- Tesla Logo wheel cap decals
- License plate LED lights replacement
- Illuminated rear Tesla Logo
- Tesla Logo floor mats
- Motion sensor trunk LED lighting
- How to add interior lighting if you don't have the premium lighting package
- Tesla premium rear console
- Adding blue (or any color) door puddle lights
- Adding Tesla Logo door puddle lights
- Dual USB charger for rear seats
- Chrome dead pedal
- Tesla Logo seat belt pads
- Carbon fibre door sill covers
- Red painted brake calipers with Tesla Logos
- Aluminum pedals from COzero
- chrome accents for rear reflectors
I've now owned my Model S for more than a year and just realized that I've added 17 updates to the car since I picked it up. Some of them are done in minutes, others do take a little more time. So check them out if you've been thinking about adding something to your stock Model S:
The Tesla trip planner works really well
Earlier this month we went on our first big road trip using only superchargers. One way was roughly 800 kms / 560 miles. The Tesla navigation software gave us a route with a total of three stops:
We were a little worried that the remaining 14% battery would be cutting it a little too close but went ahead knowing that we could always stop at another supercharger before reaching the Hirschberg charger. So off we went onto the swiss and then the german Autobahn.
230 kms per hour on the Autobahn
And yes, we did kick the car up to 230kms an hour / 142 miles per hour for roughly 2-3 minutes. We could have gone even faster but my wife kept grabbing my leg until i felt my circulation stopping so I had to ease off the accelerator ; )
Even with this exessive short interlude, we arrived at the Hirscherg Supercharger with 19% of battery remaining, and here's the picture to prove it:
So off we went to the local McDonalds to stretch our legs. This particular supercharger was almost empty with just one other Tesla Model S charging. We decided to charge a little more than necessary, just to be on the safe side. We are swiss after all : ) This first experience with the Tesla trip planner showed, that it seems to calculate rather conservatively, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I'd rather end up with more charge in the tank than anticipated than the other way around.
Great infrastructure at mostly empty Tesla Superchargers
All of the Supercharges we visited were situated at an "Autohof" location which usually includes one or two fast food restaurants (McDonalds, Kentucky Friend Chicken) a regular gas station as well as a small grocery store connected to the gas station.
The next leg to the Mogendorf charger also had us arrive with 8% more charge remaining then the trip planner had anticipated. This charger was also pretty empty with just another Tesla charging. On the way back, this charger was busier though:
I was surprised how few Teslas we saw on the way through Germany. We only encountered like 2 or 3 Teslas all through Germany.
A Model X and charging etiquette
This quickly changed when we got close to the Netherlands. The Netherlands have excellent tax return conditions (of which Switzerland mostly has none) for EVs and it truly shows when you drive on dutch roads. The charger at Zevenaar was half full. And all of the drivers seemed to know about the A and B pillar rule - as long as an A pillar is free, you should use that one instead of charging at someones B pillar.
And while we were charging between tree other dutch cars, a german Model X showed up - followed by a lot of "ooohhhsss" and "aaaaaahhhs" from everyone : )
Wind turbines everywhere
One other thing you will notice is that large amount of wind turbines that are installed along the freeway in Germany as well as the Netherlands. We also saw many of them on the Island. You don't really get a feeling of how huge these things are until you are standing right underneath one : )
So you're sitting in your Tesla driving down the Autobahn that is flanked by rows and rows of wind turbines - it made me feel like I'm living the future : )
As many Teslas as the eye can see : )
The next day we continued our trip up north and stopped at the supercharger in Amsterdam. This turned out to be a rather large Service Center with huge offices. I think it is the European Headquarters of Tesla. I've never seen so many Teslas in one place, as the pictures show : ) The huge Tesla lettering also looked rather impressive : )
On the way back I took this panoramic shot of the whole complex.
There were also a couple of Tesla taxis as well as Tesla Uber parked on the premises:
From Amsterdam we drove all the way up north and took the ferry to the island of Texel.
Great charging infrastructure in the Netherlands
On the island itself they had many public charging stations to choose from. They were all easily accessible using my "TheNewMotion" charge card, which I had organized way ahead of our trip. It all worked flawlessly and the instructions on the charge points where easy to follow.
Unfortunately the resort did not allow us to charge our car using the regular outlet of our bungalow. One night a very polite and a little embarrassed security guard knocked on our door and apologised that their own charge points were not ready yet and unfortunately charging directly from the bungalows main power was not allowed.
With all the great charging options on the island this was not a big issue for us after all.
Looking forward to our next road trip !
So all in all we drove more than 1800 kms round trip using only Tesla superchargers with the occasional public quick charger in the Netherlands. Everything worked as planned and we feel very comfortable to go on future road trips ! Thank you Elon Musk for setting up this incredible international network of charging infrastructure !
I found this great video online:
There was a thread on teslamotorsclub.com about the availability of a special "Tesla Drivers Group" hat. As it turns out, a lot of US drivers did get these hats with the delivery of their car. I then went and asked Tesla Europe about these hats and they told me that indeed they were not available in Europe at all.
Then, a couple of days later a package arrived from Tesla Munich with two of these hats inside ! I contacted them again and the representative told me that he had a tesla colleague in the US who sent him these two hats : ) and that I should take good care of them as I would most likely be the only one in Europe with these hats.
Great customer support Tesla ! Special thanks to Jimi Smoke who went out of his way to arrange these hats for me !
Shortly before Elons tweet went out about the V 7.0 release now also being available in Europe, I got the "update ready" notification and immediately installed the update.
So for the last five days I have now driven more than 600km on pure autopilot, mostly in heavy traffic with speeds ranging from 25 to 140km/h. My daily commute consists of 120km with 80% of Autobahn/freeway and 20% of highway and regular suburban roads.
All in all I have to give it a very good, almost excellent review. Here's why:
On the Freeway / Autobahn
On suburban roads
General thoughts around cruise control and autopilot
Of course the 7.0 Update delivered additional improvements / changes that I think are significant. One feature that I did not see reported a lot online is the improved proximity warning /display. Before the update you just got some white / yellow or red curved lines depending on the distance to an obstacle.
Now with the 7.0 update this has changed to a virtual "bubble" that, depending on the situation almost wraps the whole car. It also seems to be a lot more sensitive than with the old software.
The changes also apply to the bigger display on the 17" screen when you put the car in reverse:
So all in all the 7.0 update is great. I really wish Tesla would have added some things that I've been missing ever since I got my Model S 6 months ago:
When my Model S arrived two weeks ago I immediately tried to set up the homelink function. Even though the car seemed to learn the code from my garage door openers remote just fine, it was unable to send out a signal that would actually open the garage door.
When I checked the compatibility list on homlink.com I realised that my particular model is not in the list of compatible garage door openers... bummer.
I went and looked for solutions online and ended up ordering the universal receiver from homelink directly. Once it arrived the instructions said that one should press the three buttons on the homelink remote in the car - which the Tesla obviously does not have. After calling their support they told me that I also need an original remote control, which can also be ordered through their shop. Yesterday this remote arrived as well and I was able to install everything in my garage.
Universal receiver installation
First you have to manually attach the wires from the power source to two connectors inside the receiver. Why they don't just add a simple plug for this is beyond me. Then you need to also attach two wires that go to either your garage door opener itself or to a manual door trigger that you might have installed somewhere in your garage anyway. I chose to install the receiver right on the side of the garage door opener and attached the wires directly to the corresponding leads that are clearly marked on the device.
Once everything was installed you can test the new receiver by pressing a little button inside the device. Lucky for me, the garage opened immediately after pressing the button.
Learning the codes and configuring the model S
The remote comes with simple instructions that explain how to add it to the universal receiver. This was done by pressing the "learn" button inside the receiver. Took a couple of seconds and the receiver was connected to the remote.
After that I just went through the Model S homelink setup again and it immediately worked. Now when I drive up to my garage, the homelink button pops up and I can open the garage with one tap of my finger. I originally thought that the garage would open automatically once I approach it, but so far this does not happen. I guess it might be a safety feature. Imagine someone is parked in front of your garage when you drive up : )