I have to admit: I did fall in love. With Simone, our Tesla Model S. She is now one year with us, and I miss her when I am away. Every day when I wake up, I look forward to drive her to work, during the day I regularly use my Tesla App to check her status, and I enjoy to meet her again, driving back home in the evening. We also had a great holiday with her, driving to the south of France, using the Supercharger network. When she has a problem , I am worried, and impatiently waiting for her to return from the hospital in Tilburg. And, finally, it is not only me who thinks she is beautiful!
Last weekend I returned from a trip to the USA with Stella, the solar car of Eindhoven University of Technology. On Saturday, we participated with Stella the Guinness Book of Record successful attempt for the longest EV parade, in Cupertino, CA. After careful counting the record was set with 507 pure EV cars! Many of them Tesla’s. And even after a year owning one myself, I loved to see them all. Fortunately, the next day, when I returned home on Sunday, I could sit in ours myself again. Also on Sunday we downloaded the new version 6.0 of the software into our Tesla. With the new version it is also possible to name your car. We called her Simone, or SiMOne – Steinbuch in Motion One.
So, how did it all start? Well, being active in EV and advocating the use of it, I thought it would be time to buy an EV myself. Since we were driving a Renault Kangoo, I planned to buy the electric version. However, then I was given a Tesla Roadster for a long weekend. The acceleration kick was incredible. No gear shifting, and smooth driving: the feel of electric driving! After I let my wife drive the car, putting the BMW guys next to her at the traffic light into her rear mirror, we decided to order a Model S :).
September 13, 2013 we got her, shining in the beautiful Sig red color, our P85+. Since then we drove over 28.700 km, using 6.700 kWh (233 Wh/km), driving for 0,03 €/km, with a fun I would never have expected from myself. However, of course, the change from the Kangoo was a huge step function! The past year, we participated in the e-rally (became even 5/100), used the car to show to children the fun of engineering and technology, did many interviews, drove a lot of journalists and politicians around, giving them this wow feeling (0.7 g acceleration!). Simone was on the national television, in many articles, including our Eindhoven University newspaper cover page with me lying in the beautiful and useful frunk.
The Tesla Model S is a cult in CA, USA. The main reason we did buy her, is that I think Tesla is changing the game of EV: it lifts the experience and image of EV to top levels, and prepares the market for mass introduction. I show Simone to my students, and I use her in my talks for engineers, doctors and farmers. I explain that times are changing in the automotive sector, not only because of the electrifications, but because of the role of software in Automotive. Simone has got her new brains this weekend, and many updates will follow.
I look forward to order our SiMTwo in 2017 or 2018: a Model 3. It will be our second EV car , and it is affordable for many, and has a good range. I hope it will bring the breakthrough we need, to really move towards a real sustainable mobility. Join the Future of Automotive!