My 2018 Tesla Model 3
It’s been more than two years since my last blog post. So why now? And why Tesla? The short answer is that while stuck at home recovering from a nasty automobile accident, I’ve learned (and continue to learn) quite a bit about the new Tesla Model 3. I have pages upon pages of notes that I’ve decided to re-purpose as an ongoing series of blog posts and articles.
The detailed introduction…
With the rapid growth of social media, the popularity of blogging has steadily waned. Two years ago, all my posts were about photography. Occasionally, I posted a long-form article about something I’d learned, but most of the posts were in conjunction with my YouTube and audio podcast photography gear reviews, first on All About the Gear (on the TWiP network) and then with Gordon Laing on the Cameralabs Photography podcast. Over time, YouTube became increasingly important, and interest in the blog versions of my reviews — really not much more than links to YouTube — slowly faded. And besides, I’ve been so busy with the reviews and with teaching photography, Lightroom and Photoshop, I didn’t have much to say.
For the past three months, my wife and I have been recovering from a head-on car crash. Our injuries were quite serious: broken necks, broken sternums, broken ribs and (in my wife’s case) a badly broken wrist. The accident was May 4, 2018. I’m still confined to a cervical collar and my wife’s wrist is still in a cast. Bottom line: although we’re healing, neither of us can drive so we’re remarkably homebound and getting bored and grumpy. But we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My need to do something probably encouraged my return to blogging.
Okay, so back to Teslas…
On March 31, 2016 I, like many others, put down a $1,000 deposit on a Tesla Model 3. I had previously driven a Model S and even had a deposit on a Model X. But I was never happy enough with either of these cars to buy one. Sight-unseen, however, I was pretty sure the Model 3 would be the right car for me. So I waited. And waited.
Knowing that I’d soon be able to place an order or request a deposit refund, I rented a local Model 3 in March via Turo. No way I was going to order a new car without having driven one and Tesla had no demo cars for test drives. I loved it and placed a firm order as soon as Tesla notified me I could. So I waited.
Our accident was May 4. Eight days later I was released from the hospital, but was told I’d be in the collar and out-of-commission for at least 12 weeks. Sure enough, just two weeks after getting home I got the call from Tesla. “Your car is ready. You and your wife must both sign the documents and you need to pick it up here in Fremont [60 miles away] in two days. Otherwise, you’ll forfeit your deposit and lose your place in line.”
I explained our situation — we could barely walk — and said there was no way we could be in Fremont in two days. The rep said he’d get back to me. I posted our dilemma on social media, where a few thousand people read about it and hundreds left comments.
The next day, the rep called with the news that his manager had a change of heart. Instead of our traveling to Fremont, Tesla would now deliver the car to me, at my home and my wife didn’t have to sign the documents after all. “How’s tomorrow?”
On May 30, 2018 I took delivery of a gorgeous Deep Metallic Blue Tesla Model 3 with 66 miles on the odometer. The Tesla employee who delivered it, took Uber back to Fremont.
If you’ve ever been stuck at home for an extended period for health reasons, but been in pretty good shape overall, you know how bored and anxious you become. I can’t go places without rides from friends, Uber or Lyft and because we live atop a hill that’s too steep and long for me to walk up, I’l relegated to sitting at home in front of screens. And you know what that means: web browsing and shopping!
The Model 3 is sitting in the garage with just 247 miles on it (none of them driven by me) after two months. But it hasn’t been neglected. The car has been wrapped in vinyl, ceramic coated, outfitted with a fancy new front/rear dashcam and generally been adorned with almost every possible aftermarket add-on from decals and “performance” pedal covers to floor mats. The only thing that has saved me so far is that the car is relatively new and a lot of aftermarket accessories haven’t been released yet. If it’s available, I’ve probably bought one.
In the blog posts to follow I will document some of the many things I’ve learned about the Tesla Model 3. There’s nothing new here, but I hope to present it topic-by-topic with plenty of links to other sites so that these blog posts become a valuable resource for you and for me. Hope you enjoy it.