That day last year I picked up my Model 3.
A few months later, I wrote almost five and a half thousand words on the car. So, after my first full year at Tesla, it's still as good as it seemed in this review 12 months ago.
Well, no. Because it's BETTER.
Better because of the improvements and new features that come with every wireless software update.
For example, the built-in dash cam previously used 3 cameras and had no playback device. Now a fourth camera is used which allows you to watch clips on the car screen.
Speaking of the screen, last fall's major v10 update added Netflix and YouTube support so you never get bored while waiting in the car.
The voice control has been greatly updated and after one or two false starts, many actions can now be triggered by voice, from opening the glove compartment to the command "My butt is cold".
There was also a major update to the regeneration system, which means the car now has an even smarter one-pedal driving setup, down to 0 miles an hour.
The autopilot now recognizes traffic lights, cones, stop signs and road markings as they evolve with each new version.
Tesla's "Battery Day" has now been postponed to September and it is rumored that it will launch the new "Million Mile" battery version of the car.
There haven't been many (any?) Major hardware updates I know of in the past year. It would certainly be good to see how Model 3 gets the Model Y heat pump.
Speaking of the lack of a heat pump, this became noticeable over the winter. It wasn't particularly cold, but the range was still suffering. I never really managed to properly test the car in cold weather.
In fact, the last 3,000 miles were almost exclusively short stretches of less than 5 miles, which of course are very inefficient. I would say that on these short journeys, where the car is warmed up from the battery and then run at full speed with the heater, the range could drop to around 140 miles in cold and wet conditions.
Costs for the 1st year
Since the car has barely traveled a distance in the last 3 months of closure, it only traveled 6,755 miles in its first year at 287 Wh / mile. That means missing out on all the warmer spring / summer in which the car is being driven averages 3.5 miles per kWh. I think it would have been 4.0 in a normal year.
Use £ 0.17 per unit, which equates to £ 330 for the full year of "fuel", or about 4.8p per mile. In reality it is less than that since I used the (still) free public charging system in Northern Ireland. As soon as we are in the new house and have a night tariff to recharge, it drops to more than 2.5 pence per mile.
Like many other owners, I wrote to my MP about the £ 320 car tax payable on Model 3 (VED). Although the responses were all strikingly similar and dismissive, the message must last get through its budget, this has been reversed and now the model costs £ 3.00 a year. And that means an enormous saving of £ 1,600 in years 2 to 6.
My second year insurance premium has just been paid and is the same as last year for the penny at £ 360.64 (the sheet was over £ 400). I started paying $ 9.99 a month for premium connectivity so my SR + had the same cards, streaming music and video services as the Long Range and Performance Model 3s.
From the handles that I had with the car in the original report, it still shits regularly and applies the brakes, as I said at the time. For me, this is still the most annoying aspect of ownership. I like cruising in 30 and 40 mph zones, and the car often hits the brakes with little or no reason.
The door handles are still confusing everyone, but the automatic wipers have received an extensive software update and are now working much better.
The biggest new problem I've had with the car lately is the loss of the LTE / 4G connection. This happens increasingly regularly and can take up to a day. With the great news that Belfast will soon be getting its own Tesla Service Center, it will at least be easier to do a check.
I can't imagine any other really important topic. And I am happy to inform you that there is still no squeaking or rattling in the car.
NI Superchargers #Nope
Thanks to all the people who ordered a Tesla through my referral link (mark40609), I had 20,000 free Supercharger miles. But without a single compressor in Northern Ireland, I watch them gradually run out without being able to use them.
Hopefully, progress at the Belfast Service Center also means that the supercharger near Lisburn, which has been shown on its map as "coming soon" for some years, will follow soon.
It was only 8 years ago this month that Tesla started delivering its first volume car. S. Tesla's share price peaked a week or two ago, making it the most valuable automaker in the world. More valuable than Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen together. The progress was incredible and only a genius full of blind optimism and frantic striving for success could have made it.
It's a cliché, but it's true to say that driving a piston car after a Tesla feels like switching from your iPhone back to a Nokia. When I look back over my review a year later, my feelings haven't changed and I can't improve my original bottom line from then on.
The Tesla Model 3 is not perfect. But damn it is close.