Today was the first club meetup for the new year. We had it at a new venue this time: the Tesla Merritt Island service center. Every make and model is always welcome to our club and meetups. We had a Ford Mustang Mach-E, two Chevy Bolts, a Mitsubishi Outlander plug in hybrid, and all 4 models of Tesla: Model S, 3, X, Y. There were even a couple of electric bicycles that dropped in! Everyone got to see the new steering wheel in one of the Model S called the yoke. It looks like the yoke you would see in an airplane and allows perfect view of the instrument cluster. Some like it and some people don’t. After driving with it for a while most people change their minds and become used to it and turn out to love it. Several non EV drivers showed up to have their questions answered to help them shop around for their next car. Everyone determined the next month meet up for February would be at the same place. So watch our upcoming events page to get the day and time.
Do you see the shirt Josh is wearing? He bought it in 2008 and was finally able to wear it when he took delivery of our 2021 Long Range Tesla Model Y. He joked that the shirt was almost old enough to drive. I joked that there was no way this shirt was ever grey.
As many of you know we have been driving PHEVs and EVs since 2011 starting with the first Volt and then moving on to the Gen 2 Volt, then the 2018 150 mi range Nissan Leaf and then when 150 miles was just not enough for us we decided it was time for a Tesla so we sold the Leaf to a repeat Leaf buyer and decided on the Model Y long range and WOW it was worth the wait. You can check out our Orlando delivery day experience here.
Our Journey to Tesla Ownership
Way back in 2018 we had a reservation for a model 3 but unfortunately their delivery dates were slipping and we needed a second car ASAP. Torn between the Bolt for more range but the Leaf for the price we decided to get the Leaf to go along with our 2017 Volt. When the Pandemic hit we realized we did not need two cars and we sold the Volt to Carvana with an offer we couldn’t refuse. This meant we had to rely on the Leaf for all of our driving including many trips to Orlando and back which is around 60 miles each way, mostly highway. We also were basically stuck using the few and far between, slow charging “fast charging” CHAdeMO chargers from EVgo and Electrify America.
SometimesMore is Better
Soon the 150 mile range just was not enough for a single car household. Luckily some club members were in the market for a used Leaf and ours fit the need so we sold it off. Then it was time to pick our Tesla. We ordered the Long Range Tesla Model Y due to its larger size, range, and cargo space. Less than a week later it was time to pick it up and the first time we saw over 300 miles of range displayed Josh joked “It might as well be infinity compared to the Leaf”. Not only that it charges so incredibly fast that we did not have time to eat our food before we were done supercharging. We always knew Tesla was ahead of the game but now that we have experienced it as owners it feels different. We absolutely love our model Y even with the window issue which should be fixed soon.
I had solar panels installed on my house early last year. My solar panels generated 73% of my power usage and saved me over $1000. We’re now about halfway through this year and so far I’m 84% solar. Last week I had a few more panels installed, which should bring me close to generating 100% of my power usage. The price of the solar panels should break even with the amount I save in electricity in about 7 years.
Another benefit of this is my Tesla now runs primarily on free solar power. I don’t have to worry about gas prices anymore. Even if I didn’t have solar panels, the electricity to power my car costs a fraction of what it costs to fill up a gas tank. It would cost me less than $10 in electricity from FPL to fill up my ‘tank.’ To put another way, the cost of a single fill-up on a 20-gallon gas tank right now would pay for a month of driving on my electric car.
The Sierra Club is working to get cities around the world pledge to switch city operations to 100% renewable energy by 2035. It’s called the Ready for 100 pledge and there is a petition to get the City of Melbourne to join in. As part of the pledge, a board would be formed to formulate a plan for how to achieve the 100% goal. This would likely include a mix of installing solar panels and switching to electric vehicles. Switching to renewables would save the city money and save taxpayers money. It just makes financial sense.
There’s also a related petition to the mayors of all Brevard County cities. Cities contribute about 70% of all energy-related emissions. By getting cities to pledge to convert city operations to 100% renewable energy by 2035 and all city activities by 2050, that would make a big dent in lowering emissions that pollute our air & water.