Thursday, July 30, 2015

Paying for a Tesla Model S: Down Payment

Well, that was the easiest, yet most expensive, debit payment I've ever initiated.

I just got an email from Tesla with the finalized financial numbers, and a handy link to "Pay Balance."

When you click the link (which I won't show here, due to obvious privacy concerns), you're presented with a few simple informative line-items, and a down-payment amount. In my case, it also provided the financing principal amount (since I'm not filthy rich).

On that screen, you then click the "Make Payment" button; and after entering my electronic check info (just the usual routing, account, address, etc.), I promptly got a thank-you email.

Very very easy.
Just look at the time-stamps on those emails for proof of how quick it was.

Supposedly, according to my DS, all I have to do now is sign a few papers when I pick up the car, and I'm on my way.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

End of the Line: Chicago

She made it to Chicago!

And, thankfully, as you can tell by the map, she won't actually be IN that dreadful city. Instead, she's at the BNSF Logistics Park, just southwest of Chicago. Interestingly, this is apparently the largest inland port in North America.

I'm also a bit more relieved that she apparently won't have to experience the worst of Chicago traffic, either. Yep... I'm a dork.

So now, the big question... when is the delivery date?

Well, my DS explained it like this (and I'm paraphrasing, using my knowledge of railroading and trucking)...

The logistics team will unload the car from the train and stage it in their big parking lot (the asphalted area in the photos).

From there, they will then arrange truck transport to Cincinnati (the date that Tesla's been given is August 3rd).

Cincinnati will be the first stop of three in Ohio, so I'm assuming it will be one of those larger auto-transporter trucks (hopefully covered and protected from road debris).

So, the big variable is how long will my car sit in the staging area of the logistics park? Once my DS gets shipment information from them, he'll be able to schedule a date/time. So, hopefully, I'll know something in the next day or so!

As a bonus, I've found photos on the Internet of this place. Looks cool, until you notice it actually has a Google+ page (with ratings). Now I'm really worried about my previous post.

Take a look at the following ratings!
I hope they 1) don't fuck with my new expensive car, and 2) if they do, Tesla will make it right.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

To Name or Not to Name

So, I've never been the type of person to be sentimental and stuff; and that crosses over into the silly habit of some people naming their cars.

However, since the Tesla's software allows one to "name" his or her car, I kind of feel like I need to.

In a half-ass attempt to mock me and my infatuation with this car, HeeLa starting talking yesterday about "Ms. T" ~ and.... I think it stuck.

Ms. T. ~~~ Misty?
Is that going to be the name?

Kansas City

I just found out that she made it to Kansas City, MO (just as I had hoped)!

I'm optimistically hoping for it to make it to Chicago by tomorrow. Hopefully it won't get held up in a yard somewhere along the line or have to switch out rail-cars for too long or something.

Now's the point where I'm really trying hard not to make guesses; but I'm holding my breath that I'll be able to pick it up by Saturday. I figure, worst case will be like Monday or Tuesday of next week. The big variables are: rail traffic/operations between Kansas City and Chicago, time spent in Chicago-land, and how quickly a truck can get it to Cincinnati.

From there, my DS has stated 24-48 hours preparation time at the Tesla service center.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Texas to Oklahoma

I (somehow) waited all weekend without pestering my DS for updates; but as of this morning, the current location is about to enter Oklahoma. So, I'm going to call it...
I'd say it's about half-way here!

Travel time was a little slower than I had hoped over the weekend, but maybe it'll be high-speed on main lines at least until Kansas City, MO? One can certainly hope!

I was unofficially hoping for an early delivery maybe this weekend... but maybe not. We'll see. Worst case, I get a little more time to prepare the trade-in, clean the garage, and maybe have to take a day off work next week.

Here's an update on the BNSF mainline. It's on that orange line, northwest of the "O" in the Oklahoma City label... west of Enid, OK.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Very Concerning Train Unloader Behavior

Maybe it's time to take up a hobby to quelch my obsession... At least, I should probably take a break from the Internet!
While I *hope* this video is an unusual case, I do certainly hope a premium manufacturer like Tesla has a way to control the quality and professionalism of the people who unload their customers' new cars from trains.

At least tell me there is a special mode (like Valet mode) that limits speed to like 20mph. I think BMW or some European cars actually do that, maybe?

Something.... anything!

Stopped in New Mexico

I continue to be impressed by Tesla and my DS in Cincinnati. I had emailed him an unrelated question yesterday, to which he replied along with an explanation of his attempt to also get an updated location (for the 2nd time that day), but he wasn't getting a signal from the car due to "less than stellar" cellular reception. No worries, man... could it be because it's literally in the middle of nowhere in the AZ/NM desert? :)

Anyway, he sent me an update today (I didn't even have to ask), and she's in New Mexico, just south of Albuquerque. Looks like it's a small rail yard; and I'm guessing it's being switched to another train or another track for the final stretch to Chicago. It'll be interesting to see whether it'll shoot up toward Colorado and then Eastward, or whether it'll be a more straight-shot to Chicago through the Texas panhandle.

I'd be lying if I said I'm not hopeful it will be in my hands by the end of next week. What is it... like 3 days by rail to Chicago, at most, from here?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Tesla's Train Route

Those of you who know me, also know that I'm a bit of a railfan; so it will come as no surprise that I've been digging around for some more information about the conveyance of my new car.

I was under the impression that it was being carried by Union Pacific; but it appears to actually be following the BNSF line so far... that orange line from San Francisco, down past LA, north of Phoenix, through the northern half of New Mexico... and it looks like more or less a straight shot to Chicago from there.

Map courtesy of

Almost to Arizona

Just asked for (and promptly received) an update from my DS on the location of my car. It's in the Mojave Desert, about to leave California and enter Arizona. Looks like it's going to closely follow the I-40 route all the way through New Mexico, maybe.

Amazing you can follow it like this, using just the car's GPS and 4G cellular connection.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

On the Train from California!

I got an email back from my DS, and he even included a map!

My car is apparently now moving, on a train, just departed from the bay area.

Really, though, my DS has been nothing short of outstanding in dealing with my affliction.

By the way, I did ask if it would be possible for me to track the journey on my own app, to which he replied that owners were opening their sunroofs and honking horns remotely, so they had to disable that feature during transit; and opening a roof in the middle of rain is never a good thing. Apparently some service centers have had to do some repairs related to this... can you believe how stupid some people are??

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Floor Mats Arrive

The first official Tesla product to make it to my house... almost overnight, my all-weather floor mats have arrived.

I informed my DS, and he graciously offered to install them, if I bring them to the SC when I pickup my car.

Impatience & OCD, II

So, I've pretty much watched all videos on YouTube and Vimeo that I could find... both official Tesla videos and amateur owner videos. And every time I do, I cannot help but get more excited. I had originally hoped that all this reading and watching would "pass the time" but it has only made my compulsion worse.

I'm going to just send an email to my DS in Cincinnati and see if he can let me know where exactly my car is. I'm just too curious.

This should seriously by like a clinical disease at this point.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

In Transit!

Well, there you go...

She's on her way from California.

I might have to ask my DS if I can get a location update soon.

I tried the Tesla app, but it says something about vehicle not ready yet. I wonder if the service center needs to activate the link or something.

Supposedly, they ship onboard a Union Pacific auto-rack train to Chicago. After that, they are loaded onto trucks to their service center destinations around the region.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Impatience & OCD

Still in production?!
After like 5 or 6 days?

But the "how Teslas are built" TV show said 3-5 days!

Did something go wrong?
Could something not be sourced?!

I knew I should have chose different options!

-- wait... breathe... --
You're getting a TESLA. Calm the f*** down.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dash-cam / Black-box

Since my new Tesla is by no means a cheap car (and since I'm not made of money), coupled with the enormous proportion of moron drivers, getting a good security camera / event recorder is a must.

Besides, I've wanted one of these since the first time I saw them in Korea years ago. There, they are called "black box" - a bit of Konglish. We are so SLOW here in the U.S. market for electronics, by the way, but I digress.

I opted for a dual-camera solution from the Korean company, Pittasoft, called Blackvue 650:

The front camera just sticks in the front windshield, behind the rear-view mirror. It records full HD video to a removable micro-SD memory card.

The rear camera just sticks in the back window, and connects with the front camera via a small coaxial cable (you can see the power and coaxial cables in the picture to the right).

If you want to pull video off the camera, you can simply copy it to your phone via the internal WiFi it provides, or you can remove the memory card.

I'll also be implementing a "Power Magic PRO" which will allow me to run the camera even while the car is parked, without draining the battery. That should come in handy if anyone decides to be a vandal or a negligent shopping cart user. Also, the camera will sense movement and start recording if any is detected.

I do plan on following one of the well-known blog posts detailing how to install this in a Tesla, though I'm not sure yet which one I'll follow:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Meeting my Delivery Specialist

So my Owner Advisor, Chelsea, introduced me to my Delivery Experience Specialist via email today. I'm choosing Cincinnati as the nearest service center since Chicago and its traffic can just go to Hell.

He seems like a cool guy who likes the brand and the cars. He may grow to hate me, though, since I've been acting like a child on Christmas morning lately! If you see this, shout out, man.. and thanks!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Charger Installed (minor fireworks)

Today was the day to determine whether I could save several hundred bucks, and it turned out that I could.

Self-installed a NEMA 14-50 outlet today in the garage. Luckily, the panel is literally right next to where I'd be charging the car, so it was very easy ~ well, sort of.

Really the hardest part was trying to cram all that thick-gauge wire into the electric box. Three conductors of 6-gauge wire is not the easiest to deal with.

It was so hard, that apparently some insulation had been thinned or gashed. That's something I found out when I finally flipped the breaker on... and immediately discovered that the breaker, in fact, did actually work (accompanied by a loud pop and a neat little light show in the metal box). But, in the end, it worked well. I'll actually get to test it when the car comes.