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 ranking 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. Nonetheless, 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 Heart in Nice Grove, Utah. April 5, 2023. Picture by Fritz Hasler

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

To purchase FSD (beta) now prices $12,000. I used FSD obsessively after I first bought 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, deciding on 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 transferring 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 characteristic does a really good job aside from stopping ~30 ft too early at some cease indicators. Nonetheless, I’ve additionally learn how Teslas have plowed into the again of stationary firetrucks and emergency autos at full velocity the place the Site visitors Conscious Cruise Management by no means tried to cease the automobile. How might each eventualities be true? I’ve additionally noticed that generally after I manually cross the double yellow line in the midst of the highway to keep away from a pothole or different obstruction, I get a loud alarm warning and pink flashing steering wheel on the touchscreen and I’m warned to take speedy corrective motion.

Right here comes the half the place I used to be silly. I normally drive with my proper foot resting frivolously 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 all the time 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 accelerator stress to merge safely into visitors on a busy crossing avenue. This accounts for my proper foot habitually resting frivolously on the accelerator.

Important 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 stress on the accelerator I drove into the again of the automobile in entrance of me at, say, 3 mph. Happily, the automobile in entrance of me was a giant SUV and I did no harm 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 vehicles 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 explanation. They’re simply manufactured from plastic and will likely be broken by the slightest contact with an object or one other automobile. From the crash, I had a small dimple in my entrance facia and some scratches within the paint all the way 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 good software program, why did I get no warning? The identical warning I get when crossing the yellow strains in the midst 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’d have ignored it if my automobile wasn’t such a brand new (3 years outdated) stunning automobile. Tesla won’t do most physique work at their service facilities. Nonetheless, they are going to change the entrance and rear facia within the case of minor harm. Subsequently, I took my automobile into the Nice Grove Tesla Service Heart 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 previously, so you possibly can perceive the attraction 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 criticism that I’ve learn quite a few reviews that the radar sensor is now 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 Heart the place the substitute of the entrance facia was carried out. This service middle opened across the first of the yr. The nice half is I’m solely 4 miles from the brand new service middle and now not must drive to the Salt Lake Metropolis Service Heart, which is 37 miles away. Sadly, throughout our summers in Northern Wisconsin, the closest service middle is in Madison 224 miles and three.5 hours away. Happily, we now have family 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. Another storm will take it over 900 inches. The earlier all-time file within the final 80 years was 745 inches in 1995. The local weather is altering, and as predicted, extra international 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 stunning 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 at the least an audible warning? I’ve solely tried the Good Summon and Computerized Parking options as soon as every. Maybe if I would normally do autoparking in parking tons, I’d 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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