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Plug In Drivers Not Missin' the Piston

This is the Kodak Moment for the Auto Industry. Electric vehicles are here to stay. Their market acceptance and growth will continue....

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Model 3 is here!

Delivery Day

On March 31st of 2016, I stood in line (like thousands of others) to reserve a Tesla Model 3. This car was the culmination of Tesla's 2006 master plan to make a compelling, affordable, electric car. The Model 3 is far and away the best selling EV; as well as the best selling car in its segment, outselling all other cars in the small and midsize luxury sedan segment in the US. That's more than the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes C-Class, Audi A3, and many others. This car is a game changer, putting more electric cars on the road.

Here's our car's configuration.



Timeline From Reservation to Delivery

DateDays Since ReservationEvent
3/31/20160Stood in line to reserve a Model 3
7/28/2017484First Model 3s delivered to Tesla employees
2/4/2018675Invited to order First Production.
Opted to wait for dual motor.
6/26/2018817Ordered dual motor
7/29/2018850Changed to white seats
8/21/2018873Delivered


VIN Decode - Yep, It's Dual Motor 

The badge on the back says dual motor. Without climbing under the car, how could I confirm this? One method is by the VIN. In addition to telling you where the car occurred in the production sequence, the VIN also tells you many other things about the car. Here is our VIN breakdown (or at least one close to it).
VIN decoder from http://teslatap.com/vin-decoder/ 
The VIN confirms that it has a second motor.

Getting Ready for the Road

Before taking off on a road trip, we're getting a paint protection film and window tinting installed. Tesla might be leaving some money on the table by not offering these. Dashcams are another product that many Tesla owners install. If these were an option in the design studio, I'm sure Tesla could sell a few and increase their margin on the vehicle. However, at this point in time, Tesla are trying to increase their production volume, so these minor revenue items would only slow them down, but they might be something to consider later. These are just minor issues, let's look at the bigger issue.

The Harbinger of Change

Telephones were invented in 1876 and they had very few changes for over a century. They had rotary dials until touch-tone phones came along in the 1980s. The next big change was the adoption of smartphones after the iPhone burst onto the scene in 2007. The iPhone was not the first smartphone, but it was the one that spread beyond the early adopters. Similarly, the Model 3 is not the first electric car, but it is the one that has captured the public's imagination. Many people that have never been interested in electric cars before are buying Model 3s. The transition of personal transportation will not happen as quickly as the move to smartphones, but it has begun. 

I'll be driving around in our 3 (as soon as the paint protection is applied), giving people rides, and letting friends drive it to help bring the future here a little sooner. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tesla Model 3 Performance qualifies for Free Supercharging w/ code

Tesla Model 3 Performance, photo via Autoweek
The performance version of the Model 3 now qualifies for Free Supercharging if (and only if) you use a referral code when you buy it.

This referral program started on August 1, 2018. When it will end is not clear.

Here is my code patrick7819; feel free to use it with a Model S, Model X, Model 3 Performance, or even a Roadster.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Elon Musk Book List - Adults and Children

Undaunted: How Elon Musk Created 3 Giant Companies And Became A Billionaire by Ivan Fernandez
Love him or hate him, he's one of the most interesting people of our time. On one hand, he has grand visions for a multiplanetary future, has delivered more zero-emission cars than all the other auto-makers combined, sells solar panels to 'fuel' those cars with sunshine, has gone up against huge entrenched interests and come out victorious where others might have balked at the attempt. On the other hand, he's outspoken on twitter, has a habit of promising things will happen in "3 months maybe, 6 months definitely" that might take years to deliver. Millions have been made and lost on Tesla stock based on his utterances in quarterly calls with analysts.

If you want to know more about the man behind SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, Hyperloop, (previously) OpenAI, Neuralink and what's behind his public persona, you're not alone. There are several books written about him. Where he comes from, his parents, upbringing, siblings, influences, first principles thinking...

The book to start with (and the only one that Musk agreed to be interviewed for AFAIK) is Ashlee Vance's Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. Musk has refuted a few things in the book such as how he terminated his personal assistant when she asked for vacation time, but this is by far the most comprehensive of the Musk biographies.

Next on the list is the booklet Elon Musk: Biography of a Self-Made Visionary, Entrepreneur and Billionaire. It covers Musk's early companies Zip2, X.com, & PayPal. And how doing things in a new way has been a driving force behind each of Musk's companies be it SpaceX and the Journey to Mars, or SolarCity giving away solar panels and selling the electricity that they generate.

Next we have, Elon Musk: The Life, Lessons & Rules For Success. You generally don't become a billionaire without hard work and guiding principles. Musk often works 80 to 100 hours a week and expects others around him to "work their asses off too." All of this is in service of the vision of creating a "future that doesn't suck."

Last in this section is Elon Musk’s Best Lessons for Life, Business, Success and Entrepreneurship. Musk famously said "Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough." This book covers Musk's failures and how for most people, the fear of failure prevents the biggest successes. Success is found on the far side of failure; embrace failure, learn from it, innovate.

The Creative Gang

Musk is also included in books with other out of the box CEOs such as Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos.

Secrets to Success in Life & Business of Billionaires is a 3 book set covering Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson.

Next, we have The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos.

Books For Kids

Musk is an inspiring figure. He launches rockets, makes cool cars, digs tunnels, and was the inspiration for the modern Iron Man movie franchize. He has captured popular culture's imagination and this includes children's.

There are several books about Musk for children. Just as the first list started with a book by Ashlee Vance, so does this section. Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Young Readers' Edition is adapted from the full biography.


For even younger children, there's Elon Musk: This Book Is about Rockets. Becuase rockets are awesome and ones that land themselves on a barge floating at sea are even cooler. One day, they might even take us to Mars.

I hope you can find something engaging to read for yourself, a friend, or family in this list. Enjoy.