Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

Talk about "WhatEVER !"..
Post Reply
Message
Author
rkawakami
Admin
Admin
Posts: 10135
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am
Location: San Jose, CA 95120 USA
Contact:

My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#1 Post by rkawakami » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:14 am

I've mentioned elsewhere my recent purchase of a Tesla Model 3. I've decided to start a new thread as further discussion about electric cars or SUVs would be off topic there. By a stretch of my logic, since the car is controlled by many (?) processors, it's more of a computer-on-wheels then a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) so it semi-qualifies as a topic here.

Back at the end of March 2016, Tesla introduced their latest model, the 3. At the time, the Model S (large sedan) and X (SUV) were being sold. The 3 would be the "mass market" version of their electric fleet as Elon Musk declared that the base model would start at USD$35,000, much less that the $65,000 or so that the S started at. People stood in line at the showrooms to be the first to place their fully-refundable $1,000 deposits for a car that they had never seen, much less test drove. The public reveal of the 3 occurred the evening of March 31, 2016. There was a live stream broadcast on the internet and that's also when the website was opened up for the people who didn't wait in line at the stores earlier that day to reserve their cars. That was me. As I watched the show, I plunked down my $1K, never knowing exactly when my car would be ready. In doing some research about Tesla and the 3, I run into a user forum at Tesla Motors Club (TMC). I joined a couple of days after paying my deposit. I'm registered there as RayK. By that time, Tesla said that they had over 300,000 reservations.

Fast-forward a little bit over a year. After numerous delays, the first production vehicles rolled off the assembly line in Fremont, CA July 2017. Those cars went to employees of Tesla, SpaceX and I believe, The Boring Company. Later production units were sold to existing owners of Teslas. Finally the "general public" reservationists were given the opportunity to configure their cars, with some major restrictions. First production was limited to rear wheel drive (RWD) cars and not the dual-motor all wheel drive (AWD) version. The Long Range battery (LR) was required; rated for 310 miles range over the standard battery of 220 miles. That adds $9,000. The Premium Upgrade Package (PUP) was also required and costs $5,000. That added 12-way, heated power seats, fog lamps, full glass roof, premium audio system and some other bells and whistles. Add an extra $1,000 for any color other than basic black. So the base $35,000 car turns into a $49,000 (black) car. That didn't include any of the fancy "self-driving" or autonomous vehicle options. If you wanted Enhanced AutoPilot (EAP) which adds auto-steer lane keeping, lane changing, self-parking and traffic-aware cruise control (TACC), that's an extra $5,000. And finally, if you desire the Full Self-Driving (FSD) option, which isn't even available yet, that requires EAP, plus another $3,000. All of this pushes the $35K car to $57K.

It was one of the major reasons that Tesla was anti-selling the 3 and attempting to get people to order an S or X instead. I heard that this worked in some cases. Full production on the 3 was delayed, and then delayed some more, but there were finally a limited number of Model 3s out in the public. Enough of them to start turning up on Turo.com. That site is where private owners can arrange to rent out their vehicles. January 2018 I found an owner of a 3 who also lived in San Jose and I arranged to rent his car for three days. Price at that time averaged $200/day, which is what the law or supply and demand deemed reasonable. The car drove great. Instant torque from the electric motor pins you back in the seat. While the ride stiffness was a little too harsh for my taste (this coming from a 2000 BMW 3-series driver), I understood from reading some threads that Tesla was planning to change the suspension to take care of this problem. After having the Model 3 for three days, I decided that this was going to be my next car.

More waiting. Then on April 18, 2018, a little more than two years after paying my $1K, I received an email inviting me to configure my car. At that point, only the RWD version was available and I had desired the AWD model. So I sat on the invitation, hoping to learn more as time went by. Like how much it would cost and how it would affect my delivery time. That was important to me for the following reason.

The federal government currently has a tax incentive program in place that offers a $7,500 tax credit for people buying electric cars. If you qualify, you get to apply the credit to the taxes you own the feds for that year. But there's a quantity and time limit. The full $7,500 is available as long as the car manufacturer has not sold more than 200,000 vehicles in the US. Once the manufacturer delivers the 200,000th vehicle to US buyers, the $7,500 tax credit is good for that calendar quarter, plus the next quarter (i.e., up to 6 months). Then the credit gets cut in half to $3,750 for the following two quarters. After that, the credit gets cut in half again ($1,875) for two more quarters. Finally it disappears altogether. So in theory, it's possible to have 6 consecutive quarters, a year and a half, where the consumer could reap some $$$.

When I was invited to configure in mid-April, the estimated time for getting a RWD car was 3 to 6 weeks. That meant maybe early June. If I wanted to order an AWD car, then it could take until "Late 2018". At that time (mid-April), up until I actually ordered my car, we didn't exactly know when Tesla would reach the 200,000 limit. The speculation was that Tesla was keeping a close eye on the delivery numbers (after all, they were still selling S and X vehicles) and would do the "right thing" by making sure that the 200,000th US vehicle would be delivered at the start of the calendar quarter, rather than the end. This would ensure that the maximum number of people could take advantage of the tax credit.

After waiting until the middle of June, and still without knowing the price or better-defined delivery schedule for the AWD version, I finally decided to pull the trigger. Configured as RWD, with PUP, LR and the standard 18" wheels, the color I chose was Midnight Silver Metallic. Didn't care for all of the automation features. What? Order a Tesla without getting any of the 'self-driving' options? Yup. At this point in their software development, I still don't think that those driver aids are worth the extra cost. Certainly not for the FSD. It's not even released yet. The penalty for not including EAP or FSD when you order the car, is an extra $1,000 for each option if you decide to add them later on. That's what is interesting about the Tesla. Features can be added or improved through what is essentially firmware upgrades done over AT&T's 4G LTE cell phone network. If Tesla is given more time to develop and improve their image recognition routines, and that results in improved performance and accuracy, I'll pay the extra cost then. I don't want to take a chance dumping money into something now that might not show the benefits later on.

11 days later I was contacted by an Inside Sales Advisor (ISA) at Tesla. She wanted to confirm my order and asked if I had any questions. Everything proceeded smoothly and 5 days after that, I had the 'keys' to my car. I was surprised on how fast the purchasing process was. Much less than the minimum 3 weeks I was told. Turns out that Tesla may have been stockpiling cars towards the end of the 2nd quarter. When I submitted my configuration, the car was probably already built and sitting in a parking lot in Fremont.

Don't think that Tesla is 100% perfect in this regard. There are numerous stories on the TMC board that have customers still waiting for any information about cars they ordered and confirmed as far back as 3 months ago. Some people have submitted payment for the car and still not been told when they can expect delivery. Others have had their delivery rescheduled a couple of times, some without being told exactly what the holdup is. Complaints about customers not being able to reach their ISA either by phone or email. All I can say is that my interaction went without a hitch and that the only surprise at my delivery appointment was a $100 increase in the registration fee that I had been quoted earlier. I think it was due to the fact that I had asked my ISA to handle transferring my existing personalized plate to the Tesla.

I've had the 3 since July 3rd. Taken a trip up to SFO and another to Santa Cruz. Suspension changes did indeed make the ride less brutal but the handling is still great. The rental was a very early build. The VIN was in the high 700s. My car is in the high 44,400s. Besides the suspension change, they increased the height of the back seats somewhat in order to offer some more thigh support. It's still not enough but it's better than it was. Only two 'problems' to report so far: the 15" touchscreen, where almost ALL of the controls for the car are located, blanked out for about a minute while I was driving. It was akin to having the backlight on a laptop turn off. It happened when I shifted into reverse but fixed itself by the time I drove down one level in the parking garage at work. The other issue is that the icon for the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is lit on my screen. It is supposed to do that if there's problem with under or over-inflation of the tires. I did get a warning after driving off the delivery lot but a reset of the TPMS system solved that problem (the front driver side tire was not reading). Initially the tire pressures were at 48 to 49psi hot. The specs call out 42psi as the recommended value so that's where they're at now but the TPMS icon persists. I'm keeping an eye on it and we'll see where it leads. All and all I'm very happy with the car and it was worth waiting over two years for it.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

RealBlackStuff
Admin
Admin
Posts: 19311
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:24 pm

I like and appreciate the story.
Wondering about one thing though: why would someone in California want AWD on such a car?
You hardly (if ever) get snow and you don't take a car like that for off-roading...

Brad
**SENIOR** Member
**SENIOR** Member
Posts: 1870
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:41 am
Location: Long Island New York

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#3 Post by Brad » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:51 pm

Thanks for sharing Ray. Many miles of smiles...who gets the 2000 BMW?

My brother and sister in law placed deposits in March 2016 too.

He ordered all the options and his delivery was delayed also. Once due to a defect. They couldn't find the gas tank.

He finally took delivery about a month and a half ago. Had a chance to go for a ride this past week. Very nice.

Brad
Long Island New York
T43p 2669-Q1U, A22p's UTU A21p HXU
Transnote, 770's 8AU, 600, 701CS, 755CD

TonyJZX
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 514
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:33 am

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#4 Post by TonyJZX » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:52 am

AWD is a funny point of contention right now.

As I see it, Tesla are selling mainly highly optioned Model 3s, that means extended range and AWD - that's where the margins are and they will only sell stripper models once the demand dies down.

I feel they only did the stripper models to make that "$35,000" RRP thing when the reality is that most of them are more like $50k cars.

AWD works in concert with the extended battery by using on the small front wheel motors on the highway to save power.

And AWD cars have better brake regen.

I get it though... for many of us who do not live in snowy conditions, then why would I want AWD when I can save that money and just get the RWD model.

I would think the reality is that you just cannot buy a $35k RWD non premium base color model.

rkawakami
Admin
Admin
Posts: 10135
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am
Location: San Jose, CA 95120 USA
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#5 Post by rkawakami » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:02 am

@RBS: AWD ≠ off roading. Or about the same reason why Porsche sells the Carrera 4. Or an Audi S4. Nobody in their right mind would ever consider taking those cars "off road". I originally wanted AWD as it is helpful for traction in the wet (we do occasionally get rain here in CA). It 'snows' about once every 3 or 4 decades here on the valley floor in San Jose. It generally will fall from the sky as flakes but once it hits the ground it's gone. However, most winters the hills around the valley will get snow that sticks. The summit on Highway 17 over to Santa Cruz tops out at about 1800 feet. Mount Hamilton's elevation is 4200 feet and only about 30 miles from downtown San Jose. While I don't go up to snow country (Lake Tahoe; 6200') all that much any more, nor do I like driving on roads which have the possibility of chain controls, AWD and snow (winter) tires can be a benefit in those times. Previous Teslas (S and X) which had AWD systems usually got better "mileage" than their RWD counterparts. That does not seem to be true for the Model 3. RWD and AWD versions with the Long Range battery both are rated for 310 miles. AWD systems also are rated with faster 0-60 times over RWD. At least according to Tesla's published figures: AWD 4.5sec vs RWD 5.1sec. Some people say that Tesla is sandbagging the RWD time. All I know is that the car is plenty fast for me at my age. If I was 30 years younger, I probably would have held out for the Performance 3. That has a time of 3.5sec 0-60. It's also AWD.

@Brad: My younger daughter is going to develop her manual transmission skills on the BMW. I plan to hang on to it just in case something major happens with the 3. I've read many reports of people having problems, with their cars in the shop longer than they have been able to drive it. Granted, in almost all of those cases Tesla has provided them with loaners; typically Model S. Hopefully my history with the Model 3 will be less troublesome. You know as well as I do that forum posts complaining about some issue(s) with their car (or laptop), can vastly misrepresent the scale of the problem simply because the people who have no problems at all are not going to bother signing up on a forum in order to post their happiness with the product.

I just realized something... all of the cars I've bought for myself since 1974 until now have been manual transmissions. 1971 Capri 2000, 1980 Mazda RX-7 GS, 1984 Mazda 626 Touring, 2000 BMW 323i. End of an era.

@TonyJZX: Correct. Tesla is currently in the game to stay alive. That means selling more profitable versions of the Model 3 before even accepting orders for the base model; the highly touted $35,000 electric car for the masses. With the current models being offered, the cheapest one runs $50K (base: $35K, LR battery +$9K, Premium Upgrade Package +$5K, dest/doc fees +$1K). Any color other than black, add another $1K.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

FryPpy
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:29 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#6 Post by FryPpy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:34 pm

Great story.
rkawakami wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:02 am
I just realized something... all of the cars I've bought for myself since 1974 until now have been manual transmissions. 1971 Capri 2000, 1980 Mazda RX-7 GS, 1984 Mazda 626 Touring, 2000 BMW 323i. End of an era.
Yes this is end of an era. But i am so young to give my life to laptop;)

And 2 citations to this thread:
H.Ford wrote: Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black
Audi wrote: We invented Quattro for driving pleasure

Brad
**SENIOR** Member
**SENIOR** Member
Posts: 1870
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:41 am
Location: Long Island New York

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#7 Post by Brad » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:44 am

The era doesn't have to end. Look for used manual transmission BMW's as your spare car. I just picked up a used E53 6MT.

Brad
Long Island New York
T43p 2669-Q1U, A22p's UTU A21p HXU
Transnote, 770's 8AU, 600, 701CS, 755CD

TonyJZX
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 514
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:33 am

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#8 Post by TonyJZX » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:18 pm

I've never driven a full EV but have driven hybrids like Prius and the like.

I think they are two opposites of the spectrum... there's a certain beauty in an EV that doesnt have an idle etc.

I would potter around the city on EV power and its an almost alien feeling. I quite like it but dont find it super enjoyable then again who enjoys urban cycle.

Opposite is when I'm on a winding country drive and I'm in a n/a V8 w/ manual transmission of course RWD. That's what I find enjoyable.

So if you're fortunate enough to own two cars on this spectrum then yeah, you're covered.

Rob Mayercik
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 6:50 am
Location: NJ, U.S.A.

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#9 Post by Rob Mayercik » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:31 pm

rkawakami wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:14 am
That's what is interesting about the Tesla. Features can be added or improved through what is essentially firmware upgrades done over AT&T's 4G LTE cell phone network.
I know you haven't had the car long yet, Ray, but has Tesla employed that capability on your car since you've had it?

I ran across mention of this recently in an article about how CR found a bug in the ABS algorithms, and Tesla created/pushed out a patch to their car and all the others to fix it. While it's very nifty and certainly is a more flexible design than traditional automotive computing equipment, there are aspects of this that make me rather nervous:

What safeguards are in place to prevent compromise of this update system via either "incompetence or malice" (hackers, or stupid stuff like some of the Windows-bricking service packs of days gone by)?

Do these "over the air" updates require the owner of the vehicle to consent to (or even be notified about) an update before same is applied? Or does buying the car basically require you to submit to any and all updates at any time with no further notification/consent?

Can updates be applied while the vehicle is in motion, or only if it is parked and shut down?

For that matter, I wonder if there's any publicly-available information on what the development and testing processes are for the SW in the Teslas - are they required to adhere to DO178-B/DO-278 (FAA SW/Firmware standards for safety-of-life-critical systems), or some ground-based equivalent (especially for all those driver assist/self-driving bits)?

All that aside, if the car is meeting/exceeding your needs, that's great. Hope your ownership experience is a long and happy one.
T61p 8891-CTO
TP600 2645-45u (Upgraded to PII-400)

TonyJZX
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 514
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:33 am

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#10 Post by TonyJZX » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:11 pm

While its apparent Elon is a bit of a d*ck, I trust that he has hired some of the best engineers in the world so I dont think firmware is such a big issue.

eg. we are on a laptop forum.... we know how far security for BIOS upgrades can be. If they adhere to just that we're ok.

I also think there must be some osmosis from SpaceX - their standards I feel should be close to aerospace standards.

Saucey
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:22 pm
Location: San Diego, California
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#11 Post by Saucey » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:03 pm

I have a friend who had done the deposit and had been notified they could configure their Tesla earlier in this July.
Good to hear input about it from someone on this forum. :)
I'm not so sure about having a dash screen that control everything in your car, but I'm sure the Tesla app can help you out in a pinch if something faults with it, there is a fairly bad glare or someone accidentally cracks the touch feature...

Hows the power and handling on that thing? Can it run circles around the sport 3 Series? :P
Seeing a Tesla S at a drag strip, I was surprised how well it did against other tuned cars.
Too bad you can't really rev it and make the wheels spin, it only had a little bit of slippage when it raced.
I don't know if they did any mods to it, but it did run for about 4 hours with the other 30-ish cars there.
Coffee, ThinkPads & Nikon Fan.

Current: PixelBook, Y50-70, T430
Collected: A31p, T43p, 2521
Past: W700ds, X1C3, 701C

BillMorrow
*Senior* Admin
*Senior* Admin
Posts: 7255
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:40 pm
Location: San Francisco -> Florida -> Georgia
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#12 Post by BillMorrow » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:52 am

heh..
just finished reading ray's thread..
just after emailing ray some tesla news..
one item being a wall street journal review which was very positive..
for me, i just don't care for touch screen controlled cars.. mercedes has a screen on all their cars now and i don't care for it at all..
i like to drive and have muscle memory know where the control buttons are not have to divert my attention from the roadway..
as for shifting, i don't care to do it.. had enough of stick shifts in my brit sports cars of the '50's and '60's.. i'm still sort of surprised i lived through some of the antics i pulled.. :eek:

even so the WSJ review kind of inspired me to look into a model 3 tesla but since i drive about 20 miles a week i'll just hang on to my elderly SL55.. :)

happy miles with your model 3, ray.. :banana:
Bill Morrow, kept by parrots :parrot: & cockatoos
Sysop - forum.thinkpads.com

*
She was not what you would call refined,
She was not what you would call unrefined,
She was the type of person who kept a parrot.
~~~Mark Twain~~~

rkawakami
Admin
Admin
Posts: 10135
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am
Location: San Jose, CA 95120 USA
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#13 Post by rkawakami » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:01 pm

@TonyJZX: The only other non-ICE car I've driven was a loaner BMW i3. Goofy looking, quiet, suicide doors, decent acceleration (nothing compared to the 3) but terrible on range. The one I had included the REx option; a tiny ICE motor in the back that generates electricity. Combined, the battery and gas engine offered about 150 miles of range before you had to either recharge the battery or re-fill the 2 gallon gas tank. Newer versions supposedly have increased the range somewhat but still nothing you would want to use on a long trip.

@Rob Mayercik: I have not yet received an over-the-air (OTA) update for my car. I got it with 2018.24.1 and I believe that there has been at least two releases after this. My understanding is that cars are updated on a semi-random basis and (normally) not something that is pushed out to the entire fleet all at once. As far as I know, updates take place while the car is idle and not something that occurs as you are driving. You are supposed to be able to have the latest update pushed to your car if you contact the service center or have the car in for servicing. The ABS fix you mentioned should be part of the release that I have. And yes, it can be a little worrisome that somebody could remotely brick your car. Or take control over the operation of the steering, accelerator and/or brakes. I didn't order any of those autonomous options in my car; the only thing I have is basic cruise control. However, those autopilot and self-driving things can be remotely activated OTA. The hardware is already in the car and it's a matter of flipping some bits in the firmware. As to the safeguards and consent, we (Tesla owners) essentially signed away those controls. AFAIK, there's no easy way to opt-out of the updates. I suppose one could try to hack the car and defeat the AT&T cell service that OTA uses. But doing so would affect the traffic notices on the GPS, the streaming radio options (Slacker and Tunein) and who knows what else. One would hope that the software engineers and QA/QC people at Tesla are following any regulations that govern safety-of-life equipment.

@Saucey: Agree that the screen is one of the weak points of the car. Practically everything runs through it. In order to open the glovebox, you have to push an icon on the screen! Power over my 323i, given the Bimmer is 18 years old now, is much greater. A recent loaner of an BMW X2 seemed to have more power than my 3 series but it is still eclipsed by the Tesla. Handling is decent even with the factory rubber. Once they wear down I'm planning to put something more sporty than the all-season Michelin Primacy MXM4s.

@BillMorrow: Thanks, Bill!
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

BillMorrow
*Senior* Admin
*Senior* Admin
Posts: 7255
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:40 pm
Location: San Francisco -> Florida -> Georgia
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#14 Post by BillMorrow » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:43 am

ray..
just occurred to me..since there are hacks for 'normal' cars and their onboard engine control modules that give more speed and so forth, what, aside from the OTA updates failing or ratting you out, is to prevent you from hacking your own ECM or whatever tesla calls it, and turning on those enhanced driverless options yourself.. ?
eh..? :twisted:
Bill Morrow, kept by parrots :parrot: & cockatoos
Sysop - forum.thinkpads.com

*
She was not what you would call refined,
She was not what you would call unrefined,
She was the type of person who kept a parrot.
~~~Mark Twain~~~

evening_hunger
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:55 pm
Location: Normandy, France

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#15 Post by evening_hunger » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:43 am

x320/i7-2620M/8GB/256gb.ssd/FHD13.3''IPS/debian_testing (main driver)
x230/i5/8GB/500gb.hdd+256gb.m2ssd/IPS/debian_stable+win7 (better half)

BillMorrow
*Senior* Admin
*Senior* Admin
Posts: 7255
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:40 pm
Location: San Francisco -> Florida -> Georgia
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#16 Post by BillMorrow » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:36 pm

interesting.. does not answer if it is hackable..

another question is battery life.. how long before it degrades to the point of needing a new battery to get the same miles as when new..
Bill Morrow, kept by parrots :parrot: & cockatoos
Sysop - forum.thinkpads.com

*
She was not what you would call refined,
She was not what you would call unrefined,
She was the type of person who kept a parrot.
~~~Mark Twain~~~

rkawakami
Admin
Admin
Posts: 10135
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am
Location: San Jose, CA 95120 USA
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#17 Post by rkawakami » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:56 am

I'm not sure if there's any active attempt to hack the firmware in a Tesla. At least I've not run into it being discussed anywhere yet. My understanding is that the various options that can be added to the car after it has been sold by way of an over-the-air update (Enhanced AutoPilot, Full Self-Driving, for example), is done based upon the vehicle's VIN. There's a database somewhere at Tesla that says what each car is entitled to have. A recent hurricane revealed how easy it was for Tesla to unlock some features in their vehicles almost on a moments notice.

Back in Sept. 2017 Hurricane Irma came crashing through Florida and people had to evacuate. At the time, Tesla had sold some vehicles that was rated as 60kWh (kilowatt-hours) in an effort to offer a lower cost version. 75kWh was the norm back then and cost a little bit more than the 60 ($6000 extra IIRC). In a Model S, 60kWh was good enough for about 250 miles on a full charge; Model X with a 60kWh battery probably had a range of around 200-210 miles. People were told that when they bought the S 60 or X 60 that there was actually a 75kWh battery on board and that it was software limited to only delivering 60kWh worth of energy. If they decided later on that they needed the extra 40-50 miles of range, a simple OTA update could be done (after paying the $6K of course). This allow Tesla to get people to buy a "cheaper" car, get hooked on the idea of an electric vehicle (EV) and let them upgrade as they deemed necessary. What has this got to do with Hurricane Irma? The story goes that one owner of a Model S 60 asked Tesla to temporarily unlock the extra power in his car so that he could get the maximum possible range to leave the area. Tesla remotely unlocked allof the 60kWh vehicles registered in Florida.

This is related to a philosophy that Tesla has designed into their cars. I bought mine without all of the bells-and-whistles related to autonomous driving; the autopilot and self-driving modes. However, the hardware that supports these features is still installed and ready to be activated if and when I hand over the $$$$. Is Tesla losing money by doing it this way? Maybe, but I think that they have priced the vehicles with this in mind. They are recovering most, if not all, the cost associated with the hardware. Activating the software is just gravy to their bottom line.

As to the battery life... The basic warranty on the battery (and drive motor) is 8 years or 120,000 miles for retaining 70% of the original capacity. The Long Range (LR) battery that I have, said to be 78kWH in an EPA filing, is rated for 310 miles. So I would qualify for a warranty replacement if my range degrades to a maximum of 217 miles. How much would a new battery be if it fails outside the warranty period? Completely unknown at this moment. As with all lithium ion batteries, it's going to exhibit age degradation from the time that the packs are assembled and first put into use. I do know that the LR cost $9000 more than the Standard Range battery; rated for about 220 miles. I also know that Tesla does not recommend charging to full capacity all the time (90% for daily use; 100% only if going on a long trip). This is one of the major unknowns with EVs as there's not much data on pack longevity but here's an extreme example:

https://electrek.co/2018/07/17/tesla-mo ... s-3-years/

What's more important to me right now is something that has been deemed "vampire drain". It's the small, or sometimes quite large, decrease in range encountered while the car is sitting idle. Typical losses are around 2-3 miles in 9-12 hours. For some time I was losing 1 mile every hour. It turned out that an app that I loaded on my phone which kept track of the trips I made and the energy that I used, was causing the car to "wake-up" out of sleep mode and eat some battery juice. Killed that app as fast as I could.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

Rob Mayercik
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 6:50 am
Location: NJ, U.S.A.

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#18 Post by Rob Mayercik » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:21 pm

Very interesting hurricane story, Ray - that was good thinking on Tesla's part to gift the extra range under those circumstances. Of course, now I have to wonder if some bright soul will suggest the idea of renting that extra range for short periods instead of a one-time purchase...

I certainly hope that Tesla has anticipated the potential security implications of their OTA infrastructure and is actively working to keep ahead of those who will undoubtedly try to hack the cars, because there are a lot of aspects of it I do like (and your hurricane story added another).

As for losing money by their "SW philosophy"? I have my doubts - if nothing else, only having to maintain control over only one SW image is far less complex/costly than having separate builds for different configs (60/75 kWh, autopilot, etc.) - configuration management, validation/regression testing, certifications, and such are all labor-intensive (read: expensive) and the fewer configurations you have to maintain separate control over the better. I'd wager that having only one "SW Part" might have cost them a little more up-front, but it'll probably save them lots in the long-run (especially with this "a la carte" upgrade model you describe).

Edit: I've heard of the power phenomenon you're talking about before, but I've always heard it called "parasitic drain" - when did someone start calling it "Vampire drain"?
T61p 8891-CTO
TP600 2645-45u (Upgraded to PII-400)

rkawakami
Admin
Admin
Posts: 10135
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am
Location: San Jose, CA 95120 USA
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#19 Post by rkawakami » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:12 am

I have been keeping my eye out on any reports of people attempting to hack Teslas. Although I expect to see somebody trying to unlock features they haven't paid for, rather than any real malicious behavior. Yes, OTA updates can be considered a prime attack vector, but the Tesla app that you load into your smartphone could be just as bad. The app allows control over locking and unlocking the car, opening the trunk and frunk, opening and closing the charge port, stopping the charge session, flashing the lights and honking the horn. Getting remote control over those things range from being a little annoying to downright unsafe and/or unsecure. I just hope that Tesla has hired some great S/W engineers.

"Vampire drain" is the term that has become commonplace at both forums.tesla.com and teslamotorsclub.com. It's been in use since around 2013 as far as I can tell. And yes it's the same thing as parasitic drain.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

MikalE
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 764
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:51 pm
Location: Marissa, Illinois

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#20 Post by MikalE » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:19 am

Tesla recently announced it is discussing building a new gigafactory in Germany near the French border.
T500 C2D 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/500GB 7200 RPM Drive, 15.6in 1600x900 LCD, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard reader, media card reader, FPR, Win7 Pro64, whitelist BIOS, Ultimate-N 6300 AGN, German KB, Bluetooth 4.0.

Saucey
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:22 pm
Location: San Diego, California
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#21 Post by Saucey » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:26 pm

Having watched RichRebuilds on youtube, and knowing how car manufacturers are about tuning vehicles or 'chipping' them; I'm sure Tesla will void the warranty if there is any attempt in unathorized access into the firmware.

If I got a used 5 year old Tesla, and its my secondary car as the primary purpose of modding it, I wouldn't care about warranty being void.
However given you just got the car, I'd wager to wait a bit til you try that out.
Not sure if the car's Telemetry is nice as Windows 10's, Tesla seems to be very stingy about recalls on cars that are deemed 'undrivable'.

Maybe that angry engineer might make something out of tuning Teslas. :)
Coffee, ThinkPads & Nikon Fan.

Current: PixelBook, Y50-70, T430
Collected: A31p, T43p, 2521
Past: W700ds, X1C3, 701C

KentT
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:17 pm
Location: Athens, Tennessee

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#22 Post by KentT » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:05 pm

With all this new technology, why can't there be joysticks for an electric car, then disabled drivers can get by with one less set of adaptive equipment? And for all the nice features of Tesla, why can't they get some quality interior design which is comparable to the technology, and the awesome drivetrain. I'd love to see someone who could get us decent ergonomics and interiors up to the rest of the car, and how about premium sound which does the car justice. I admire more about the car than I dislike about the car, but it's more technology driven than common sense design. Getting some refinements and less rough edges, Tesla would be hard to beat overall.

Galeb_G2
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:24 am
Location: Brussels, Belgium / Moscow, Russia

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#23 Post by Galeb_G2 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:02 am

Not to mention that being a cool looking high tech electric car isn't the only ace in Tesla's sleeve ; one of their big selling points is the whole "self-driving car" thing as well. And it looks like they've found gold in the river, since most markets are preparing for these becoming the norm! For example, here, they're talking about how it will radically change how we buy houses, how we go to work, and general overall urban organisation.

TonyJZX
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 514
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:33 am

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#24 Post by TonyJZX » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:27 am

I was in the Tesla showroom today and I feel like the Model 3 is just too small for me.

With the seat at the lowest I feel like I'm too close to the roof and my head is brushing the roof in the back.

This is the glass top car. I"m about dead on 6 foot zero etc.

The Model S seem to fit me better but its twice the price.

I feel like I spent my life in too many full sized sedans salooons or SUVs.

RealBlackStuff
Admin
Admin
Posts: 19311
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA
Contact:

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#25 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:40 pm

How to steal a Tesla Model S in seconds
Hope this doesn't apply to Model 3 as well... :(

TonyJZX
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 514
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:33 am

Re: My Tesla Model 3 story (very long)

#26 Post by TonyJZX » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:29 am

If you hear about in on zdnet you can bet all the rocket scientists at Tesla are patching this hole as we speak.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Off-Topic Stuff”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: coolcat37, WarhawkCZ and 8 guests