Tax refund is on its way

My Tax Refund is on its way!!

The IRS have approved our tax filing for 2018 and we have $6,160 coming back thanks to the $7,500 EV tax credit on the Model 3 we bought last year.

The Tax credit was halved as on January 1st 2019. In response Tesla reduced prices. So did I pay more or less than I would today if I purchased the exact same car today?

I paid $55,000, subtracting the $7,500 that comes down to $47,500.

For the same configuration today it would cost me $50,500, subtract $3,750 makes the final price $46,750.

So the difference is $750 more than waiting. I’ve done over 10,000 miles since October 2018. I feel comfortable that it was worth the extra $750 for the opportunity to drive this awesome car for the 6 months I’ve had it.

When we purchased our 2011 LEAF we benefited from the $7,500 federal tax credit back then as well as a $2,500 Tennessee incentive. We’ve benefited to the tune of $17,500 over the last 8 years from EV incentives.

Many feel this is wrong for someone to benefit on the back someone else’s taxes. To get these credits you have to have adequate tax liability in the first place, in other words we’ve paid plenty of taxes anyway. It’s some of our tax money coming back to us. If we had not been due to pay the tax in the first place we would not have been eligible for the full tax credit.

Posted in Electric Car, Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model 3 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sentry Mode Triggered by a Hog

On a recent trip to Clarksville TN we stopped at the Blackhorse Pub and Brewery on Franklin Street downtown. I set Sentry Mode on the car as we parked on the street outside the pub close to a four way stop.

Tesla Sentry Mode

A Harley Davidson pulled up at the side of my Model 3 and checked rifght of way through the 4-way stop. The motorbike revved its engine to pull away and the deep vibrations given off by the hog set off the anti-theft sensors on the Model 3 and I was alerted on my cell phone Sentry Mode had been activated. Sentry Mode plays music very loudly and also flashes the lights.

Despite the system being triggered by a motorbike, I was impressed that sentry mode did not even wake and ready itself when people passed by on the sidewalk quite closely to the car. It seems as long as someone keeps moving by the car it ignores them. If someone stops by the vehicle then Sentry Mode readies itself and displays an image of Hal on the center console and  a message saying  “Sentry Activated” and “Recording” to let anyone lurking know they are being recorded by the car.


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Misleading Ad for Tesla Model 3

Tesla showcase the Model 3’s main features on its web page. If you didn’t know better the webpage for the Model 3 would lead you to believe that you can get a Model 3 with 3.2 sec 0-60, 325 Miles of range and AWD Dual motor drive. Just click “Order Now”.

Misleading Model 3 specifications.

The reality is the vehicle that is capable of 0-60 in 3.2 secs is the Performance Model 3 which is rated for 310 miles of range not 325. When you click Order now that becomes apparent. The webpage is quite misleading being a hybrid of specifications which cannot all be true for an available vehicle configuration. Tesla have also been criticized for showing cost “after gas savings over 6 years” rather than show only the actual cost you need to pay.

I don’t know why Tesla thinks it necessary to exaggerate the capabilities of their cars which are some of the best available. IMHO honesty is the best policy.

Update 2019-04-20

Tesla have fixed their website and now the online ad is accurate. I’d like to think my blog post resulted in a fixed website, but probably not. Good to see Tesla fix their ad.

Corrected web-page.

Posted in Electric Car, Tesla Model 3 | Leave a comment

LEAF driver leaves me thinking why? Just Why !?!

In the eight years of driving an EV I have witnessed all manner of good and poor charging etiquette and habits. However, none of my extensive experience has adequately prepared me for today’s bizarre charging of a LEAF.

Puhleeze. The charging port is at the front, pull in already!

If you really must reverse into a parking space, consider an EV with a rear charge port like a Tesla.

This is too bizarre. Your comments are most welcome.

Update: 2019-03-14

To better illustrate my attempt at humor here is a perfect example of “how it’s done”

Front Charging Port – Pull In
Rear Charging Port – Reverse In.
This doesn’t have to be difficult.


Posted in Bizarre, BMW i3, Electric Car, Level 2 EV Charger, Nissan LEAF, Schneider, Schnieder | 4 Comments

Model 3 is the first car I’ve owned that adjusts its clock automatically

Daylight Savings Time

I fully expected the Model 3 to adjust to daylight savings time and it did.

Reflecting on this I realize this is the first car I’ve owned that has adjusted its clock automatically. The 2011 LEAF has two clocks both of which require manual adjustment. So I still had to do that this past weekend. It’s kinda surprising that many cars have not automatically adjusted prior to now. I wonder how long before this basic feature becomes standard for all new vehicles.

Posted in Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model 3 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tesla Take Care of (some of) their Customers

Tesla Model 3

Tesla announced across the board price cuts for their vehicles at the end of February 2019. Does this mean the 2018 customers overpaid? Is this the price of being the first on the block with a Model 3? Many customers are upset that Tesla have reduced prices, headlines such as “Tesla owners are enraged that the Company cut it’s prices”.

Despite significant price cuts of $6,000 I have calculated I am only $1,750 worse off for buying in October 2018. If I choose to add Autopilot or Full Self Driving then I will be $1,250 better off than waiting until now. Tesla have taken care of their existing customers by discounting Autopilot and Full Self Driving substantially for purchase after sale. For those existing customers who purchased Autopilot and Full Self-driving with their cars they are worse off because they paid full price for these software features. A quick analysis of the price changes since I purchased my car is shown below.

July 2018 March 2019 Difference
Base (LR+Premium) $49,000.00 $43,000.00 $6,000.00
Blue Paint $1,000.00 $1,500.00 -$500.00
AWD $4,000.00 $4,000.00 $0.00
Vehicle Price $54,000.00 $48,500.00 $5,500.00
Tax Credit -$7,500.00 -$3,750.00 -$3,750.00
After Credit price $46,500.00 $44,750.00 $1,750.00
Add-on Features March 2019 March 2019 Difference
Auto Pilot $2,000.00 $3,000.00 -$1,000.00
Full Self Driving $3,000.00 $5,000.00 -$2,000.00
Final Cost $51,500.00 $52,750.00 -$1,250.00

Owners who purchased full self driving with their vehicle purchase are rightfully upset. They paid $3,000 for a feature that was to be available sometime in the future and now find existing owners able to buy the feature for $1,000 less just as advanced features are being introduced. Original owners did not benefit by paying for a feature that has not existed until now. Here is a detailed explanation in Ars Technica why original customers are upset. “Price cuts anger some Tesla customers who pre-ordered self-driving

I count myself lucky to have got my car at a fair price even taking into consideration a $6,000 price cut from the vehicles base price.

Posted in Cost Benefit, Electric Car, Tesla Model 3 | 3 Comments

First Tesla Service Experience

Booking the Appointment: A+

Schedule appointment directly in phone app

Making an appointment for service is done via the Tesla App. You are able to enter a description of the service items you wish to have accomplished. I had created a Google Docs document with a list of items including photos of the issues I had experienced, I included a link in the service entry. Tesla had no issues accessing this and understanding my concerns. Traditional automakers are less tech savvy and would probably be unable to accept such a submission and prefer email, phone or face to face. Very convenient.

Prompt email correspondence and feedback: A-

I received a response from my local Tesla Service Center quickly. Some of the problems I reported are known issues and will be included in a future software update. Some problems reported such as a weak paint on the front door pillars is apparently how the cars are made with the top coat being applied with the car doors mounted on the car.  I was assured the corrosion resistant base coats will protect the paintwork. A little weird, I asked that my concern be put on file should corrosion appear in those locations. I had a tech examine the paint in person and he confirmed this is normal, I pointed out its the first I’ve seen like that ona new car and he acknowledged that improvements are being made to the manufacturing process all the time based on customer feedback.

Occasional fogging of the rear passenger tail light is considered normal if it dissipates after 30 minutes of driving or less. In my case the fogging dissipated quickly so was not considered a fault to be fixed.

Two of the six service items remained on the list for my visit to the service center. Brake squeal at low speeds in reverse and also a scheduled tire rotation.

The only negative from the email correspondence I experienced is that my last question regarding if I would need to wait on the service or get a loaner went unanswered.

Check In to Service: B-

I pulled into the service bay. At a traditional automaker, such as Nissan, I would be greeted within seconds and details of mileage and service items taken down, not so at Tesla!. Ungreeted I got my belongings I went through several doorways until I found the right one to meet a service writer. After this rather lonely experience, things went very well. The service writer Justin was very friendly, retrieved details of my service and confirmed items to be accomplished. As I handed over my card key I enquired about getting an additional card key which is available only through the service center. I was quoted $10 which I accepted. Tesla offered me a ride home or an Enterprise rental, I chose the rental.

Enterprise Rental: A+

Nissan Frontier is my Enterprise Rental.

We waited in the showroom waiting area for Enterprise to arrive. We were offered a cookie by a very friendly customer rep and enjoyed a Keurig brewed coffee.

As usual Enterprise did a great job. After waiting for 5 minutes or so in the showroom waiting area I was greeted by an Enterprise rep who had my “car”. I did all the paperwork on a tablet device and was handed the keys.  Other than show my drivers license I didn’t need to provide any other information, all information was transmitted electronically from Tesla to Enterprise. Very convenient for the customer. Good job Tesla and Enterprise. The only vehicle they had was a Nissan Frontier pickup truck.. Gas is included in the rentals for Tesla, so I had access to a full tank of gas without the need to refill. Upon return I handed the keys to Tesla and they arrange for Enterprise to pick up. Shame they don’t rent Tesla vehicles in Nashville.

Pickup Experience: A+

I received a text to advise me that my car was almost ready.

Friendly text when car is (almost) ready for pickup.

I was asked to arrive between 5 and 6 pm. I arrived 30 minutes before the time indicated in the text, left the rental car keys with the service writer and waited one hour for my car which was ready at 5:30. The waiting area is better than the average car dealership. I noticed on my Tesla app that two key cards were added to my vehicle while I was waiting.

Quality of Work Performed. A+

All areas of concern were addressed. The car was washed and vacuumed at no extra cost as is customary with good car service. I enquired how the brake squeal was addressed, the service tech noticed a loose bolt on the brake assembly. They tightened the bolt which addressed the issue. I was assured the rotors were not damaged by the loose bolt. So glad I took the car in for what appeared to be a minor annoyance, it turned out to be a safety concern. Yikes!!

Loose bolt in my brakes!!

Tire Rotation costs $62.50, quite expensive. The brake repair was covered by warranty. I got one freebie from Tesla. Apparently they don’t sell single key cards, but sell them in pairs. Tesla provided the second key card at no additional cost and the credit for the second card was shown on my final paperwork.

Electronic Signature

Tesla ask you to electronically sign the paperwork emailed to you within 30 days. I signed with a wet signature at the service center, so I’m not sure what this is all about. An electronic only signature would be fine, but both seems unnecessary.

Crisis? What Crisis?

Given a lot of negative service experience reviews recently on YouTube, I found my experience to be really good. No complaints here.

Posted in Customer Service, Electric Car, Tesla Model 3 | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments