Tesla Owner and Teslaliving are two of the more in-depth independent Tesla owners and bloggers on the web. We’ve decided to join forces on this post to talk about or beginnings and focus areas and to encourage other owners to share their stories.
Although we live on opposite coasts in the United States, we are both engineers by trade and successful entrepreneurs.
Beginnings – Tesla Owner
I began a relationship with Tesla in 2006 at an EV event at Palo Alto High School. At the event, I talked to several different car “manufacturers”. The only one that impressed me was Tesla. They had a mockup / prototype of the Roadster that was pretty rough. After that initial conversation, I shortly put my $75,000 down for my Roadster. The blog was born upon the delivery of one of the first 200 Roadsters in 2008.
The Roadster was driven about 29,000 miles before being sold in early 2013 in order to purchase a Model S. The Model S now has 32,000 miles including being driven back and forth cross-country in the spring of 2014.
Beginnings – Tesla Living
My introduction to Tesla was oddly a from a sales guy at my office (not in the auto industry) dropping in and telling me I should buy a Tesla. I quickly googled it, saw the price, laughed him out of my office and forgot all about it. Or so I thought. 6 months later I was struggling with a car nearing 200,000 miles and a daughter about to start driving. I needed another car. My high mileage driving (at 100 miles a day on average) had my fuel costs at about $600/month. I started researching hybrids and almost talked myself into a Ford Fusion Hybrid but just couldn’t mentally get past the irrationality of having two powertrains in a vehicle. I slid towards EVs and found they had no range. Or almost all of them had no range. I looked at the Tesla and it still looked crazy. But then I saw Tesla’s attempt at justifying the cost and I wondered if they could be on to something. As an engineer, I ran the numbers. My math told me buying a modern replacement for what I was driving was the same financial decision as buying a Tesla Model S. I was 99% sold on the Model S before my test drive that concluded with an order. What I didn’t expect when mathematically picking a car was get so excited about it pre and post delivery and for that not to wear off. With more than 90 posts and new experiences in the Model S every week that passion has not worn off!
Focus Areas – Tesla Owner
The Tesla Owner site began when electric car drivers were very few and far between. I wanted to share a real world experience driving a high end electric car. Every service visit and every problem is documented in the blog. Since I began when so very few Tesla were on the road, the blog is written in an anonymous style in order to limit any possible identification by Tesla personnel. The idea was that all service visits and customer treatment would be the same as every other owner. But after some of the controversial data required a response before publishing, Tesla is aware of the true identity of Tesla Owner.
I sold the Roadster and changed to the Model S for two main reasons. First the Roadster is a very small car. The cabin space is very small. I’ve always enjoyed larger interiors and sufficient trunk space. My ICE car before the Roadster was a Mercedes E420. The second reason I switched to the Model S was the supercharging capabilities. I was so excited to be able to take long road trips without using gasoline.
When the first superchargers were built, I excitedly drove down to Gilroy and quickly took a trip down to Los Angeles. But I was not able to achieve the times Tesla was claiming for charging my car. My first controversial blog post was a test of the claim that a driver could charge 200 miles in 30 minutes. After repeated tests, Tesla was contacted to respond to the post including pulling data from the superchargers themselves. They subsequently lowered their claim down to 170 miles in 30 minutes.
In my career, I had worked in various engineering, marketing and quality roles. Somehow this past experience clearly influenced my blog. I then conducted some more supercharger time tests and a field test of the earlier A (90kW) batteries vs the newer batteries (120kW) with two other owners. The test in the end calmed down the somewhat angry early Tesla buyers by achieving a difference of only 5 minutes for charging between the oldest batteries and the newer ones.
The most harrowing experience that has been blogged about was an almost tire blow out due to shredding of the interior sidewall. Fortunately the Model S watches tire pressure and the car was stopped before the tire shredded completely.
Along side my Tesla specific posts, I blog from time to time technology related to keeping our environment clean. I have owned solar panels for many years now and am looking forward to reporting soon that all my electricity to drive my Tesla will be free forever.
Focus Areas – Tesla Living
As a hardware and software engineer I was drawn to the technology of the Model S. I love the interfaces and the potential they offer. I spend a lot of time poking at the software features and functions, noting the strengths and weaknesses, making lists of things I would love to see them add, collecting metrics on all sorts of things, and watching for new features as they’re delivered to owners with software updates. Not being very mechanical, another aspect of my blogging is sort of “Driving the Model S for Dummies” with one mistake or learning experience after another in owning an EV, and planning road trips, etc. Like Tesla Owner, I prefer to remain mostly anonymous as I intentionally write about the good and the bad of the Model S and Tesla and want to stay independent.
Top Posts – Tesla Owner
I have written over 250 posts in 5 1/2 years. More than half of these posts were about the Model S. The Roadster was a very fun car to drive but was a much simpler car that did not lead to as many interesting blogging subjects.
My most popular posts are feature comparisons. These posts continue to generate hits month after month as new Tesla buyers perform searches on the web. The top posts are comparisons between the different Model S models and choosing between the different wheel sizes along with two posts about aesthetics.
- 19″ vs. 21″ Wheels
- P85+ Loaner Report
- Performance and Plus
- Living With 110V
- Aesthetic Config
- New Darker Grey
Three other very popular posts are my aforementioned tests of the supercharger claims and my harrowing experience with tire issues. But my most popular all time post has nothing to do with the Model S and is in fact a more generic subject. I just don’t care for convertibles all that much.
Top Posts – Tesla Living
Some of my most popular posts are:
- Cost Justification – a tie?
- Playing music from USB in the Model S
- Charger Confusion
- Model S vs Model X
- 5 Mistakes for new Model S owners to avoid
I’ve written over 90 posts in 6 months and one of the most popular pages on my site is the list of all posts in order chronologically. Some people actually read all the posts from the beginning but that’s not for the faint of heart.
Future Plans – Tesla Owner
I always have a running list of topics to write about. Typically, half of them are relatively easy blogs to write and the other half require some in-depth analysis. I always like to throw in a few light hearted posts on related topics. For a long time, I wanted to update the aesthetics of my website including changing the picture of the Roadster to the Model S to avoid confusion.
I have already requested from my current Service Manager an P85D loaner! Hopefully sometime in 2015 I will be able to drive one for the day. I will definitely take it out for a good spin probably over to the coast like I did with the P85+ last year. I am very much looking forward to enjoying the 0-60 in 3.2 seconds but also would like to understand the characteristics of the acceleration.
Future Plans – Tesla Living
Like Tesla Owner I have a running list of things that come to me as I catch up on the Tesla and TMC forums, watch videos from Nick Howe and others, etc. Then life happens and more things end up on the list. Winter is coming fast here in New England and my adventure with solar is just beginning and already a mini-saga so I expect those two will drive quite a bit of the near term posts.