Check out my Video here “Test Drive”
Today was a day that I had long waited for. For 3 years I have watched with hope that one day I might be able to drive a car I had become enamored with for the curves, colours and style.
The car I am talking about is none other than the Tesla model 3. Today was my Test drive. To say I was excited is an understatement. I have bored my family with my incessant talk about tesla for many years now. I created the EV-HQ.com website to feed my passion for EV’s and today I got to drive the most incredible Electric vehicle of all.
All day I had been talking about the day being special. My wife who loves Tesla’s as well, just not as passionate as me and my son who has only recently jumped on board my Tesla train, gave clear instructions that I was not to mention tesla to much in the lead up to the test drive. This seemed fair as I know I talk about tesla far too much every other day, so I kept my comments and points of discussion till last thing in the day.
About an hour before we were meant to go for the test drive, we arrived at the Brisbane Tesla store and had coffee within visual range of the store. Outside parked in the golden sunshine was the most glorious site, a white performance Model 3. The carbon fiber spoiler and the red calipers with the performance wheels really made it a site to behold.
But as with most of my stories I had to wait. I held out until 30 minutes before I had my test drive and decided to look at the cars in the show room. Before walking into the show room, I took a good look at the performance model 3. It was white on white and looked gorgeous. Simple yet elegant in it design. My anticipation started to build.
As I walked in the door of the show room, I took in another site that was just as if not more so breath taking. Of course, it was a model 3 but this time is was in the red. Now I am no paint expert but man the red is stunning. It had not finger prints and was polished to shine. It had a white interior and looked divine. My son and I hopped into the back and front seats and really looked around at the workmanship and interior styling and design.
The one thing that the model 3 has in spades is “less is more”. To say that there is not much of the interior is totally true as there are no buttons that are not functionally necessary like the door release button, there are no knobs, no dials or any other piece of plastic that isn’t designed to be there. This is the new and very appealing evolution/revolution that electric cars and especially tesla are bringing to the table.
As we waited for our turn to go for the test drive my wife, son and I all scrutinized the 3 cars in the showroom. The model 3 of course, the model X a beautiful grey with white interior and a blue Model S that as always is incredible to look at and sit in.
I spent most of my time in the red Model 3 performance reviewing the seating position and going through the User interface display to truly get a feel for what was in the systems that had been specifically designed for this car.
At exactly 3:30 it was my turn. We handed over our license and signed the insurance form and were introduced to our guide. His kind, friendly and positive attitude a was instantly apparent and he put us at ease. He asked if we had seen the Model 3 before I mentioned that I had seen the left-hand drive Model 3 in store when they were on display. I started talking about the features and he realized very quickly that I knew a thing or two about the model 3 and Tesla. He said I could possible tell him a thing about Tesla’s. We will see I thought.
As we walked around the front of the cars, I realized we were heading for the white Model 3, I had hoped it would be the performance but alas it was not to be. A little disappointed but not at all worried that the model 3 we were allocated to drive would not let us down. After sitting in the driver’s seat Alex, our tesla guide, explained a few elements about the car and then set up our driver profile. I realized that it is one thing to look through the menu of the car it is a whole other thing to use the menu and the functions of the car to drive the car.
Having never driven the model 3 before I had to acclimate myself to the indicator being on the left side of the steering wheel and the gear lever on the right. Glad when driving and thinking the right lever is indicator that the car does not shift into reverse. It just beeps at you and keeps driving.
Once we were set, we drove out the entrance to loop around the block and head away from the store to an area 10 minutes away where we can truly see the potential of this awe-inspiring car. The silence of movement as the car pulled away from the store was wonderful to experience. The calmness that provides makes me smile to my core. As we glided down the smooth concrete drive, I held my excitement in check. This was the car that I had waited a very long time to drive and now here I was driving the model 3 and pinching myself with excitement. In the back of the car was my wife and son and they too had a wide smile on their face while they looked up out of the glass roof to the blue sky above. Nothing beats experiencing new experiences with family and friends.
As we made our way around the block Alex and I spoke about the regen braking as it felt like it was quite heavy. It seemed unusual to drive with one pedal, but I am sure it would be something I could easily get used to. Alex lessened the strength of the regen and we continued on our drive. The feel of the car on a rough under construction 40 km/hr. road was soft and supple in its rock and roll. The springs are not too hard or to soft and they provide the smooth timeless motion. The fact that the battery is under your feet is also a wonderful feeling with a low center of gravity.
We finally made it to a location with less cars and long straights and the ability to truly understand the power of the motors that have been placed in this white knight. Alex instructed me to come to a stop and hold the brake pedal down until hold engaged. He then asked everyone to put their heads on the back of their chairs as a precaution.
Now, I have driven a model s and understand the power these cars can produce. So, I was not surprised that my son was not quite ready for the power this car could produce. As I punched the acceleration pedal the car shot forward and the bodies in the car pushed into their seats. It was at this stage that the all too familiar smiles appeared on all our faces, even Alex who I am sure has done this many, many times.
But our smiles did not stop there, as we approached the corner Alex instructed us to turn the car around and do another acceleration test. So, I turned the car around and waited for the traffic to pass. Once driving Alex asked me to get up to 50 km/hr. Once I got to this speed, he said to punch it. I put my foot to the floor again and the car shot away faster than I expected. This surprise speed surprised me the most and gave me that roller coaster feels. This care is truly special. My wife and son had not expected it and they loved it with squeals and laughs and smiles all round. Alex enjoyed the pace as well.
As we slowed Alex shoed us a car park where my wife had a chance to drive. I changed seats with her and sat in the back of the car which was also an experience. My wife went through the same set up and instruction I received at the beginning and she was away. She found the silence unsettling but enjoyed the car as it moved away. She too had opportunity to feel the punch of the car and I really enjoyed the feeling from the back seats. I looked up to the blue sky through the large back window and enjoyed the fun with my son. Michelle drove back to the Tesla store and asked many questions and really enjoyed the drive. We parked at the super charger on our return and Alex as a last homage to the coolness of tesla showed us the dog mode. My son plugged in the tesla to charge. It was at this point that our test drive ended with thanks and handshakes to Alex for showing us the best car on the planet.
There is no doubt that one day I will own a tesla. And it is no doubt that this test drive just reinforced the idea that the future is electric, and it is here now.
Thanks to Tesla and to Alex for a great experience.
Thanks to my Wife and son for indulging me my passion and for being part of the experience.