Well, the wait for my Tesla Model 3 (Long Range AWD) car was over on Wednesday.
A Tesla delivery person showed up with my car at my house shortly after 10.30 am. I signed some papers and handed over a check. We linked up my phone with the car, and that was it, for the delivery.
As for getting behind the steering wheel, completing the setup of the car on the touchscreen, and starting to drive it: I am very fortunate to have friends that have been Tesla owners for awhile, and that have provided me with invaluable pointers and ‘tech support’ from the day I had put in my order nine weeks ago. It would have been a very steep learning curve, with many stumbles, without them.
The 15-in. touchscreen shows the car’s position in traffic, its speed and a navigation map with (optional) driving directions. The screen is also the interface for entertainment and a host of other controls for the car.
There is a standard turn-signal stalk & a gear selector stalk (R N D P) by the steering wheel, and buttons on the wheel for volume control & the sideview mirrors.
Modern cars are all high-tech, but one can argue Teslas are a notch or two above that. The software that controls the car’s interface and functions will be updated from time to time through my home wi-fi network. The car has no key: your phone is the key. ‘The car knows you want to drive when you get in’, as Elon Musk likes to say. On long trips, the navigation map will work out which chargers to go to, and will indicate how many open chargers are available at nearby locations.
My car came standard with some Autopilot* functions – which I can choose to engage at any time. I opted out of getting the ‘Full Self-Driving’ functionality. (*Autopilot is an advanced driver assistance system: automated steering within a clearly marked lane, and matching the car’s speed with that of surrounding traffic. ‘Full Self-Driving’ is automated driving functionality that actively guides the car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including lane changes, navigating interchanges, automatically engaging the turn signal and taking the correct exit).
I love the high-tech, but at the end of the day I am just thrilled to have a car that drives on electricity. No more fill-ups at the gas station for me. I hope that in the not-too-distant-future, all the cars in the world can become electric.
|The body is mostly steel, with some aluminum. The 2021 Model 3 replaced the chrome door handles, side mirror trim, window trim, and camera covers with a black finish. It has a double-paned windshield, a powered trunk, and a new center console. Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection. Curb weight is 4,072 lb (1,847 kg).
|Motors||Two electric motors (‘dual-motor all-wheel drive’).
Front motor: Alternating Current (AC) Induction.
Rear motor: Alternating Current (AC) Permanent Magnet.
|Transmission||Automatic, one-speed fixed gear, 9:1 ratio.
|Battery||82 kW-h capacity. Rated range of 353 miles (568 km).|
|Wheels||Aluminum, aerodynamic covers. Four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system; regenerative braking to extend battery power.
|Controls inside||LCD touchscreen in landscape orientation that combines the instrument cluster and infotainment. Heating and air-conditioning cooling efficiency increased by heat pump with octovalve.|