Monday, December 29, 2014

12/26 - 12/29 - Portland & Fremont - Delivery & First Leg

After reading about owners having a great experience taking delivery at the Tesla headquarters and factory in Fremont, California, I emailed Xander, our DC-based Tesla delivery specialist about doing a factory delivery.  We had done this in Munch with a prior BMW, and being gearheads, loved the experience.  Xander explained that non-California redidents cannot receive factory delivery due to absurd California sales/excise tax laws that would have ended up adding about $13,000 to the purchase.  However, he offered that Tesla could deliver the car at their Portland, OR, delivery center, and we could drive from there to Fremont for the tour.

Our P85D order was confirmed in late November, with a "late December" expected delivery date.  Xander and the Portland delivery specialist, Jesse, believed that the car would be ready for delivery in Portland on Saturday, December 27.  Although quite skeptical, we proceeded with plans to fly to Portland the day after Christmas and receive the car the following day.  I made hotel reservations and flight arrangements, including an optimstic reservation at the Las Vegas Trump hotel for New Years Eve.

As the date approached, the car was still in queue, and not in production.  Around the 18th it went into production, and Jesse in Portland confirmed that the car would probably be ready on the 27th, and if not, the next day, a Sunday.  As Tesla was in engaged a major year-end push, all hands would be working over the weekend to make deliveries.  This is also an important deadline for many owners, who are counting on the $7,500 federal income tax credit for buying the car, but only available for deliveries by 12/31.

After a Christmas Day hike up Maryland Heights and dinner at the Bavarian Inn with our girls Jennifer and Sarah, we took an early flight to Portland, Oregon, on Friday, December 26.  

Good Las Vegas Omen

We had a long layover in Las Vegas.  In an hour I was up $845 playing airport poker slots, and stopped while ahead.  Lee lost $100, so the $745 paid for our flights and lunch!  Note the screen.

Portland, We're Here.  Car's Still In Fremont?

The Portland delivery specialist, Jesse, had emailed while we were in the Las Vegas airport, that the car was still at the factory, and he hoped it would be on a late Saturday truck, with possible delivery early on Sunday, 27th.  Darn, we had an appointment for paint protection and window tinting in Fremont on Monday.  That could make for a long day on Sunday, as it is nearly 700 miles between Portland and Fremont, with bad weather predicted.  We also had tentative plans to stay for two days with relatives in Los Altos, about 20 miles from Fremont, so they were up in the air. 

We checked into the Courtyard Marriott within walking distance of Tesla's Tigard, OR location.   Early the next morning, we walked in the rain over to the Tesla store, and saw only two old loaner cars, but no new cars.  Jesse said hi and offered one of the loaners for the day.  He also confirmed that our car was in a shipment of 20+ cars expected to arrive overnight from the factory.  He said it would be the first prepped in the morning, and sent us off in a dark blue P85 (old school Tesla model without dual drive) for the day.  We were still skeptical about our car getting to Portland from Fremont, but decided to make the best of the loaner, so headed out through the Columbia River valley on historic Route 30.  It was raining and cold, but it was still a good day.  We made it as far at the new Supercharger in Dalles, had lunch, and turned around.  We entertained taking the route around Mt. Hood, but it was snowing at high elevations and chains were required.  We didn't have snow tires or chains, so retraced the outbound route and went to the movies in Tigard instead (Big Eyes).

One of many waterfalls along the Columbia River 

A foggy, cold and rainy day, but a fun tour nonetheless.

The Vista House on Historic Route 30.  Not much "vista" in the fog.

Delivery & First Leg

Early on Sunday we took the loaner P85 back to the Tigard store.  It was transformed - the empty lot was now full of Model S's, mostly P85D's that had appeared overnight.  After the paperwork and  a few pictures, we were underway around noon, with 690 miles to cover and get back on schedule for Monday's tour and paint protection appointment.  

Jesses making sure all is right with the Maryland title, California registration, and Oregon paperwork.

Hm, looks just like our old car except the wheels, brake calipers and badge on the back.

Ready to head for Fremont.

The car's first Supercharge!

The second Supercharge!

We made it to Fremont!  No range anxiety but, but we averaged over 400 wh/mi, far above the 325 lifetime average with our old S85.  This was all conservative freeway driving, so we will have to be careful crossing the country.

The factory tour requires a confidentiality agreement, and no pictures are allowed, so no pictures of the tour, but it was excellent.  For a view inside the plant and how the car is built, watch the "How it is Made" episode for Tesla, or the National Geo special on the plant.  Links here: (How It's Made - Dream Cars - Tesla) (National Geographic special on Tesla factory)

So how did the car do?  Well, it took five Supercharges to make it to the Hampton Inn Fremont.  The car is much better put together than our old S85, tighter, quieter, smoother.  We were in range-preservation mode on the first leg, so I managed to avoid flooring it, and we still haven't experienced the 1.3 g launch.  Despite driving all the way very carefully, never more than 5 over the limit, the car is proving to be less efficient at using battery range than our older S85.  We could routinely get 225 miles of range on that car, and confidently go 190 miles in the "worst" freezing conditions.  Our average lifetime wh/mile for the older car was 325 over 30,000 miles.  We averaged almost exactly 400 wh/mi with the new car yesterday, 100% highway driving, and needed to stop at every supercharger along I-5 between Portland and Fremont.  We never had any range anxiety, and charges were fast, but I do not see this car getting over 200 miles range under any circumstances.  That's a dissapointment, and unexpected, because Elon Musk was much more optimistic in his projections.  He says in recent tweets that a new software release will restore the P85D's mileage to roughly equal to our prior car, and we hope so.  

We will post more statistical detail on this leg in a separate post, with stats on each charge and driving segment, signing off for now.

1 comment:

  1. Tires can take about 1000 miles to break in. I'd like to know if the watts/mile go down after your first 1000 miles. They should on average.