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APEowner SuperDork
7/20/21 2:39 p.m.
Karacticus said:

In reply to APEowner :

How did you like the trip over Emory Pass?  That is one seriously twisty piece of road.

My wife usually has to take extreme measures not to get car sick on that route. 

I was driving an 8,000# truck at a pace intended to keep my wife comfortable so the actual driving experience was not particularly interesting but Emory Pass is beautiful.  All of New Mexico is a little weird right now because it's unusually green.

APEowner SuperDork
7/20/21 2:43 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

...Also, I cannot believe you skipped Pie Town.

I know! I thought about going that way but Sunday was already kind of a long travel day for my wife.

7/21/21 2:55 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Well, we sorta do. My diesel truck gets really pissy when I fill with gasoline.

Tesla had to create their own fast charging standard because at the time there was no alternative. CHAdeMO was adopted by the Japanese for fast(ish) charging, then the Euros settled on CCS. It's looking pretty clear to me that CCS will be the overall winner with Ford and GM also coming on board, and I would not be surprised to see Tesla stations switch over to CCS in the future. To do that, they'll have to come up with a CCS adapter or conversion for the 3/Y which does not yet exist for US cars. Those cars do use CCS natively in Europe, so I'm hoping it'll be relatively easy.

Authentication is coming to CCS, so hopefully the challenges of trying to activate an EA charger will soon be in the past. With authentication, ideally the car will arrange for access and payment when you plug it in. I agree that the non-Tesla networks really have to pay attention to their user experience if they want to foster increased EV use.

Level 2 charging does have the J1772 standard which seems to be working well, but it's slow enough that it really only works for very long charge stops or very small batteries.

Even in the CCS world, there's CCS 1 and 2 that are not compatible with each other.

With Tesla opening their charging stations to all, they're preparing to soften the blow as CCS2 ramps up in the EV space or make a little off of their purchasers. Now that they've confirmed future charging can be up to 350Kw the Tesla plug has seized the "most charge" crown again from CCS, so lord knows what'll happen.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/23/21 8:09 a.m.

Maybe this should have its own discussion but I decided to put it here:  The city of Eden Prairie, a suburb of Minneapolis, has added a Tesla Model Y to their police car fleet.  It will be interesting to see how it works out.


The Eden Prairie Police Department has added an outfitted Tesla to its fleet, likely becoming the first in the state to do so.

The fully electric 2021 Model Y first hit west metro roads on patrol this week. Though the $52,290 sticker price is more than double the standard Dodge Charger, officials say the Tesla’s estimated total life cycle is more cost effective and aligns with the city’s sustainability goals.

“It sure seems to be turning a lot of heads,” said Chief Matthew Sackett.  The City Council approved the purchase last fall, and the midsize SUV was recently delivered and fully outfitted. Sackett said the Tesla replaced a Charger, one of a 26-vehicle fleet, that was due for replacement.

Sackett said there has been a lot of support from the community and council, which he said “is really what drove this project.  They obviously have a driving desire to do what we can for sustainability ,” he said.

Eden Prairie has been buying hybrid vehicles for city departments for the past decade, and has a dozen among its 129 light-duty vehicles. The Tesla Model Y is the city’s first fully electric vehicle.

The total life cycle cost of the Tesla is a bout $56,000, compared with the Dodge Charger’s nearly $59,000. While a Tesla will emit about 15.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide during its life, the Charger will emit more than 82 metric tons.

Eden Prairie, home to one of Minnesota’s two Tesla showrooms, worked closely with the Police Department in Fremont, Calif., the location of Tesla’s manufacturing plant, to initiate the pilot program.

Fremont was one of the first cities in the country to do a pilot w ith the Tesla Model S sedan, and Sackett said officials there are getting ready to launch a Model Y soon. In December, the Hastings-on- Hudson, N.Y., Police Department introduced a Model Y to its detective division.

Sackett said Eden Prairie police started researching Teslas in the summer of 2019. They test drove a Model S, but he said they weren’t comfortable with the size and configuration.

Last year, sights were set on a Model Y, which Sackett said turned out to be a “much more viable option for functionality.”

On an average shift, an Eden Prairie squad car travels between 100 and 150 miles.

Sackett said the Tesla Model Y can travel about 300 miles before returning to the police station, which is now equipped with a charging station.

“We have every reason to believe it should go a full shift,” he said.

But Sackett said it remains to be seen how cold weather affects performance. Part of the Tesla pilot program in Eden Prairie is looking at functionality in different climates.

Over the next 100,000 miles, the agency will evaluate performance, maintenance and operational costs to determine suitability for further implementation. “We’re not going to go buy 20 of them tomorrow. We want to make sure it’s the best use for our operations and right for the city,” Sackett said.

The department announced the Tesla pilot program on Twitter earlier this week, drawing reactions from other police departments and local officials.

“After 100,000 miles hand it down to us so we can put it through the ‘out- state’ police test,” the New Ulm Police Department responded.

Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn, DFL-Eden Prairie, shared a clip of John Travolta singing “it’s electrifyin’!” from the movie “Grease.” Laura Bishop, former commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, tweeted “nice job,” adding that she’s proud to see cities addressing climate change.

During the Tesla’s first Sunday shift, Sackett said one sergeant drove it to a couple of calls near a mall. While people stopped to take pictures with the new electric vehicle, Sackett said “it’s not a showpiece.”

“We want to have a functional police car because we use them, we need them, we want them to work like it should,” he said. “The pilot will help determine that.”


Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/23/21 9:15 a.m.

Sounds like they've done their homework, it'll be interesting to see how it works out. The local police department made a similar decision here a while back when they switched from Harleys to BMW motorcycles, the TCO was considerably lower. They took some flak for it (most of the stars and stripes variety) but they're still doing it and the local Harley dealer now sells BMWs :) For the department with the Tesla, the test will be if that car is ever called upon to do a 200 mile trip near the end of shift but I expect they have awfully good records of how their cars get used. The fact that the car also has cameras rolling at all times is an interesting side note.

I was driving the Tesla yesterday and have a few things to report:

- I love HVAC you can leave running when it's 100F outside.

- you can fit a 64" Big Wang from 9Lives Racing in the back if you drop the seats

- the car really relies on backup cameras, visibility out the back when reversing in a parking lot is pretty bad. 

Erich UberDork
7/23/21 10:06 a.m.

Ann Arbor was looking at purchasing some Teslas a year ago for its police force but the community complained about the price tag - not sure which models they were looking at.

This year they did end up purchasing a couple Mach-E EVs. The city said it planned to install 100 EV charge stations this year, not sure whether that's a residential program or what because I haven't seen anything lately about it. 

Our police department replaces cars every 6 years/80k miles, so it may make for a more interesting government auction in a few years!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/23/21 10:12 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

For the department with the Tesla, the test will be if that car is ever called upon to do a 200 mile trip near the end of shift but I expect they have awfully good records of how their cars get used.

If it were a highway patrol car that could be a concern, but for a city police car it's probably not an issue (having said that, this suburb does cover a lot of square miles, so particularly in winter they may have to be careful about range.)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/23/21 10:27 a.m.

Trying to do 150 miles/day in winter with a Y (equipped with a heat pump) shouldn't be too much of a stretch, but it will be a good confirmation of their calculations. Assuming the officers inside do require food occasionally, there's also the opportunity for a mid-shift top-up if that should be necessary. 

I think the vehicle will be able to perform its duties, maybe this will silence some doubters. It's more likely any complaints will be more related to things other than the powertrain, such as interior space or the fact that there are not any off-the-shelf police accessories like there are with Chargers.

84FSP UltraDork
7/23/21 12:45 p.m.

Given my current distance runs in the 3 I would think 150miles should be no issues for them.  It seems like ~16% loss off ideal conditions due to highway plus high-ish speeds.  One would assume the cold factor wouldn't be worse than that.  The driving conditions otherwise are ideal, low speeds and frequent start/stops.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/27/21 2:35 p.m.

I have sussed out the odd cruise behavior I noticed on the last trip, and it's as I thought. The Tesla does not take over speed management until you fully release the accelerator, and somewhere in my past I learned to slowly back out of the throttle after engaging cruise. I must have had a car that had a harsh take-up. Anyhow, my slow release of the pedal means the car decelerates (actually starts to regen) before the Tesla takes control. I shall have to relearn my habits.

More related to the nature of the car - I drove the 2000 V8 Grand Cherokee (the car that the Tesla replaced) for the first time in forever over the weekend. It is the exact opposite of the serenity of one-pedal driving, the Jeep just wants to go all the time and requires a (now) surprising amount of brake force to keep it from creeping forward at a stop. There's also no engine braking due to the automatic. It illustrates how I've adapted my driving style more than any other vehicle in the fleet other than possibly the '66 Cadillac.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and MegaDork
7/27/21 4:18 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Does the Tesla ease forward at a stop or is it more like a manual and just sit there until you mash the accelerator?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/27/21 4:30 p.m.

That is your choice.

Creep mode: Basically acts like a normal automatic transmission. It will creep if you let off the brake pedal.

Roll: basically like a manual transmission with the clutch in. It will, umm, roll wherever gravity takes it if you don't touch a pedal. Haven't played with this one myself.

Hold: Applies and holds the friction brakes when you come to a stop, and releases them when you apply some accelerator. A bit like the old Subaru hill holder :) This is the most one-pedal option, as you can come to a stop with regen. It's what I use.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and MegaDork
7/27/21 4:58 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

That would be a worthwhile feature. I can see where it would mess with your head to go back to a ice and a auto.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/11/21 10:49 p.m.

An eagerly unawaited update!

- I found out yesterday that Janel likes to use the Roll mode. She says it makes her feel more like she's doing something to hold her foot on the brake pedal. Watching her feet, she doesn't really leave it on there. But hey, if it engages her brain the way she likes it I'm all for it. The car recognizes who's driving so it adjusts itself accordingly. Although it does not change the audio settings for each driver, which seems like a bit of an oversight given how it would probably be pretty easy.

- car forgot the password to the garage wifi (okay, I changed it) and got all cranky. It wanted a software update.  Sheesh, cars these days.

- got a new garage door today so the Tesla had to sit outside in the 100F sun all day. It ran the HVAC to keep the interior temp below 105. All day in the sun plus a trip to the vet's office (maybe 6 miles, with associated AC useage) used up a total of 13 miles of predicted range.

- I think we're going to put the spaceship wheels back on because they look bigger and we just kinda like the vibe. Plus, it offends both of us to know that running without them needlessly wastes about 3% of our energy. Not that we need it, but still.

- gratuitous photo of the car sitting outside all day without the spaceship wheels. I know it's in the shade here, that was short-lived. Don't mind the fact that I still have a piece of black vinyl on part of the window trim. Also, in this carefully posed photograph you can see a free-range trailer foraging for food.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/12/21 12:08 a.m.

I realized today that it would be super easy to fit a Tesla (or any other EV with one-pedal capability) with hand controls. It's either just a couple of potentiometers or a CAN message, depending on how smart the pedal is.

That's really interesting. 

newold_m (Forum Supporter)
newold_m (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/12/21 10:18 a.m.

These are little pricey but seem to be a good alternative to the aero wheel covers. Nice that they have done the efficiency studies as well


Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/21/21 5:53 p.m.

Next week is the two year anniversary of us picking up the black spaceship in SLC and immediately blasting off into the empty Utah wilderness. This is an important anniversary for us because it's the end of our free Supercharger access. So I'm going to indulge myself in a summary.

Due to The Unpleasantness, we have been unable to take full advantage of this perk. It's a bit of a shame, although we have a trip this weekend that might work as a last gasp. In the past couple of years, we've seen the Supercharger network expand quite a bit. This weekend's trip would not have been possible when we got the car, as it relies on a cluster that went online in January. Superchargers continue to pop up around Colorado in out-of-the-way places that make sense when you start to connect destinations. Our town is flooded with Teslas, they're definitely not the rarity they were.

The car itself is at about 20k miles. That's actually quite high for us, especially working from home. The reason is because it's become our go-to car for everything. It's just...easy. The car is always charged and ready to go. It doesn't need to warm up or do any of the fussy things that ICE vehicles need to do as they get themselves into operating condition. You can cool or heat it when it's sitting and waiting for you so it's always comfortable inside. You don't even need to look for your keys, you just walk up, sit down and shift into drive. It's also a good size for everyday use and the frunk is perfectly sized to store a carseat for when Janel is doing transport duties for her nephews. Basically, in the end the car of the future has turned out to just be a car.

We've done a few road trips after that initial SLC trip. They've almost all been to Denver because that's what we do. There's the possibility I'll take the car to Vegas for the SEMA show later this year, as it's proven to be a really competent highway cruiser. It just flows down the road. It's like a quieter version of the E39 M5, and I mean that as a real compliment. You have to use the cruise on the highway as there's no audible speed reference, so manual speed control is surprisingly difficult unless you're pacing off another car.

Running costs have been one set of cabin filters and a few KWh of electricity. I haven't pulled the most recent stats, but our total energy cost is somewhere around $300-400. With the loss of free supercharging, we'll now be paying about 26c/KWh when fast charging on the road. I haven't even had to rotate the tires yet, although I do plan on getting it up in the air to do that soon. Modifications have been the rear lip spoiler from the Performance model, "wood" trim on the center console, the Homelink upgrade, a small organizer for the center console, trunk liner, removable sun shades for the roof and a Tesla-sized windshield shade.

Janel has had trouble with the car connecting with her phone, which is a problematic little original iPhone SE that has Bluetooth trouble generally. She carries the RFID card with her just in case. I don't have any trouble at all, so this has to be her device and not the car.

There are no squeaks or rattles or signs of quality problems in the car, it still looks almost brand new. The only visible signs of use are a few stone chips and one small stone dent on the front. There's been no need for a service visit beyond the Homelink install I chronicled in early 2020. Meanwhile, the car has grown in capabilities and is both faster and more efficient than when we took delivery. That's a cool trick.

One thing about an EV is that you never have to stop at the gas station for any other reason. Our favorite car wash is attached to a gas station and you get a small discount for buying both at the same time, so every time I fill up a gas car I get a car wash code and give it to Janel.

Having the entire user interface in a screen has not been a thing at all. I'm quite used to glancing over to see what the speed is in a nice big numeral, it's actually a bit easier than trying to calculate it from a dial when you're dealing with multiple cars. That's a "too many cars" problem if there ever was one. The part of the interface that needs the most interaction is the audio system, but of course that's true of just about any vehicle. I tend to just use voice control for that. It gave me much glee to just say "Play that funky music, white boy" this morning and have the car do so. All the other controls stay put so it's quick and easy to do an HVAC adjustment, but in reality you tend to just let the automatic systems take care of it. Adjusting the mirrors and wheel involves an extra menu level, but again it remembers the driver so you rarely have to revisit it. A lot of this stuff just happens once you've set it up.

It's a Tesla so there's always the self-driving question. Our car does not have the Full Self Driving activated, so it has some self-steering capability as well as cruise. We use the latter quite a bit on the highway. It's slightly smarter than the cruise on my mom's 2018 VW Sportwagen but not dramatically so. Janel has had one incident where the car did save her from a likely accident - she was driving in town when a text message arrived and her phone chirped at her causing a distraction right when a car in front stopped hard. The car yelled, she hit the brakes and there was no bodywork required. That's certainly not a behavior unique to Teslas but it is unique amongst our fairly substantial fleet. So is the ability to play streaming music, so don't read too much into that fact :) To be clear, she wasn't reading the text message but the phone's alert pulled her attention aside at just the perfect time.

Personally, I have become quite enamored of one-pedal driving. I think it forces me to be smooth and it's fun to do an entire trip without touching the brake pedal. Both of us are big fans of the instant warp speed option, let's just say that merging into traffic is nothing to be afraid of. Another driving note is that the rear vision when backing up is pretty poor due to that high trunk, so you really are reliant on the cameras - one rear, two under the mirrors pointing back. Coupled with the 360* proximity sensors it's pretty straightforward, but I do kinda wish I could see a little better through the rear glass when backing up. Lack of rear visibility is not an issue on the road because you're not trying to see the ground :)

Janel was originally quite skeptical of the car, but has come to love it because it just works. She does wish occasionally it was an SUV just because she grew up in a truck household. I'm okay that it isn't :) Otherwise, she has no complaints other than the occasional frustration with her phone/key.

There have been subtle ongoing improvements to the car so if we took delivery of a new one today it would look subtly different inside, would be more efficient and (I think) have a heat pump for a heater. The last is about the only thing I'd like to have but the loss of range from cold weather hasn't been a limitation even on a stormy midwinter trip across the high passes.

The marketplace hasn't changed much. If we were shopping today, we'd have to look at the Mach-E and the VW options (ignoring current supply problems). Both of those do suffer from a less mature high speed charging network, so it's possible we wouldn't be able to use them the way we've used this car. And of course, the Y because it's more SUV-ish for Janel.



TLDR: We like it. It's been good. We're going to keep it for a long time. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
9/21/21 6:19 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Very informative. Thank you for the update. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
9/27/21 7:38 a.m.
Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/27/21 9:43 a.m.

Not a bad looking wheel to my eyes.

It's not that exotic a fitment. 5x4.5 with an offset in the +40-ish range. Tire Rack has 318 options. Heck, Flyin' Miata has options assuming I can fit 17" over the brakes :) I think the challenge is trying to find something reasonably aerodynamic - or just give up on trying to retain efficiency and give the car big fat rolling stock.

I passed Janel going the other way on the road the other day and the dark un-capped wheels look better than most dark wheels for some reason. Now I'm wondering what it would look like to add a bright strip on the rim. Not a color, something to evoke a polished lip. Maybe one of those reflective rings you can put on motorcycles. Might be fun to try just for giggles. It's a lot cheaper than buying $1400 worth of wheels...

The Tesla did not go on the weekend trip, which is a good thing because we ended up going over Cinnamon Pass which has some legit "high clearance four wheel drive" sections. Not low slung sedan country.

One thing I forgot in my two-year summary: we haven't used a Supercharger that was less than 100 miles from our house. A lot of people assume they need a high speed charger nearby to own an EV, but that's exactly where you're least likely to need one.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and MegaDork
9/27/21 12:31 p.m.

Keith, do you think long-term battery life will be a concern? How many miles do you have on it and does it give you any info about the life expectancy of the battery? 

In a vehicle that sees 50k-75k miles a year do you think that would be a concern? Do you think running the battery down 75-80% every day would increase battery wear? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/27/21 12:53 p.m.

I'm not too worried about long term battery life. These things are really smart and the car has a lot of tools at its disposal to care for the battery. The best resource I've seen for this is a European Tesla club that is sharing the results for their personal cars. I don't have the patience to dig through a massive forum thread (oh, the irony) to get the latest data, but here's a snapshot from 5 years ago. It looks like you can expect a slight drop from initial peak capacity and then almost no degradation. Battery management has only improved since this time because of the sheer amount of data that's been collected - I got a software upgrade a while back that actually increased my range and peak power, probably because the battery was understood better.

They also don't just die all of a sudden, they gradually lose capacity. So you might find after a few hundred thousand miles that your maximum range is only 80% what it used to be, but the car should be unaffected otherwise.  The battery warranty is at least 70% of original capacity for 8 years/120k miles. Interestingly, the lower capacity models have a 100k mile cap and the high capacity models (specifically the S) has a 150k cap.

As for using 75-80% of the maximum range every day, I suspect that would wear the battery faster. I haven't dug too deeply into this but I believe they like to be kept between 20-80% capacity for maximum lifespan. The owner's manual isn't much help here other than repeated warnings to not completely discharge the high voltage battery because that might damage the 12v system. I know that some Tesla people do like to play range games and revel in having to coast up to the charger. I have some German Miata friends who are exactly the same way with their Miatas :)

Basically, I think the battery pack will have a functional lifespan at least as long as a very durable ICE. It's looking like 400-500,000 miles is not out of the question. And the bigger it is, the slower it will degrade. If you're going to run it 200 miles/day without a mid-day car snack, you'll want a car with some extra capacity.

frenchyd UltimaDork
9/27/21 3:01 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Do they still give you a referral bonus?  If so your straightforward answers solved any reluctance on my part and that's  resulted in SWMBO's confidence she's made the right decision to buy a Tesla. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/27/21 3:06 p.m.

Apparently the referral program ended on Sept 18, zut alors. Thanks for asking.

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