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  • April 16, 2019 11:23 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Under sunny, brisk conditions, the inaugural Buffalo Monthly Meetup (aka “Second Saturday at the Supercharger”) kicked off at 10 a.m. sharp on April 13, 2019 in Clarence.


    (Photo: John) [L-to-R: John, Joe, Anthony, Richard]

    In order of plug-ins, we hosted members John (Erie County), Richard (Genesee County) and Anthony (Niagara County), plus honorary member Joe from Massachusetts, in town for the Frozen Four hockey tournament. Our combo lived out the saying “the more, the merrier” with paint choices black, midnight silver metallic, pearl white and blue, respectively. All were Model 3s.


    (Photo: Anthony)

    The group wasted no time getting into the nitty gritty of ownership. Some experiences rang out positive, others were in definite need of improvement. Here are a few examples:

    + Going back to a new ICE vehicle is now a no-no (with the possible exception of a Lamborghini, but even that brought up an “Aren't they going electric?” right on cue).

    + Supercharging is a key differentiator from other brands of EV, and has become second-nature for all of us. There is no question that Teslas are viable for long distances.

    + Being able to appreciate the design and efficiency engineered into Model 3 versus Model S and Model X is another perk we would catch ourselves smiling about.

    - HQ could stand to enforce a policy that promises are kept in the delivery process. We all noticed that home delivery assurances pretty much end up as vapor.

    - Still on the topic of delivery, delays should be defined once and then known by all staff. The customer needs one good time frame for picking up their purchase.

    - Defects or other repairs that go out to a service center must be coordinated and honored at the closest service center. Even if that means one in Canada.

    Some of the members had more anguishing stories to tell, including one about a supposedly authorized tow driver who was not prepared to handle a Model 3 safely. We even heard about a rear window left open the entire way when flatbedded to a service center in Pennsylvania, not to mention tie-down straps marring all the pinwheels (aero covers). Again, the theme seemed to be recurring lack of communication, policy enforcement and plain old consistency across service experiences.

    One glowing suggestion was to be transparent about all communications between staff and customers. This would show up as a simple log within the mobile app, visible at any time and easy to reference for future use.

    Another need is to keep appointment times and tasks persistent. What if a customer lines up three repairs for a mobile service tech, but parts for only the first two make the cut? The same goes for scheduling mobile appointments, keeping the agreed upon time consistent between different staffers and contact attempts with the customer.

    One of the owners keenly outlined where on his car there was evidence that the paint was applied over dust or other particulates. His hunch is that the car was painted outdoors. Not visible to the naked eye, but apparent by touch, this is a new concern that none of the rest of us had heard about before.

    Another one of the owners has been experiencing an ongoing issue with Autopilot. There is a hesitancy changing lanes . . . but only to the right. Even after intervention by his service center, its cause remains a mystery and will need to be solved. This is a case where the collective input from owners across the state may answer it.

    The news that TOCNYS has been working behind the scenes to secure better service accommodations was a welcome highlight of the meetup. The value of an officially sanctioned owners group stood out with the prospect of Niagara Frontier owners getting access to brick-and-mortar repair shops, hopefully sooner than later.

    Not long after taking refuge from the windy day inside the coffee chain across the lot, courtesy of Anthony, we noticed our charges were already almost complete. Since Richard’s USB drive was malfunctioning, that was a prime chance for Anthony to borrow his laptop and do an error check from the comfort of the car’s cabin.

    An impromptu Model 3 show-and-tell session wrapped up the event. Joe pointed out that his Massachusetts EV license plate miraculously absorbed 100% of the impact from a wayward treetop that had blown in front of him at highway speed. Talk about aim! (He's keeping the plate as-is, as a battle scar). And, did you know that only EV-trained tow drivers can handle EV-plated cars in Massachusetts? . . .


    (Photo: John)

    Keeping things in the air, John showed off a recent batch of homemade lift pads made with genuine Czech Republic hockey pucks, some hex bolts and bunch of low profile rubber stoppers.


    (Photo: John)

    They came in handy the day before when the OEM winter tires finally went on “summer” vacation. He also demoed a budget-friendly 40A J1772 extension cable, sometimes marked down on Amazon.


    (Photo: Amazon)

    Just as the group split up, a few other local owners showed up to charge. We shared our meetup schedule with them and look forward to keeping up this new monthly tradition.

    Here's to everyone who drove out to participate—anywhere from three miles to over three hundred, technically!

    #####

    TOCNYS currently has meetups that occur across NY State. Check out our Meetups page to learn more and get connected to one in your area!

  • April 11, 2019 6:51 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    George Barris’ Batmobile … Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Beatnik Bandit … Darryl Starbird’s Predicta. These were the hot rod dream rides of my youth.

    Elon Musk’s Tesla … the real-life hot rod dream ride of my adulthood.

    I think that’s it. I think that’s one big reason people are so passionate about the Tesla brand—at least speaking for car fanatics like me who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. Sure, there’s the environmental benefits of driving a Tesla. And that early-adopter high of driving the future. And that smug feeling you get driving by gas stations, especially on the coldest winter days. But there’s something else innately attractive about the Tesla brand. Something emotional. Something that makes you smile.

    Then, one day as I scrolled through a hot rod website featuring bubble tops, it hit me. (If you don’t know what a bubble top is, Google it.) Today’s Tesla brand incorporates that “anything is possible on four wheels” mentality of the Kustom Car Culture.

    Think about it. The grooviest early kustoms added modern conveniences like televisions and telephones to their one-of-a-kind designs. In your Tesla, you can surf the web, play video games, and even dial up a romantic, cracking fireplace right on your dash. The most futuristic kustoms of the past featured jet-engine power and some even floated on air. Your Tesla is powered by electricity and makes you feel like you can break the sound barrier. Plus, it operates on auto-pilot (with your hands on the wheel, of course) and lets you summon it from a parking space with your smartphone. Fun, ridiculous features made those early kustoms stand out on the crowded highway of sameness. Your Tesla farts. Yes, there’s now a whoopie cushion feature meant to shock and embarrass passengers. Need I say more?

    The emotional connection people feel for Tesla goes far beyond the driving experience. At its heart, at least for some of us, is the fun factor. What other car continually improves itself—both with practical upgrades and safety features, as well as with silly add-ons like “Ride the Rainbow,” which turns the graphic roadway on your dash into a rainbow while playing a riff from “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” Totally useless. Totally unnecessary. Totally fun.

    Yes, I know there are thousands of sane, grown-up reasons to love the Tesla brand. But for those of us who ever wondered what it might be like to drive the Munster Koach, now we have that opportunity. At least the opportunity to drive a vehicle that is unlike any other. And that’s why I believe today’s Tesla captures the soul of every kustom ever built.

    Charge on!

  • April 11, 2019 3:13 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    We received the following email recently from one of our members. Great timing really, considering the help TOCNYS members recently provided with a local fire department in Watkins Glen International and relevant also since we've added our First Responders Packet to our website resources! Anyway, on to our member's email...

    Today's experience should be shared across the entire Tesla and EV nation:

    Upon leaving my model 3 at the local big box store, I happened to see four men and women who where exiting the SUV fully clothed in fire fighting garb. As I later was on my way to pay for my item and leave the store, I noticed those four were directly in front of me in line. I spoke to the women and asked them if they have ever had any training or experience putting out Tesla/EV fires. Surprisingly their answer was "No". Wow, what an opportunity to teach them what I know about my P3D, I thought.

    They happily followed me to my car which was directly across the lot from me. I showed them the way to open the frunk if it couldn't be opened from inside. Their jaws of life spreader would work if stuck. I pulled up the small battery cover and showed them were to cut the red HV lead (in two spots), and then showed them appropriately where on rear passenger side C pillar to use the K-12 cutter to slice through it.

    I also showed them my 2 Gel extinguishers. Putting out lithium ion battery fires can be deadly for responders if done incorrectly. They knew that much and were grateful that I shared what info I could with my model 3. I wasn't sure about our other Tesla models in the fleet, so I could only share what I knew. They all shook my hand and went on to have their planned BBQ.

    Maybe we can plan and organize some paperwork to hand out to our local fire fighters so they can familiarize themselves with the Tesla methods of safely extinguishing battery fires. I know fire departments have their own ways of teaching each other, but how many departments have 3, 4, or 5 different members with all the models in the Tesla fleet?

    Let me know what you this of this idea. For me personally, I am going to make it a point to educate MY local fire department on my Model 3 for their safety alone... NYS has the 2nd largest number of Tesla models in the US...

    Thanks, Keith

  • April 09, 2019 12:19 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Recently a handful of TOCNYS members were invited to bring their cars for a show-and-tell of sorts for a fire training weekend held at Watkins Glen International. They were able to bring each of the three major production models: the  Model S,  Model X, and Model 3 to give the trainees exposure to all the Teslas they might encounter on the race track.


    Here are some remarks on the event from the participating TOCNYS members:

    Member #1:

    "Thank you for asking me to participate at the TOCNYS Watkins Glen training show and tell. The cold wind in the parking lot did not put a damper on the excitement, enthusiasm, and inquisitiveness of the group of first responders. Wonderful time... One member from Albany asked to go for a quick ride in the parking lot and he enjoyed it immensely. A good time was had by all! It was fun answering their many different questions."

    Member #2:

    "I did take a couple of the firefighters for a quick acceleration test in the Model 3. Even though it's not a performance model, they were very impressed. One kept saying how it felt like more g-force than he experienced in an aerobatic plane."

    Member #3:

    "It was a pleasure - the folks were very enthusiastic and asked very good questions."

    In addition to thanking the participating TOCNYS members, the Watkins Glen International Fire Chief, in appreciation, offered TOCNYS members 10 free tickets to their Opening Weekend Drive the Glen, which were gladly accepted and used!

    -----

    One of the missions of the Tesla Owners Club New York State is to help the local NYS infrastructure transition from gas-based to electric-based. This entails many aspects of our society that we may not think of immediately, such as first responders and how they need to become familiar and prepared to handle dangerous situations involving EVs and the powerful batteries that power them. Any first-responders (police, fire departments, etc) that are interested in learning more about Teslas can...

  • April 03, 2019 12:30 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Tesla's return policy has been in the spotlight more than usual lately after Tesla's announced (and then somewhat back-tracked) transition to online sales only. The closure of Tesla stores means less possibility of test drives for prospective consumers. To assuage the hesitant would-be buyers, Tesla assured them that they'd have a week after purchase to drive their new car and could then return it if not satisfied for a full refund.

    Last week however, this return policy was marked by confusion as conflicting tweets surfaced about whether or not those who had the luxury of a pre-purchase test drive were still eligible for the seven-day-return:

    Fortunately, the CEO's tweet has proven to have trumped the former and Tesla has since modified its return policy and removed the offending clause. So now officially seven-day returns are in effect for all, regardless of whether or not one had had a test drive.

    Click here to read the details of Tesla's Return Policy

  • April 02, 2019 3:01 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Since Sentry Mode made its debut in mid-February of this year, it has managed to keeping making the rounds on the internet. Though the jury might still be out on whether it is actually successful at its stated purpose of discouraging break-ins, the camera system that it uses has lately proved useful in recording the acts of wrongdoing. Here are three such recent examples for your viewing pleasure:


    1. Tesla Sentry catches thieves on camera


    2. Sentry Mode catches hit in parking lot


    3. Sentry Mode catches a hater keying a Model 3

  • March 27, 2019 4:48 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    I know we've probably all spent too much time watching Tesla drag race videos, but every now and then one comes along that's genuinely 1. well-shot and 2. entertaining. This is one of those - enjoy!

  • March 25, 2019 2:48 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    One month after ending the Referral Program, Tesla is bringing it back with a different structure and a chance to win a Tesla Model Y! The referrer and the referred individual gets a different set of perks.

    The Referrer gets 1,000 miles of Free Supercharging as well entry into a drawing for a free Tesla Model T Founders Edition. The Referred receives 1,000 miles of Free Supercharging. Each Founder's Series Vehicle will be signed by both Elon Musk and Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer.

    Drawings for the Model Y occur on a monthly basis starting on May 1, 2019.

    And on that note, click here to buy a Tesla and get 1,000 miles of free supercharging and a chance to win a Model Y!

  • March 25, 2019 2:25 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Though still trailing far behind #1 California, New York State has increased the amount of EVs registered by more than 50% from the year prior (2017). Of those registrations, BEVs (Battery EVs) are more numerous than PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid EVs) and the Tesla Model 3 represents by far the majority of BEVs new to the road.

    • California – 153,442 (Up from 94,872)

    • New York – 15,752 (Up from 10,090)

    • Florida – 13,705 (Up from 6,573)

    • Washington – 12,650 (Up from 7,068)

    • Texas – 11,764 (Up from 5,419)

    • New Jersey – 9,230 (Up from 5,033)

    • Massachusetts – 8,990 (Up from 4,632)

    • Illinois – 7,357 (Up from 3,812)

    • Arizona – 7,086 (Up from 2,976)

    • Colorado – 7,051 (Up from 4,156)

    See full article over at InsideEVs

  • March 18, 2019 11:47 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    "Tesla has long been having issues selling its cars in Texas due to their direct-sale law and car dealer lobbying effort, but now the automaker’s situation is becoming even more precarious in the state as a new bill that could block them from even servicing their cars is being introduced."

    Read the full Electrek article here

    It's well known that Tesla's direct sales in New York State is also strictly limited to only 5 stores. It's frustrating to think that the auto dealer lobbyists who already have a government-empowered unfair edge would not only defend their advantage, but go on offense to try to take even more away from untraditional car companies (like Tesla) and their owners.

    Perhaps one can only hope that the auto dealer monopolists overplay their hand, things end up in court, and a rational decision is handed out once and for all. It's sad to think that things seem to all hinge on the whims of bureaucrats here in the "land of the free" though.

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