I spent Saturday at the first Teslive event. The day went smoothly with the clear highlights were Elon’s Q&A and the speech by the vegetarian female enviornmentalist race car driver Leilani Munter. Her speech highlighted the process of change and advocacy in a real world setting. Elon received a standing ovation before and after speaking and came across not only as a clear leader but a decent human being. The audience also appropriately loudly booed when an attendee said that women “aren’t as techie.”
The sentiment in the room was that we may be at the tipping point for sustainable transportation. I have been active in the electric car world now for seven years, driving Teslas for over four years. The fact a user generated event like this was sold out with a lot of people from other states and a few other countries was quite different than my first encounter with Tesla in 2006 in a parking lot at Palo Alto High School.
I did not walk away from Saturday with a huge amount of new information but here are some small tidbits:
- Tesla put a large effort into the safety of the Model S that probably has not received much attention.
- The users and Tesla employees themselves have a lot of good ideas for software enhancements but probably little will be developed very soon as they are focusing on the rollout in Europe.
- Driving in the hills will use up from 7-10 miles per 1,000 feet. Driving back down you will recover between 60-85% of this energy back. Due to your exact charging locations and driving needs, you may need to do a bit of calculation to figure out when you need to recharge.
- The Roadster batteries are holding up a little better than expected. The data so far is a very linear degradation based upon miles driven. The charge storage decline is due to recharging the batteries. Other factors such as cold or hot climates do not seem to impact the Tesla batteries as they are somewhat climate controlled in contrast to some of the other electric vehicle battery packs (e.g. Nissan Leaf).
- Wandering completely free form road trips off the beaten path away from the super chargers still seems burdensome to me. RV parks are the most reasonable solution for medium speed charging but they aren’t always right next to where you want to be.