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  • October 29, 2020 6:51 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Radio is Back to Tesla -

    For owners of older Tesla models with the MCU1, upgrading to the new MCU and getting all of the new features seems like a no-brainer. There is one drawback, the MCU upgrade also removes the radio features from cars that are upgraded. Starting in the fourth quarter of this year, Tesla will begin offering the FM radio retrofit for $500 by appointment at their Service Centers. Although the price seems high, Tesla figures that not all customers will want the FM radio retrofit, so in order to keep the price down on the MCU upgrade, they do not include the radio retrofit.

    More Service Centers on the Way -

    Tesla is currently beginning a massive effort to increase the number of Service Centers in order to catch up with all of their new sales. Now that Tesla has over one million cars on the road, it has become clear that Service Center growth has not been consistent with sales growth, thus overwhelming many Service Centers with more cars than they can service at a reasonable rate. Tesla reportedly is seeking to add 51 new Service Centers through the end of 2021. Along with Service Centers, Superchargers will also be getting a significant amount of new locations.

  • October 26, 2020 11:43 AM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Link to video - (On the stands)

    Whether you are a NASCAR fan or not, you have to appreciate the Watkins Glen International Raceway! We’ve been talking about this for over a year now and we finally made it happen.


    Covid has definitely put a damper on everything we Americans do and we originally thought that we would be stuck in our vehicles the entire time. To our surprise, we had about 45 minutes to get out, stretch our legs, and even use the restrooms. They originally told us we would not be able to do so. We are also able to walk up in the grandstands and watch those loud annoying ICE cars drive around the track. Still pretty cool though!


    Twenty two cars took off at 12:05 PM for three unbelievable laps around the track. The pace car driver told us that we would probably only be going 55 to 60 mph on the straightaways so most people were pretty upset as you can imagine. Different story when we got out there. After a slow start, we were pushing our cars to the max and hitting the curves at some pretty high speeds. At one point on one of the straightaways, I got up to 105 mph and spoke to a few others that even pushed it a little faster than that. The trick was just backing off a bit from the group so you could punch it!

    Link to video - (On the track)


    There were quite a few people that had conflicting appointments with this date and I know are going to be upset that they were not able to join us. I think I can speak for the group, but we will definitely make this a yearly event!


  • October 26, 2020 10:22 AM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    The morning was a bit gray and drizzly, but I was sure the drive to Watkins Glen international Raceway would make the trip worthwhile. I'm sure many of the nearly 60 people riding or driving Teslas were excited about this adventure, but I'm not one to get prematurely excited.

    Teslas were lined up at Gate 2 to sign their paperwork, pay their $30, get their admission ticket and their instructions. The staff at the gate were interested in the Teslas and were checking them out, inside and out. One person commented that they thought the Teslas weren't running until they silently moved. We moved from the gate to line up at the staging area. It was a long line of Teslas representing all of the current models...S 3 X Y.

    We had to wait until the race cars had done their practicing. You could hear them revving their engines in the turns. What a juxtaposition to those in the line up with their cars silent, but running. I sat with Camp Mode on, took pictures, checked my email, and texted with friends about what I was doing today.

    Finally, the pace car arrived and the line started to move. Ahead of me I could see Tesla after Tesla move down the road toward the track. Suddenly, I'm at the gate onto the track and I got that feeling...a spreading warmth in your chest when something exciting is about to happen. The heartbeat quickens, you're breathing faster, and your eyes are suddenly focused on what's ahead. A couple of seconds later, you're crossing the edge curbing of the track and you're on it.

    I've walked part of the track before, but there's no feeling like being on the track, following the pace car, hands tight on the wheel, speeding up and taking that first turn. Then it's accelerate, estimate the line to take in the curve, brake into it and accelerate out. There's that straightaway you've been waiting for and you step on the accelerator to feel that instant torque that puts you back in your seat. I can only imagine what the Tesla Performance models were experiencing then.

    You've finished one lap, have a bit of a feel for the track and are looking forward to the next two laps. Now the excitement is rising. You've gotten over the anxiety of not knowing what to expect and are focused on the fun, coming down off the top of the turn and into the inside line. And, of course those straightaways... you can just feel that big grin on your face. 

    Now the third lap is over and the pace car is directing you off the track. Yes, you wish you could spend more time, but you still have that high from the thrill and wave to the pace car driver as you leave the track. As you wind your way down the roads into the village of Watkins Glen, you're still enjoying that high and thinking about how to describe it to your friends when you get home. 

    The trip home always seems shorter than the trip out, but you're thinking about one thing... when do we do that again? The next Track Day can't come soon enough.

  • October 22, 2020 8:04 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Full Self-Driving Beta Has Arrived -

    This week, Tesla finally released the Full Self-Driving beta, which shows how the full rewrite of the system will help Tesla reach the next level of autonomous driving. As can be seen by the photos above, the new visualization is much more detailed and as can be seen by the photo on the left, the car identified everything surrounding the roundabout that it was approaching. To go over every new feature of Full Self-Driving would take a long time so simply, it can (try to) do everything, in every driving situation. Tesla says, “When Full Self-Driving is enabled your vehicle will make lane changes off highway, select forks to follow your navigation route, navigate around other vehicles and objects, and make left and right turns.” The new system is also based on a much more advanced neural network meaning that as more people begin to use the system, it will improve itself. This video shows the new system stopping at a stop sign, waiting for a car to pass, then making a left turn, something that it has never been able to do before. With the update also comes a $2,000 price increase to the price of the Full Self-Driving feature, from $8,000 to $10,000. 


    Cybertruck Design Improvements Coming -

    Tesla released their Q3 earnings this week, and on the earnings call CEO Elon Musk mentioned that he and Tesla’s head of design, Franz von Holzhausen had been in the Design Studio working on “some improvements to the Cybertruck” and he also mentioned that, “there are a lot of small improvements compared to what was unveiled. I think it’s going to be better than what we showed.” Production of the Cybertruck is expected to begin in 2021 with volume production some time in 2022. The mass production of the ambitious truck relies on two factors. First, Tesla must finish building their upcoming Austin, Texas factory where the Cybertruck will be built. Also, Tesla will likely have some trouble bringing the full steel exoskeleton to production as it has never been done before. Much like all previous Tesla models, the Cybertruck will be a first in many respects so do not be surprised if there is a bit of a delay in bringing the revolutionary vehicle to mass production.

  • October 22, 2020 4:01 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Owners of the 6-seat version of the Tesla Model X have another option for a second row center console. Universal Mobility, a firm based in Minsk, Belarus, has a new design available for sale. Called the Unimo Extras (as best as I can determine from the website), it's listed for €1,240 (1,460 USD). It has a modernistic design and several desirable features.

    A portion of 6-seat Model X owners prefer having the center aisle open as a pass-through to the third row or a place to put a cooler for long trips. For other owners, a console should have a minimum set of features to be useful. The Unimo has a basic set of features including two deep holders for drink bottles and what appears to be a very comfortable armrest. Built into the armrest is a recessed wireless (Qi) charger.

    The design of the Unimo is very sleek and looks great. There are enough finish and material options that will allow most owners to customize the console to their taste. Installation appears to be straightforward for a DIYer. Being someone who expects a lot of functionality in a product, I observed a few shortfalls as well. There's only one wireless charger, when there are likely two passengers and newer aftermarket chargers often have spots for two phones. I would also prefer a non-skid surface throughout the recessed charger. 

    Once there's power for the wireless charger, there should also be a couple of USB ports on the top or front of the console for games or tablets, and at least two USB ports on the back for the third row passengers. Finally, there's a lot of vacant space under the armrest that could be put to good use. For almost $1,500, I would expect a lot more. See https://extras.unimo.by/en#armrest for details.

    A couple of other options are the Tesla second row center console and the TSportline Executive Desk. Neither of these currently show on the websites, but may still be available. The Tesla center console features two cupholders in front of the armrest similar to those in the Model 3/Y. The armrest lifts up to reveal a storage area with a removable tray. Unfortunately, as with other consoles in the Teslas, there is vacant space that could be put to better use. In addition, there are no power ports on the back side of the console. Pricing information is not currently available on this option on the Tesla website, but other sites suggest checking with the Service Centers. See https://youtu.be/queScgRYFQA for a view of the console.


    The TSportline Executive Desk is a very high-end option at $7,500 as reported on Tesla Motor Club. It is unique in its use of retractable tabletops similar to airplane seatback trays. See https://youtu.be/FxfwlpBO_js for a video. The console also contains a duplex 110 volt outlet and two USB ports on the rear. See https://tsportline.com/blogs/model-x-custom-services-pricing/tesla-model-x-executive-line-desk-package for details.


    Center consoles for 6-seat Tesla Model X may be costly and may or may not fulfill the owner's needs. Ingenuity usually comes through in cases like this. Whether it's coolers or stackable storage, portable wireless chargers or USB splitters, the Tesla and traveling communities come through with unique ideas. 

  • October 16, 2020 11:17 AM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Powering Up with Tesla Solar-- First Steps

    Now that we own two Teslas, I keep thinking about expanding our commitment to sustainability. We've even gone electric on our lawn care implements including our lawn tractor, so it seems only appropriate that we consider solar power as the next step.

    I had checked into solar power last year, but I didn't see the return on investment being quick enough to make it feasible. When I received the email that Tesla Solar was now available in New York, I checked into it. The process is actually very easy... as easy as ordering a Tesla.

    The first thing necessary is to determine your average monthly electric bill. Then go to the Tesla website, select Energy, then choose solar panels or solar roof. (I cannot confirm whether the solar roof is available yet, but the panels are available and, with a roof that is only four years old, I chose panels.) Enter your address and your average monthly electric bill and the app makes the recommendation for the solar panels power and cost. It also shows the number of Powerwalls recommended.

    Hint: Go to the Loot Box in your Tesla app and use your Referral Code!


    Once you've submitted the form and the deposit, you'll receive a text or email from a Project Advisor who will be your contact during the process. Your energy project information is available on your Tesla account and further information will appear there.


    There are forms with pictures and information that you will have to complete. Allow yourself about an hour to complete the information and take the pictures requested. You'll need to provide information on electric panels, equipment labels, and major electric load equipment such as air conditioners. Once complete and submitted, the Tesla Energy team will post a solar panel design on your account and send an email alerting you to review and approve it. There's a short video on the website that tells how they develop the panel design. 


    Finally, you approve the design online and Tesla begins the process. It seems that Tesla handles all of the details. I will describe our progress in future blogs.

    Cautions:

    1. Be sure to read the instructions VERY carefully. (I made a couple of mistakes and am working with the Project Advisor to correct them.)

    2. Use the latest 12 months utility bills to calculate your average monthly cost.

    3. If you're planning to add additional Teslas to your fleet, don't forget to add that power draw into your plans. Your Project Advisor should be able to help with the adjustments. 

  • October 15, 2020 10:47 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    7-Seater Model Y Coming Next Month -

    According to a recent tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, production of the anticipated seven seat Model Y will begin next month. Although production is starting in November, Musk stated that deliveries will not begin until early december. There have been questions as to how much legroom the third row will have, and how useful it will be for seating anyone except young children. There have also been rumors that a possible rear-facing third row is coming, but they are unconfirmed and unlikely. The actual design of the third row will likely be revealed once Tesla begins accepting orders for the seven seater Model Y.

    Model S Price Reduced -

    It seems as if the price of the Model S is reduced monthly, and October brings another price drop, as the price has been dropped to $69,420. The price drop was first announced via a tweet from Elon Musk. The reason for the price drop is likely because Tesla wanted to remain cheaper than most of the competition, and the most recent competition is fellow startup Lucid Motors whose Lucid Air luxury sedan will now be more expensive than the Model S at $69,900 after incentives. Even though the base version of the Lucid Air will not be released until 2022, Tesla is likely trying to have people that would order the base version of the Air switch to a Tesla that is not only cheaper, but they could have it in weeks rather than years.

  • October 14, 2020 11:27 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    In the late-night hours on October 14th, history was written, and TOCNYS proved to be an invaluable asset in the movement towards accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy. After an initial town board meeting held on September 23rd was tabled, Tesla had the opportunity to have a Special Use Permit (SUP) amended for review with the goal of approval for the next hearing on Oct. 14th. The purpose of this special use permit is to grant the Tesla Henrietta location the ability to become a gallery, which would allow for demonstration vehicles to exist on location for educational purposes and to be driven.

    Tesla Owners Club New York State caught wind of the tabling, and immediately knew that it had to step up to the plate to ensure a victorious outcome. Regional Organizers: Rick Cognata (Finger Lakes), Pete Camacho (Thousand Islands-Seaway), and John P. Weiksnar (Niagara Frontier), as well as Harry Burch (Founding Member) and Patrick Ho (Club President), reached out to the town board to express their support in favor for approval. They also provided crucial insight as to the necessity this gallery will provide for their respective regions. Members in the town of Henrietta, and from all over Monroe County, also reached out to the town board to express favor in approval as well.

    During the town board meeting Rick Cognata and Patrick Ho were in-person and had a strong presence at the podium, in solidarity with them was Harry Burch who tuned in virtually through Zoom to share his voice. Not only did our local club leadership show up to the hearing, but so did club members from all around the state through both Zoom and YouTube. Club member Jim Salviski, Founder of SPOT cowork in Henrietta, also took presence at the podium. Jim shared how owning a Tesla has inspired him to install multiple charging stations at his businesses for the public to use, this action has inspired the town to install more EV charging stations as well!

    Tonight was a tremendous victory for TOCNYS, Tesla, New York State, and most importantly in accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy. As Club Manager, I am continually inspired by the tenacity of our club leadership and club members. The road ahead for TOCNYS is incredibly bright, and it is with our unity and solidarity that we will continue to strive.

  • October 14, 2020 4:16 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    The year of the double twenty hasn’t been a particularly good year for the members of TOCNYS, or anyone for that matter. The global pandemic has affected many of the planned meets for this group. It has especially affected the Long Island and NYC contingents, several of whom are in the healthcare field. Fortunately, now New York State is in a better situation than it was a few months ago, and the State has gradually opened up, albeit with caution.

    It was for the reasons mentioned above that members of the Long Island and NYC contingents of TOCNYS were looking eagerly to the South Shore Cruise and Barbecue, hosted by Regional Director – Keith Spiro. Located in what is known as the outer barrier of Long island in southern Nassau County, village of Island Park, the waterfront home of Keith Spiro was the staging area for this long awaited event. For many it was a relief and a well-deserved break from the uncertainties of the year. On Sunday October 11th eleven Teslas, including two Model Xs and nine model 3s, converged at Keith’s home. Two other members, both model 3 owners, would later join us on route.


    Eleven Teslas quietly roared down the streets of Island Park. We headed towards Lido Blvd where we all took a brief photo break at the parking lot of the local marina. The blanket of boats on the marina went well with the blanket of Teslas that covered the marina’s parking lot. The inquisitive harbor master was in awe and amazement. He had never seen so many Teslas in one place before. Our members were more than happy to quench the harbor master’s curiosity and answered all of his questions. The brief respite gave our members an opportunity to view and admire the customizations some have made to their Teslas.


    Off we went, from the marina, to our next destination – the famous Jones beach water tower. The water tower sits precisely where Ocean Parkway meets Wantagh Parkway, towering 231 feet above the parkways and Jones beach itself. Down Ocean Parkway, our procession of Teslas cruised. Being Teslas, it was the quietest procession of vehicles that ever came down the parkway. Awaiting us, at the water tower, were TOCNYS members Gary Sappelsa, and Steven De Sosa. There we lined up and parked in single, half-moon, file with the two Model Xs capping off the rear. The half-moon shape was due to us parking by the large traffic circle that surrounds the water tower and connects the two parkways. We stretched our legs, took some photos and videos, and conversed all things Tesla. One member even had a skeleton as his riding companion. We all joked it was to take advantage of the HOV lane, or perhaps it was due to Tesla’s insanely quick acceleration.


    Unfortunately, one of our member’s drone suffered an attack while filming our rendezvous. A bird swooped down on his drone, and unfortunately for the bird, the bird was no more. His drone did survive the attack and the ground impact, thus giving credit to the build quality of his drone.

    From the water tower we headed to nearby Richard L Brooks Memorial Park. Its expansive parking lot was the perfect place for our second to last destination. Towering behind our Teslas was Old Glory herself, flapping majestically above the lot and the beach. A few bikers were also their along with a 1960s era corvette stingray and a classic Jaguar. Side by side, in a straight line all our Teslas parked. The model Xs, like bookends parked at our flanks. When both model Xs opened their falcon wing doors, some onlookers even began to take notice and quickly took out their phones for a few pictures and videos of the rare sighting of a Tesla pack. After all, you can see individual Teslas here and there but it is rare to see a pack of Teslas.

    Our day culminated with a cruise back to the Spiro home. Along ocean parkway, bicyclists, and joggers waved at our procession of Teslas. Once at the Spiro home, we all converged in the spacious backyard that borders a canal. Where we watched two beautiful white swans swimming along the canal, and we played with Xena and Adrian, the two beautiful German shepherds that are a part of the Spiro family. We ate, we talked, we laughed, and we shared all things Tesla; we reminisced at the day’s events…  It was a beautiful day, indeed, and it was made possible thanks to the Spiro family for graciously hosting and welcoming us to their home.

    As I’m writing this, I can’t help but be amazed at how Tesla has brought us all together. Individuals from all walks of life, who have one major thing in common, their love and passion for Tesla. A company that has turned the automotive world upside down and has upended the status quo.  I cannot think of another automobile company that is able to bring joy and a sense of camaraderie to so many. I cannot think of another automobile company where so many owners are willing to go out of their way to help other owners. The fact of the matter is when you purchase a Tesla, not only do you get a terrific EV, you get a wonderful community… All while making the world better place.

  • October 10, 2020 7:52 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Last weekend, TOCNYS had a great meetup at the Watertown Supercharger, followed by a visit to Boldt Castle on Heart Island, near Alexandria Bay. Members came from Cortland, Rochester, Niagara Frontier Region, and even as far as Long Island!


    At the Supercharger social, Bernie Asher (Niagara Frontier Region), ended up engaging a prospective Tesla customer in a conversation. During their talk, she revealed that her household had recently decided they will take a leap of faith and order a Model 3 in the coming months! Our passionate members are the perfect embodiment of TOCNYS’s mission to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy. Now that’s what I call a successful supercharger meetup!


    Before we left the Supercharger, I conducted a short safety brief covering “convoy operations”, I took phone numbers, and explained roadside assistance using the Tesla App. I then covered any questions about the trip with the group. We kept an organized convoy, obeying the speed limit throughout the 30-minute drive to Alexandria Bay. As it turns out, this was great for everyone since two State Patrols flew past us on I-81.


    Once we arrived in Alexandria Bay, I conducted a brief attendance, afterwards we proceeded to the ferry for Heart Island.  As a group, we had two hours to explore this premier attraction in the Thousand Islands Region. While there, we learned that the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority is responsible for restoring this magnificent part of New York State’s history. We also learned about the scheduled improvements planned in the coming years.

    The feedback I received from everyone about the Castle was very positive and some guests decided to stay longer in order to explore the Boldt Yatch House.

    We had dinner at Riley’s by the River, located across from Uncle Sam Boat Tours. The restaurant was extremely busy, so we had to wait for 20 minutes or so, but the food and service made up for our wait time. We had an amazing time hearing Stefan’s (Long Island) stories about his travels all over the United States in his Model S, P100. We also learned about Peter’s (Cortland) customer service experience when he ordered the new Plaid Model S, and so much more.


    I’m glad everyone enjoyed this event, and I hope to see more members make the trip to the North Country. The more Tesla vehicles in our area, the more people will get used to them. We are always looking to encourage people making the switch from internal combustion engine vehicles and choosing electric. Trips like ours to Boldt Castle is not only fun for our members, but it also helps to promote our goal of sustainability, by making Tesla vehicles more accessible to the general public.

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