A devoted and passionate company attracts devoted and passionate people.

After such a great service, I could not remain silent and had to share my experience. A TESLA ranger came from Montréal to the Ottawa/Gatineau area to help out a few Model S owners including me. He came to my place at around 19h00.

My 3 issues:

  1. Little noise, sometimes coming from the direction when turning at low speed (while parking for example).
  2. Unstable high power wall charger cable connection.
  3. A Little rusted signal light from the passenger side.

At 19h00 pm, I was expecting him to only fix the cable connection. Marcin said: “I drove a long distance, might as well do as much as I possibly can”. He left our place past 22h30! He totally exceeded my expectations by fixing all three of the issues. While he was disassembling the car to fix the direction noise, he took the time to explain to me what the problem was while still remaining efficient during the repair.

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Marcin is very professional, meticulous and passionate about his work. He also did a courtesy check of the car’s fluid and filled up my windshield washer tank. 🙂

Having the chance to see a live expert taking good care of your car as if it was his own is priceless. When I see people like Marcin, I feel in good hands and happy they are in line with the company’s philosophy. Thank you for such an outstanding service TESLA.

Facing the Coldest Winter in 20 Years With My Model S

At last, I take time to write about my experience with my Model S in the coldest winter of the last 20 years according to a senior Climatologist at Environment Canada: Winter 2013-2014!

In a few words, buying the car was the best decision I ever made, regardless of the weather conditions! It actually helped me go over our crazy winter (Getting into a warm car in winter is priceless). I am also amazed at how precise the direction is in the snow, even more than our 4×4. It is almost impossible to lose control and believe me, I tried a few times.

Last summer, we proved that in 2013, it was possible to do a long distance trip without using TESLA super charging stations, for free, thanks to Suncountryhighway (See our 2013 family summer trip).

Now, how about doing long distances during extreme cold weather conditions? We planned a family roundtrip from Gatineau/Ottawa to Sherbrooke with temperature ranging from -15 to -30 degrees celsius with the car fully packed. In the cold weather we needed a relatively fast charging station like the one I have in my garage. (80 amps @ 240 volt which gives us about 90km per hour of charge)

Thanks to the Model S charging network family, this trip was made possible. Many Model S owners, enthusiasts like me, share their home charging station on plugshare.

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All the little blue houses are Model S chargers shared by owners. The red arrows is where we stopped charging. You can see mine in Gatineau 🙂

During our trip, we stopped in Vaudreuil-Dorion (Thank you Dominic!) and ate at a nearby restaurant, while waiting for the car to charge. We then continued to Sherbrooke without any issues with 8 km of rated range left. The most interesting part of the story, is on our way back, which I will share in my next post.

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It is safe to run over debris at highway speed with a Tesla Model S

Due to the negative press lately, I felt I had to share our story for all the current, future and potential Tesla owners.

During our trip to Gaspésie last summer, we went over a big debris on the highway at 110 km/h per hours (About 68 miles per hours). The car was fully packed with a family of 4.

When we hit the wood log, we felt a huge impact. My wife and I looked at each other: “Holy smoke, I hope the battery pack is ok” We stopped at the next exit, did visual inspection. We saw nothing special to report except for some left over pieces of wood, no fire!

We finished our trip safely without any problems. The car was inspected by the service centre, everything was fine.

I wish the medias would support Tesla when these types of accidents happen. We are talking about a startup company (10 years is a small number in the car industry) that is doing miracle with electrical cars. We should encourage them instead of trying to come up with sensational and very often incorrectly reported news.

A week without my Model S

After spending a week without my Model S, I found I missed the following features: (putting aside the fact that it is quiet, fast and has great handling)

  • I listen to Slacker radio often. (Signal quality is way better than the Sirius radio on the Ford fusion loaner)
  • Twice a day I plan my route to avoid traffic, very convenient with an overview of the Ottawa city on the 17 inch screen.
  • I use the backup camera in traffic to cover the famous dead angles.
  • I was not getting the regular thumbs up from the enthusiasts 🙂

I was also very surprised to notice how much we use the break pedals with a regular gas car. The Model S one pedal driving is very efficient and convenient.

The service centre kept the car for a week because they ended up replacing the whole drive train. The service centres are not allowed to open the drive train nor the battery pack. If either one needs special attention, they replace it. Once the work was completed, they returned the car home on a flat bed trailer. Isn’t that great?

Back at the pump

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I left my car at the service centre in Montréal, Québec during a business trip. The service was booked a week earlier.

Surprise #1: No Model S loaner for me available. Surprise #2, No vehicle loaner available at all! They called me a taxi.

Are they too busy? Was it a lack of planning? I had a strange feeling, the lady looked at the manager with an unusual look. The next day, someone brought me a Ford Fusion. (Really?)

I was contacted later telling me the strange high pitch sound coming from the drive train needed attention/help from the Tesla engineers. That meant coming back to Ottawa without my Model S.

Because they brought me an half full tank car, I had to stop at the pump on my way to Gatineau. Ford fusion seats are way too soft for long drives, my back is soar! 🙂

I called Tesla in California to describe the experience. To be continued.

A lot of people in California are working hard to make everything perfect.  It’s unfortunate that the Montreal service centre is not following the same standards of excellence. Although, Kathy at the front desk, was very professional.