Tesla Model S: An owner’s perspective

“It's like a sports car, a luxury sedan, a golf cart, and a spaceship had a baby – and it’s awesome!”

I'm a proud Tesla owner, and people regularly ask me questions about my Tesla experience.

First, I wish someone had shared a link with me to save money on a new Tesla. So here it is for you:


Does it take gas?

No. Zero gas. Zero emissions.

Why did you decide to buy a Tesla?

Overall, it's an amazing car! And, I wanted the convenience and freedom of its autopilot feature.

What did you buy?

I own a Tesla Model S refreshed. I ordered it in late April, and I took delivery June 22, 2016, at the Orlando service center.

  • Model S 70*
  • Pearl White Multicoat Paint
  • All Glass Panoramic Roof
  • 19" Silver Slipstream Wheels
  • Tan Next-Generation Seats
  • Dark Ash Wood Décor
  • Black Alcantara Headliner
  • Supercharger Enabled
  • Autopilot Convenience Features
  • Premium Upgrades Package

* I upgraded to a 75 via an over-the-air update.

What’s been your experience?

Two days after I took delivery, I broke "Tes" in on a two-week, 4,500-mile road trip with my family to our lake cabin in North Minnesota. The drive was super easy with autopilot. I only regret putting so many miles on my baby.

My goal was to keep the mileage under 15,000 miles per year. It's so fun to drive that I was well over that pace after the first six months of ownership!

What do you love most about your Tesla?

I love seeing people take selfies in front of my parked car. I also love having people flag me down to ask me about it.

How much did your electricity bill increase?

My bill has increased by about $50 per month, depending on how much I drive it.

How far can you drive your Tesla before you recharge?
I have up to 240 miles of range. I did a 4,500-mile road trip after only having my Tesla for TWO DAYS. I drove my family from Florida to our Minnesota lake cabin from June 22 to July 8. It was awesome! Sure, I regret putting 4,500 on my brand-new Model S ... And, how could I leave my brand-new, two-day-old Tes home for two weeks?! I waited months to finally have it. The free supercharging was an incredible experience.

What are the negatives?

If you fly, you might have to rent a car, and that means reverting to ICE! Yuck! ;) We just went on a one-week vacation, and I had to drive an Avalon as my rental. Ha! Also, some people get range anxiety. I haven’t had any issues, especially now that there are three times more superchargers.

How have you customized your Tesla?

I’ve made several upgrades:

  • Ceramic coating: Within the first six months, I put a ceramic coating over the exterior, and I coated the interior as well as the leather seats.
  • Tinted windows: Not only do the tinted windows make the car cooler, most people tell me it looks better. I used Bo and Mike's in Fernandina Beach (904-261-4642). They did a great job at a great price. I've used them several times. Llumar CTX 15 with CTX 35 on the front windshield at $346.68 plus $35 tip.
  • BlackVue: Since it originally took up to six months to get replacement parts, I wanted to make sure that in a no-fault accident, my repair, car payment, and car rental had coverage, so I invested in a BlackVue DR650GW-2CH Built-In Wi-Fi Full HD Car DVR Recorder, 64Gb with Power Magic Pro – black.
  • Color decals: I've added red gloss stickers from www.rpmproducts.com. I'll probably add my favorite color, royal blue, in a year or two. Since I already bought the red T rim stickers from Tesla Pride, before the blue color was an available option, I followed suit with the red Tesla emblem front end, tailgate T letter decals, Tailgate T-E-S-L-A letters, and turn signal indicator decals. I’ve since removed the turn signal decals.
  • Phone stand: I'm now using the WizGear Universal Twist-lock Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount Holder with Fast Swift-snap Technology. This is the larger one. I've found the longer neck makes a better fit within the Tesla air vent. The standard size WizGear would fall off from time to time.
  • EV Hooks: I added coat hangers from www.EVHooks.com. (Promo code tesladude gets 10% off, I'm told.)
  • Clear bra: I installed a clear bra to protect the front facia and hood.
  • Weekly detail: I get a weekly detail from Elevated Shine in Fernandina Beach.

If you were Elon Musk for a day, what changes would you make to the car?

  1. I’d bring back the roo pouch at the calves of the driver's seat.
  2. I’d bring back seat-coolers.
  3. I’d bring back the larger trunk on non-hydraulic models.
  4. I’d improve the navigation – DONE.
  5. I’d allow owners to update the software remotely from the app – DONE.

What’s a surprising feature of ownership?

I love waking up to a full charge every morning. No more gas stations. No more dirty hands and handles. It’s like having a personal – invisible – fuel truck.

Helpful links:

  1. Comprehensive Tesla Cost of Ownership calculator
  2. Tesla Apps
  3. teslawaze.azurewebsites.net