which have caught my interest. The Mazda MX-5 RF is the newest addition to my wish list.

Perhaps most remarkable is how having regenerative braking changes things. Whenever I slide my foot slightly backward on the accelerator the car immediately begins to slow. The subtle difference between having to pull my foot all the way off the accelerator and then depress the brake makes a huge difference in how responsive the car feels to my desires.

I spent a day driving a BMW i3 — the regenerative braking experience was probably the only thing that really spoke to me, and which I got the hang of in just a few minutes. I do have one issue with this however — I used this method of braking to actually stop the car at lights, etc, but if you use regenerative braking to stop or slow down an electric car, the rear stop lights don’t light up. This could potentially be very dangerous if someone behind you isn’t paying attention.

Owning an electric car in my country is currently only for the extremely brave — there are hardly any charging stations and zero Superchargers. While I could see myself owning a Model S or 3, it would be relegated to being driven only in the city. One of my Twitter followers calculated that a 400 kilometre drive that I take regularly every few weeks, most of which is at 140-150 km/h speeds on the motorway, would take at least 7 hours, instead of the 3.5 it does now. No Superchargers, no fun.