2016 Tesla Model S [photo by owner Shiva]Enlarge Photo
If someone uses my referral code to buy a new Model S or Model X by December 31, that owner gets unlimited Supercharging as long as they own that car.
The Model 3 is excluded from this program; Tesla has made it clear owners of its lower-priced car will have to pay for Supercharging.
Better service experience
I had no issues or complaints concerning Tesla’s infotainment system when I collected my new Model S last August.
Then, my Bluetooth unexpectedly stopped working in June 2017: My car simply wouldn't pair to my phone anymore.
I tried the usual steps: telling the phone to forget the connection, restarting my car, even rebooting the car’s infotainment system. Nothing worked.
Map of Tesla service center locations in the U.S., December 2016Enlarge Photo
When I called Tesla Service to make an appointment, I found out Tesla had opened a new service center in Santa Clara—luckily very close to my work. To my surprise, the new service center said I could come in that day.
When I brought in my car, the technician tried to diagnose the problem swiftly to get me in and out as soon as possible. Since he couldn’t do it quickly, he said they’d take my car for the day and give me a loaner.
I got a call the next day saying my car was ready. Tesla replaced the entire infotainment unit in the front trunk,—and my Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have worked flawlessly ever since.
I was surprised Tesla had to do this less than a year after delivering a brand-new and expensive car, but it got everything to work.
Tesla Model S added battery shield - front deflector from front, looking toward rear of carEnlarge Photo
Tesla is known for its over-the-air software updates that change an owner's experience with the cars, specifically when it comes to the user interface.
I've found those changes to be substantial during my year of ownership. Along with the change to Autopilot, the 8.0 update delivered a major change to the interface and infotainment functions in September 2016.
To me, it made the system more intuitive and improved the voice recognition to make items easier to find.
In early 2017, a further update allowed owners to see live status updates at any Tesla Supercharger station. Each red bar was a station in use at a particular location. The update also added information on amenities at the site, including Wi-Fi, bathrooms, and restaurants.
2016 Tesla Model S showing live Supercharger usage information [photo by owner Shiva]Enlarge Photo
The Tesla navigation system routes me through Supercharge sites if I enter a destination beyond the car's range. It tells me when and where to stop, and how long to charge, taking elevation into account.
I found during a recent trip that the estimated state of charge was extremely accurate when I arrived at the next Supercharger.
This makes it easy to plan a road trip in advance, removing much of the guess work. As far as I know, no other electric vehicle provides such functionality and capability to its owners by showing live charging information.
With the Model 3 on the horizon and close to half a million paid reservations, it will be interesting to see how Tesla keeps up with demand for charging as its number of cars on the road doubles or triples in a short period.