As you may already know, I am a technology freak, I love anything related to technology and how tech helps people on their daily lives. I am an admirer of what Elon Musk is doing not only with Tesla by helping to transition to electric vehicles (EVs), but also with SpaceX and all their battery streams. His perseverance is admirable, and I think we are lucky to live these times, getting to see how Elon Musk is helping change the world in so many ways. I think he is a genius, not a perfect human being, “just” a genius.
While my position about Tesla and Elon Musk is clear, I want to make sure to remain objective about this review, the car is not perfect and it has room for improvement (I will detail some of them below), but their starting point is already futuristic and I love what they are doing.
The order of our Model Y and the transition to an EV in Switzerland
We placed the order of a Tesla Model Y Long Range on March 4th 2022, and our delivery date was on March 28th 2022, the car is manufactured in China and we have purchased it with FSD as we plan to keep the car for a long time (we prefer buying and not leasing). I acknowledge we were very lucky to receive the car so fast, initially the delivery estimation was planned for July!.
I don’t know if the delivery was so fast because we live in Switzerland and we happened to have availability, the fact we had FSD ordered helped or just luck was on our side. One thing is for sure, I was super anxious about receiving our Tesla so I am very happy the delivery took place so fast.
The transition to Electric Vehicles is a reality in Switzerland, and you can see how Teslas are the top selling EVs in the country on the latest stats by Auto.swiss below. I just wished the different Swiss provinces and/or the federal government would help a bit with the transition. In the Canton we live (Aargau) they do not support in any way the purchase of EVs. Not with monetary incentives, nor reduction in vehicles tax, nor installing a charger at home, nothing. If the country wants to really help the environment as it does in so many ways (for example with the highest levels of recycling) I think they could do better to incentivise people to get EV´s.
Our initial thoughts of the Model Y
Although we did a test drive of the car some months back when it was made available in the country, when we saw it in person again to take the delivery, we were amazed about its size. It was way bigger than what I imagined, making it very comfortable. It was definitely an upgrade in size from our Nissan Qashqai from 2014.
We love the amount of tech present in the car, and the posibilites for it to get better every night with over the air updates while the car is parked in our garage. It’s clear that Tesla’s approach to their vehicles was to challenge absolutely everything we always gave for granted in a car, leaving space for innovation and creative new ways of resolving needs.
For example, as you may know, everything in a Tesla is controlled through a very responsive touch screen, the only other buttons you will find are only present on the steering wheel and their functionalities are contextualised to the different menus you browse through the touchscreen.
We had our car for almost a week now and while my wife was a bit scared about one pedal driving, she now loves it and got used to it very easily. This poses a change compared to classic ICE cars, you use the accelerator most of the times, and when you lift your foot from it, the car reduces its speed as it was breaking. But the beauty of it is that when the car breaks in this way, you are regenerating energy that is being injected into the battery. This is one of the reasons why breaks don’t need to be serviced so often, because you use them very little.
The overall experience is like sitting in a car from the future, we also invested on some stocks of the company since some time, and when you sit in one of their cars, you realise that what they are doing is amazing so I am more confident on the company and its future even now. A lot of people think Tesla is a car company, I think it’s more an energy company.
Many folks are still sceptical about EV´s due to concerns on batteries production, but they miss to see the amount of energy wasted when petrol has to be extracted and refined for normal ICE cars, but that’s a topic for another more detailed post.
We tried already some Self Driving capabilities and they are amazing, the car is able to auto-steer, keep its lane, drive straight, break, accelerate all on its own. Of course you are required to pay attention at all times and be ready to take over. We expect to see improvements on Full Self Driving Capabilities (FSD) in Europe this year as announced by Elon on Twitter and on the recent inauguration event of the Giga Berlin factory.
I was concerned about panel gaps and quality issues that were reported on the infinite YouTube videos and reviews I watched before buying and taking delivery, but I was happy to see that none of those applied to our car, the quality was perfect. You can see it in some pictures below:
Room for improvement
The Tesla´s are not perfect, and there is definitely room for improvement, below I am describing some of the things we would like to see improved and some of them could be addressed through software, while others might need some additional thinking. I hope Elon Musk or someone at Tesla sees this post so it helps to improve their vehicles.
Dynamic Speed Limits:
In Switzerland there are a lot of road cameras, and sometimes they send you a fine to your house if you pass the max speed for even 2 Km/h, so to prevent this from happening and so we don’t have to pay precise attention to the max speed, we were using an automation offered by our old car.
What we were used to use in old Nissan Qashqai from 2014, was to set the speed limit we wanted to use dynamically (you can see how it works on the Nissan here). For example if we know we are driving through a street or area which max speed is 30, we would set that max speed to 30 while driving with the press of a button, but still keeping control of the pedals. Please note its a speed limit and not a cruise control what I am referring to. I don’t want the car to drive on its own at that set max speed, at least not through a city. If we then switch to a road where the max speed is 50, same concept, we would adjust the max speed and limit it again to the max speed of that road by just increasing the max speed with the press of a button a couple of times.
Ideally, with the technology present in Tesla cars, we should be able to have a mode called something like “Obey speed limits” to automatically limit the car to limit itself to the max speed allowed in that road. Of course this would require to have a much better identification of max speeds, by GPS, with the cameras or a combination of both when one differs from the other (the Nissan was way better at this than the Tesla).
As an override we could press the accelerator harder or press a button to disengage it and have free speed if needed.
I am not interested on speeding with the car, just to use it comfortably at the max allowed speeds respecting traffic rules. Actually me, my wife and my son, we all “suffer” from motion sickness, so we use the car only in chill mode. This is a mode that makes the instant acceleration more subtle so it doesn’t make us dizzy.
360 birds eye view:
In our old car we had a ver useful visualization called 360 view, especially in parkings this was very useful to understand if the car was parked in between the lines properly, etc. Something that with the Tesla Y we acquired is not so easy to see.
I think Teslas already have the technology to incorporate this view that can be activated while manoeuvring closely to objects, the cameras are there so I think it’s just a matter of adjusting the software to do so.
There was a Tweet from Elon Musk saying this was going to come soon as “vector space birds eye view”, but that was already a couple of years back and we haven’t seen it incorporated yet.
Cameras and rain:
I don’t know if it was bad luck or what, but we noticed that on our second day of rain with the Tesla we were already facing obstructed views on the cameras due to rain drops. This was not happening in our previous car, so maybe they could reposition the cameras so they are a bit more protected from exposure to the drops.
Heads Up Display:
We did not have a heads display in our previous car, but it would have been nice to have one in the Tesla. Or at least the possibility to have one behind the steering wheel like the more expensive Model S and Model X have. I think that if they offer this as an optional add-on, more people would feel more confidence to make the switch. In our Model Y all information is on the central touch screen, nowhere else. I hope Tesla could release a retrofit upgrade to include an additional display, or an additional mobile App that syncs with the car and can show basic info so it can be placed behind the steering wheel with a holder for example.
Idea Voting Portal & community:
As Tesla owners we need a better way to share ideas and speak up about what we would like to see implemented in our cars. A simple way for the whole community to vote up or down ideas (User Voice like) and to be able to let Tesla know what is important for us. Something more reliable than praying to the gods that Elon will look at one of our Tweets 😉
Also the possibility for people to engage in a community across countries would be awesome. I know that Tesla had forums in the past, not sure why they were disabled, but it would be awesome to at least have it enabled for owners.
I understand Tesla already uses the ServiceNow platform so Idea Management and Idea Portal is something they could implement quite straight forward. Also they have communities 😃
I have opened a Change.org Petition to gather signatures, but I don’t have many followers in social media so if you agree with these ideas please feel free to share the petition so we can gather more support. You can find it here: Petition Link
We are very happy with our move to the EV world, and we are happy we did the switch to a Tesla Model Y, a car that I would definitely recommend to anyone. We are still getting used to the charging and some things here and there, this is by all means not an exhaustive review, but I wanted to share my initial thoughts after owning the car for the first week as it might be helpful to anyone looking into it.
As me there are a lot of Tesla´s owners and fans that are eager to share improvement ideas with the company, I hope they react to this need and implement a way for owners to share feedback so they can make their products even better.
If you liked this post, please kindly consider sharing it on your preferred social media channels, maybe, if lucky enough someone at Tesla would read it and can take some of these things up for improvement.