Braking News

Earlier this month the Leaf’s tires got switched from winter to summer.  I asked the technician to check the wear on the brake pads when he did the switch.  Afterwards he said the brakes were “practically new”.  Not bad considering that our Leaf is now over 19 months old with 26,000 km (mostly city).

A week later I took our gas car, a Camry, in for the winter/summer tire switch.  For the Camry, when it’s time to switch the tires then it’s also time for an oil change and service.  Those goodies added $150 more to the cost of the appointment.  Hmm. The good news is the brakes on the Camry also looked “practically new”.  They better! They were replaced only eight months and 11,000 km (mostly highway) ago.

The Leaf’s regenerative braking seems to be stretching the life of the brake pads as expected.  It’s still early in the life of the Leaf though so I’ll update you on this later on.

 

 

 

 

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Tesla Fever

Tesla Motors had not even shown a picture of the new Model 3 but on Thursday, March 31, tens of thousands of fans lined up outside of Tesla showrooms to make a $1,000 deposit on one.  By the end of Saturday, just 3 days later, over 276,000 deposits had been made.  Now, after just one week, over 325,000 made!  Crazy eh?

As I mentioned in my January post, Leaving Gas Behind, Tesla is one of the best contenders for having an electric car popular enough to significantly displace gas vehicles.  The response to last week’s Model 3 unveiling seems to suggest Tesla is on track to do just that.

Here is a recap of the Model 3’s main features:

  • access to Tesla supercharger network
  • range of 345 km per charge or better
  • 0-100 km/hr in less than 6 seconds
  • head room for people over 6′, both in front and back
  • comfortable seating for five adults
  • Five star crash protection rating in every category

Considering plunking down your own $1,000 deposit?

Cons:

  • You can’t order a Model 3 just yet but you can make a reservation for ordering one.  Your $1,000 deposit just give you a spot in line so that when they start producing Model 3’s you can order one.
  • Tesla is currently predicting deliveries to start by end of 2017 so most people won’t see their car until 2018 or 2019 or even later.
  • The $1,000 is refundable but only if Tesla Motors is still around to do it.  The company looks like it has a great future but is so young that it has yet to make a profit.
  • You don’t really know what you’re buying.  A prototype was shown and driven on March 31 but the final production version won’t be ready until sometime in 2017, at the earliest.
  • The first version of anything is usually not the most prudent choice.  You’re more likely to experience bugs which will only be present in the first few cars. That’s what happened with Tesla’s Roadster, Model S and Model X.
  • Tesla service is legendary but the closest service center for Atlantic Canada is currently Montreal.  Are you ready to trust there will be one closer by the time you get your car?

Pros:

  • The sooner you reserve the sooner you’ll be driving what is likely to be an exception zero-emission car and be able to stop burning gas.
  • You can change your mind anytime up until you make an actual order and get your deposit back.
  • Tesla has a history of exceeding customer expectations for their products.
  • Placing a reservation now, at the time of writing, you are not going to get one of the first 300,000 cars so you are less likely to experience the earlier bugs but will still probably get a Model 3 before 2020.
  • Tesla continues to aggressively expand their supercharger, store, and service center locations. So it’s likely that a closer services center will be will available by the time you get your car.  Also, don’t forget that there is very little routine maintenance on an electric car.

So from a prudent financial perspective it would be best to hold off on doing anything until other have purchased and driven the Model 3.  So what did we do?  At 11:30 pm (Atlantic) on March 31 the Tesla online reservation system opened up and I booked our Model 3.  Crazy eh?