I had an opportunity to give Kayla a ride to work today. Her husband, Josh, had already had a couple of rides so she was tickled to have an opportunity. Did I say tickled? I did. Let me tell you, Kayla, has the most contagious giggle and when I gave her a little hint of what the Tesla could she let out a giggle that still resonates! She brought a huge smile to my face when I heard her reaction to zero to 55mpg in a matter of seconds!
Thank you, Kayla, for making my day! Now, let's get a picture of Josh!
We were invited to share our Tesla Model S 90D with the seventh and eighth grade science class today. Their teacher, Mrs. Sammons, was a gracious hostess and we were able to speak to two classes for the entire period! They were filled with wonder, questions, and loved a peek into their future.
Both classes asked some really good questions and were especially tickled when Tom showed them the summon feature, where he can move the car via his phone app.
As relatively new Tesla Model S 90D owners, we do not let anyone drink even water in our car. This video may change our mind ... if you can pass the test, you can drink anything you want in our car. Share your thoughts ... leave a comment below!
IS THIS THE PICKUP TRUCK OF THE FUTURE? by Edward A. Sanchez – Aug 4, 2016
Judging by the 325,000-and-counting pre-orders for the Tesla Model 3 and the associated media frenzy, there’s a lot of interest in the upstart California automaker. Best known for its Model S luxury sedan, Tesla has now dipped its toe ever-so-tangentially into the world of trucks with the Model X Crossover. While the styling and proportions of the Model X aren’t quite as compelling and elegant as the Model S, there’s no disputing it’s a formidable machine, with more than 600 hp and an equivalent amount of instantly available electric torque.
What got our attention are the multiple mentions given by Tesla CEO Elon Musk over the last few years about his desire to ultimately develop and sell a truck. Below are a few of our conjectures about what features will be on this future battery-powered hauler, which for the purposes of this feature, we will call the Model U for “Utility.” It also broadly fits into Musk’s naming scheme. We like “U S3XY.”
Trucks are all about work, and no matter how high-tech they are, that will be their focus, and that was also our focus in coming up with some of the features and design of our Tesla dream truck. However, just because it’s functional and practical doesn’t mean it can’t be good looking. And to that end, we’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Here are some of the key features we believe a Tesla truck might (and should) have.
It Will Shatter the Mold
Tesla is never one to follow convention. Aside from having four wheels and a steering wheel, the company largely goes its own way in design and engineering. Building a truck from the ground up as an electric (rather than an adaptation of a gas-powered model) allows for this. Not being constrained by existing truck design conventions will allow it to integrate a lot of handy, useful features that would not otherwise be possible or easy in conventional pickups.
It Will Have an Epic “Frunk”
One of the most beloved features on Tesla models is their front trunk or “frunk,” a cavernous storage space in the location where a gas engine would be if Teslas had one. We expect the Model U to have an incredible frunk. Behind the “T,” we expect the frunk on the Model U to incorporate commodious storage in standard form. We expect it to offer multiple USB, 12V, and 120V outlets and wet/dirty storage with a drain plug. Aftermarket drop-in accessories could include charging stations for cordless tool batteries, a refrigerator cabinet similar to that from companies like ARB and Engle, and multiple organization trays.
An Awesome Bed
Because it’s electrically powered, Tesla’s truck doesn’t have to rely on a conventional driveshaft and solid rear axle. For this application we expect in-wheel motors, which is the next logical evolution of Tesla’s technology. This would allow the bed to be far deeper than a normal truck’s, down to a height where tall or bulky items could simply be rolled into the bed. This would be a welcome feature for powersports enthusiasts. For models equipped with the built-in air compressor, air hose connections would be located behind a panel inside the bed for filling tires, blowing off dusty bikes or quads, or running air tools for repairs, as would multiple 12V, 120V, and 240V power outlets.
Ready for Work
We envision Tesla’s truck to be the hub of the job site. To keep from depleting the battery from a full day of using air tools hooked up to the truck and the wireless tool battery chargers, the truck will have a heavy-duty power input port to hook up to jobsite power. Workers can use the ample-sized optional frunk fridge to keep their lunches and drinks cold. If it starts to get dark, flip on the 360-degree LED “halo” light on top of the cab, casting bright light all around the perimeter of the truck.
A Lot of Power
Everyone was wowed when the Super Duty’s 6.7L Power Stroke Diesel was updated with 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of torque and the Ram 3500 got 900 lb-ft. Expect the top-spec Tesla truck to easily have that much torque and an unassisted towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. It would be the quickest-accelerating factory fullsize truck available. A 5-second flat unloaded 0-60 time is likely. Electric motors have proven they can produce gobs of power. However, they also can consume gobs of power, especially under load. That brings us to our next feature.
Home on the Range
One of the greatest challenges of owning an electric car is range anxiety, the fear of running out of electrons before the driver can get to a charger. Tesla has largely cured that disease with its fast-charging (and free) Supercharger network, which can provide Teslas with a couple hundred additional miles of driving in about 30 minutes.
Even so, a heavy work vehicle needs at least 400 miles of range for convenience’s sake. To that end, expect the Model U to have a base-level battery pack with a capacity of about 120 kWh and a top-level unit of around 160 kWh. That’s about double that of the Tesla Model S, resulting in some extra range to ease owners’ woes.
Modular, Portable Battery Pack
For those times where a little more range and power are needed, an auxiliary battery can be secured on top of the bed floor, resulting in only a minimal amount of storage loss. This would add another 100 or so miles of range when towing, and could be removed and mounted on the owner’s garage wall for auxiliary home solar power storage, or have its charge topped off by the owners home solar system. Think of it as a sort of Power Wall lite. The truck will also have a solar roof and optional solar tonneau panel for trickle charging when parked. Removing the battery and placing it in the bed would be an easy two-person job, with the battery sliding in and locking to the Model U’s bed floor rail system.
Sleek, Modern, Useful Interior
If the Model S, X and 3 are anything to go by, expect the interior of the Tesla truck to be sleek and outwardly minimalist, but packed with handy and cool features. It will likely have a large touchscreen on the dashboard, controlling almost all functions. The instrument display would be infinitely configurable to the driver’s tastes, displaying everything from power consumption, estimated range, inclinometer, and more. Because it won’t have to accommodate a traditional frame, axle, driveshaft, and transfer case, we expect the floor of the cab to be lower for improved ingress and egress, and the comfort and room will be generous. Depending on how far along the technology and regulatory environment have come, some form of Tesla’s Autopilot autonomous driving system will likely be employed. Additional features specific to the truck that would be handy are auto trailer hookup and reversing; range prediction based on route, topography, speed and climate; and estimated arrival time. Naturally, there will be an abundance of connectivity and entertainment options.
Innovative Four-Wheel Drive
Electric motors allow for essentially infinite low-range, and it’s likely the truck will offer an air suspension system, raising or lowering the truck by several inches. Expect the underbody to be completely sealed aside from a few service panel openings—essentially a bumper-to-bumper skidplate. As an outgrowth of the Autopilot program, look for an “AutoSpotter” program to recognize obstacles and help get the truck through tricky parts of an off-road trail.
It Won’t Be Cheap, But There Are Options
Tesla is known to blow the budget on some of its models, and the truck will likely be no exception. However, if Tesla is truly determined to take a chunk out of F-150 and Silverado sales, it knows its truck can’t start in the six figures. However, expect fully loaded models to go for as much or more as a loaded Model S or X. We expect the starting price to be around $60,000 to $70,000 for a basic crew cab all-wheel-drive model. Tesla’s version of the King Ranch or Denali will likely be in the $100,000 to $150,000 range.
Heading to Dothan with my grandson, Aidan, I had just stopped at a stoplight. A minivan pulled up and the driver and passenger were looking the car over from front to back. Being on my right, I lowered the passenger window and made eye contact with the driver. "I love your car," he said.
"We do, too!" I told him. He began rapid-firing questions which I quickly answered. His wife slipped in a question about the Tesla driving itself. I told her our Model S did have auto pilot. That seemed to amuse her, or maybe it was shock. Not sure. I mentioned it went from zero to 60mph in 4.2 seconds and offered to show them the car. They both looked a little stunned.
"Follow me," I offered. Checking traffic - vehicles and foot traffic, of course - I watched for the light to change. As the light turned to yellow, I double-checked my surroundings, and when green I nailed it to just beyond the posted speed limit and quickly slowed moving into their lane. I turned on my signal and pulled into The Battery Source which was about to close.
The first thing I heard was that they were on their way to take their daughter to dance and they had just two minutes to get there. The young woman was gracious and her husband take a couple of minutes to check out the Tesla. While he was looking around, I opened the frunk which immediately got his attention. The look on his face was almost indescribable! To say jaw-dropping would be an understatement. When she looked there were two jaws dropping. I offered him a look inside and again his jaw dropped. "It's beautiful. Just beautiful."
We were about to talk about where we charged it, but they really needed to go. They both thanked me repeatedly and left with smiles on their faces.
I should mention, an employee at The Battery Source tried twice to help us. He wasn't quite sure about the Tesla, especially when under the hood seemed to be lacking an engine.
I love our Tesla Moments ... I love to share the up and coming technology!
Dinner was at Minako's Japanese tonight (great sushi ... actually everything is great!). As we were waiting for our dessert, a young woman approached our table and asked it we had the Tesla parked outside. When we said we did her eyes lit up. She said she loved Tesla and mentioned she followed someone who had one on Facebook (no, it wasn't us).
She was so excited to see one in Ozark, Alabama! She said she peeked inside but because it was just past dusk, it was, of course, difficult to see inside. I offered to show her our Tesla after we finished dinner. To say she was excited is an understatement. She remembered reading about our adventure in our local paper, too.
When we had finished dinner their salads had just arrived. I approached her and offered to show her the car and apologized for interrupting their dinner. She assured me it was no problem. She left with me leaving her husband and small son behind.
She followed me outside and I popped the "hood" ... and her amazement was hard to hide. She said she had to get her husband who knew he like the look of the car, but admittedly didn't know much about Tesla.
She returned with him and their child and we chatted for about ten minutes - I remembering they dinner had probably already arrived - she didn't care ... so funny. Knowing their dinner was ready I offered her a ride another time. I told her to "LIKE" Wyse Decision on Facebook and send me a message with she was ready.
People often ask us where we charge our car. Aside from having a charger at home that does nicely overnight, we have access to Tesla Superchargers about 200 miles apart on most interstates. However, we don't always travel on interstates so what are we to do?
First, we joined PlugShare where we have access to chargers across the country. There is a gadget Tom bought that helps us considerably and if you are a Tesla owner I would recommend you purchase one and keep it in your car (this is where the sub-trunk comes in handy). It's called a CHAdeMO (link goes to Tesla Motors site). I was curious about just what that was or even meant and I found this lovely little explanation: CHAdeMO is an abbreviation of "CHArge de MOve", equivalent to "move using charge" or "move by charge". The name is also a pun drawn from O cha demo ikaga desuka in Japanese, translating to English as "How about some tea?", referring to the time it would take to charge a car. CHAdeMO can charge low-range (120 km / 75miles) electric cars in less than half an hour. We have used ours many, many times at Nissan dealers, who are, so far, a delightfully accommodating bunch.
Our current go to Nissan dealers in Alabama are Jack Ingram Nissan in Montgomery and Benton Nissan just south of Birmingham in Hoover. Rumor has it we are getting a Supercharger in Birmingham, but until we do ... we go CHAdeMo all the way!
If you've never seen a Tesla Supercharger they are often located off most US interstates, malls, airports, and sometimes one needs to take the scenic route to find one! Here we are at the Auburn Supercharger.
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