Tesla Model S P100D and the time of my life

13th of July, 2:08 AM

My thoughts are shouting and having an argument in the silence of the night:

What were you thinking when you decided to test an electric car? Really, what was in your mind? What if anything happens? What if you don’t find a power source? What if the car is too powerful for you? What if you’ll accidentally hit the throttle too hard and you find yourself at 100 km/h in a couple of seconds, on a heavily used highway? And what if you’ll scratch the car when you park it? And where will you park it? At home, you don’t have a garage. What if anybody steals it over the night? What if anybody hits it, by mistake? Does it have an alarm? I hope so. You should sleep in the car for the time period in which you are responsible for this car. And also regarding the parking, where will you park it when you’ll want to eat, for instance? The underground parkings are narrow and this car is big. You know that you marked almost every curve from underground parkings with your rims.  You shouldn’t leave it on the street, just like that. It costs too much.

How can I leave this car on the street, exposed to potential scratches, dust, and untraceable curious eyes? If I could, I would pack it and put it in my purse. And then eat it. Just to be sure that it’s safe. What was I thinking when I decided to test a Tesla Model S P100D?

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These thoughts kept me awake almost all night long. I’ve imagined dozens of scenarios and backup plans from A to H. Women overthink stuff and I’m not an exception.

As I watched the sunlight slowly fill up the room, I knew that I could no longer postpone the inevitable. Tic-tac, the handover of the car was getting closer and closer.

After I tried on everything in my closet in the pursuit of finding the perfect outfit for the meeting, I reached the conclusion that I don’t have enough clothes and that I’m also having a bad hair day. This kind of things always happen to me when I try too hard. Eventually, I chose a pair of jeans and a basic top, nothing wow. I just let my hair be and said to myself that cliché quote that every woman is beautiful in her own way.

My beautiful car with a manual gearbox is waiting for me in its parking slot. I knew that I’ll have to leave it in a garage over the weekend and I’m already starting to miss it. The lovely car that I know how to drive despite the weather, my not so eco-friendly partner for the road was chaperoning me to the adventure of my life. But neither of us knew that yet.

I used the navigation of my phone to get to my meeting. As I was approaching the destination, emotions started to run through my veins and I could literally feel my heart beating faster. I must admit, there were times in which I wanted to turn the car around, cancel the meeting and go home. But when you have a screaming toddler in the back of the car (introducing my daughter) things change. You don’t have time to lose yourself between your thoughts (only at night, when you usually choose to sleep because you don’t know exactly when your kid will hit you in the face with a tennis ball because she wants to play before sunrise). You have to schedule everything, know exactly where and why you are going in accordance with your kids’ nap or meal time. So I wanna thank my daughter for not letting me think too much about the encounter.

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Until we got to the destination, my toddler fell asleep so I switched to adult mood on and crossed my fingers not to mumble baby lullabies, as I often find myself doing that when I’m alone. Not creepy at all.

I had a training before the handover and I listened to everything carefully. Initially, I thought that I will have to write down how to drive an electric car but to my surprise, everything regarding this car is so user-friendly that I ended up being the complicated one in the picture.

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As the training was in progress, I was sitting behind the wheel of a car that made me want to drive it asap. This never happened before. Was it because it immediately inspired me confidence? Or because the dashboard has only two buttons(you know I hate to see many buttons in a car)? Was it the fine and elegant design? I don’t know. But I could really feel a wish to drive. Ladies, it was like buying new shoes: you want to wear them and see the world in their company as soon as possible.

The training is over and I want to conquer the roads. The key is in my right hand and my four-day adventure is ready to begin. Speaking of the key, the nomad key as I like to name it, if you have it somewhere in your bag, your Tesla will unlock (of course, if you are near it).

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When you move away, the car automatically closes. And you know it’s closed because the side mirrors will fold when this happens. So you basically only need to have the key in your hand for 2 things: opening the rear and the front trunk. The keys’ design is really intuitive because it looks like a Tesla in miniature. Double click on the mini hood if you want to open the (you guessed) car hood and double click on the mini trunk door if you want to open the (you guessed again) car trunk. Of course, you can open the boot in the classic way, by pressing a button strategically placed but I like better this artistic way of doing things (of course if I manage to find the key in a bag full of toys, snacks, all kind of napkins and other baby products).

So, with the car key in my hand, I’m ready to put on my crown and rule over the roads. But first, I have to move the baby car seat from my car into the Tesla. Whoever said Isofix is an easy system to use was definitely not a woman. I found it hard to insert the car seat. Actually, I found nothing but my epic fail in trying to do that. Luckily I found someone kind enough to help me so voilà, I could finally begin my… fairytale. Because I felt like a princess behind the wheel of that Tesla 🙂

It’s so quiet. My toddler is inspecting the car with curious eyes. I can barely hear the noises from the outside. I’m not frightened anymore, I have 0 emotions. Everything seems so right, that too good to be true kind of right. But oh, it was good and also true. My toddler mumbles something and my thoughts disappear. I have to get home, she has to eat lunch.

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Ok, so I have to push the brake, this turns the car on. Done. Then I have to put it in drive mode by pushing a lever down. Done. Navigation comes next. This big screen is every woman’s dream. It’s super easy to use because it’s like a smartphone (with a 17-inch display). Great, so that’s about it. As simple as that. Next, I hit the throttle and I hear myself whispering to my baby: “What a chance mommy has to get to drive this car“. It’s funny because I whispered involuntarily. Just like you do in a museum, a public library or a… yep, Tesla. This car isolates the noises in such an excellent way that even on the highway you can whisper and be perfectly understood by the other passengers. Also, if it wasn’t already obvious, the fact that this car is electric contributes a lot to the no-noise-in -the-car story.

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OMG, this car breaks all by itself when I don’t press the throttle.

I had to put this in bold. If somebody only scrolls this article I want him or her to see this because, for me, this is the most important thing that this car does for ladies. It takes away the burden of hitting the brake pedal over and over again, sometimes too fast, sometimes too slow, sometimes too hard, sometimes too soft. By doing this, besides making women happy, the car also recovers energy.

Heavy traffic embraced me on the highway. Crowded roads usually overwhelm me and I hate driving in such conditions. But this time I got home in a zen mood, without feeling the consequences of this trip which would have been exhausting behind the wheel of another car. Tesla was the perfect companion, it took off my shoulders everything that normally would fatigue me, such as frequently changing the gears and thus continuously pushing the clutch or the brake pedal. Practically I got home by literally pushing two pedals (and that happened seldom).

Take 4. I’m sure my neighbors’ eyes are on me. I can see a man sitting near his car and looking at me as I was trying to park the Tesla. He is fascinated. Not by me nor by my stupid parking moves, but by the car I just brought on our street. He just sits there looking. He looks like a statue. Is he alright?

Take 5. This rear camera is awesome and the sensors really want to be my best friends but I’m not sure that I can park this car. I’m too afraid of scratching it. Or leave it in the middle of the road.

Take 8. I think this should do it.

OK, so now what? I put the car in Parking Mode and? Nothing is shutting down. AHA! I can’t hear the engine anymore. But the display is still on, just like the other stuff on the dashboard. Oh well, I’ll just take my baby and climb out from the car.

I’m sitting near the car asking myself when will it lock itself? I’m double checking the nomad key, is there any hidden button?

 No.

Yes, holding the key near the car wasn’t the brightest idea. I’ve waited for like 2 minutes and the car did lock. But should it normally take that long? Anyway, I’m leaving. But is the car locked, like for real? I can see that the mirrors are folded BUT is it locked? I usually check the cars I drive a few times before I leave, just to be sure that they are locked. I think this is a thing that most women do. So I came back near the car and it unlocked. Phew, it was locked (d’oh). Ok, so now I’m leaving for good. As I was moving away, the car locked itself faster than it did when I was sitting next to it. I forced myself not to look behind me and thanks to my strong ambition I was able to get home.

That evening I took the Tesla for a ride to Metz, one of the coolest cities in France.

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During my little escape, I could notice that the headlights follow the way I move the steering wheel and that the side mirrors take a green tint whenever there are headlights behind (an awesome anti-eye wrinkle feature). I also noticed an elegant light under the door handles, such a beautiful detail among other that shows that people from Tesla really wanted to design this car to be the perfect partner for the road.

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14th of July, 3:26 am

Maybe I should go check on the car. I hope it’s still there. Does it have an alarm? I didn’t ask.

The morning came and the first thing I did when I woke up was, of course, to run and see if everything was alright with the car. And it obviously was.

New moms know how hard it is to remember to look in the mirror before leaving the house and perhaps they miss walking on high heels or dressing in those clothes that seemed so comfortable before having a baby but now are the worst enemies. Sometimes we forget to put on that red lipstick which is now probably already expired. And sometimes, we just forget about us. Where do I want to go with this? Tesla inspired me to wear an outfit that wasn’t part of my daily mommy wardrobe. It also inspired me to take some time and put on some make-up. And it felt good. It felt good to have some “me” time.

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We spent the whole day in one of France’s magnificent rural areas, admiring the beautiful landscape with the eyes on the road, of course.

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As you might already know, I’m not a fan of autopilot-like systems, because I like to be in total control of the car I drive. But this time I made an exception and with my hands on the wheel, I enabled Tesla’s Autopilot. The sit-back-and-relax-thing shouldn’t exist, when we speak of this driving option. In my opinion, it was created to be an assistant, a security back-up you need when you are tired or not really in the mood to have full control of the car (and in both cases, you shouldn’t be behind the steering wheel). Put that nail polish away. Eyes on the road. Honestly, I wasn’t fascinated by the Autopilot. For me, it just doesn’t seem right not to have full control over the car. Yes, I will most probably be that old lady that will drive her own car among valet self-driving cars. And my great-grandchildren will think I’m a creep. It’s OK.

Another option I used and found really interesting was the super awesome rear camera, that you can enable with a touch on the display, even if you are not trying to park. I always have a problem regarding the distance between my car and the one behind so having this opportunity of seeing through the rear camera during driving was something I couldn’t get enough of.

Behind the steering wheel there’s an area that shows you the speed with which you are rolling (no tachometer!), the percentage of battery left (yes, just like your smartphone does), the navigation (I love this, right in front of my eyes, it was super simple to get where I wanted to. 0 orientation mistakes. Can you imagine this?), an energy consumption graphic and a cool miniature representation of the car on the lane. When the sensors detected cars near me they would appear in that real-time thing that was happening in front of my eyes. Speaking of sensors, they would warn me of obstacles even when I was driving (such as being too close to another car, for instance), not only when I wanted to park, as I was used to.

If you’d like to try a more lavish driving style, you can play with the vent. In a cool way. Sliding your finger on the display will open the roof of your Tesla in the percentage you wish.

From my point of view, this awesome option has 2 important functions:

  •  setting a refreshing vacation mood and putting a smile on your face;
  • calming a grumpy baby that had enough of sitting in the car.

Our Saturday ended with a stop at Tesla Supercharger near Metz.

DSC_0163-1-02.jpegAs the sun was setting down, we were getting ready for new adventures. I lifted the charger from the hook and plugged the car in.

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We waited for like 45 minutes, I didn’t fully charge the Tesla because of toddler reasons but I was happy with the amount of energy refill. That’s why the chargers are called SUPERchargers.

DSC_0153-1-01.jpegOf course, if you have the option of plugging your car overnight, at home, most probably you won’t need to visit the superchargers. Excepting the road trips, of course.

When we got home I realized that all the excitement that kept me awake all day long turned into a heavy fatigue. So that night I didn’t wake up to think about the car 🙂

15th of July, 10:52

It rains. What a pitty or what a luck? I will get to test the car under women-unfriendly weather circumstances. On curvy slopes, in northern Luxembourg. Maybe I’ll get to photograph the Tesla and a rainbow (I didn’t).

DSC_0264-01.jpegI’m driving to Luxembourg. We can hear the rain somewhere far away, and I’m whispering to my husband because the baby is asleep and we don’t want to wake her up.

Oh, can you imagine, if we were in my car, on the highway under heavy rain? We would have needed to shout at each other.

So here’s another cool thing about this car: COMFORT.

This car has an extraordinary stability and faces the unfriendly weather as a titan. It never slipped, although the roads were really curvy.

We arrived at Esch-sur-Sûre just in time to see the beginning of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final. We drank a coffee, fed the baby and as we were thinking of which Supercharger to choose between the one from Arlon, Belgium and the one from Luxembourg I realized that my fairytale was almost over. Ladies, believe me, if you get to drive this car you will never again want to let it go. Just try it, book a test drive. Go ahead.

DSC_0213-01.jpegHaving two options of Superchargers from which to choose was really recomforting because one of my fears, when it came to this test drive, was that I wouldn’t find a charger close enough. Well… there are plenty Tesla Superchargers so I really didn’t have to worry.

We chose Arlon, we hadn’t been in Belgium for a while so it seemed to be the right answer. When we got there, we found 2 more Teslas connected.

DSC_0296-02.jpegOne of them had its owners around, a family with three kids. They were having fun while the car was charging. And it made me think about the times we are living. We are always in a hurry and always connected, maybe too connected to the internet. We barely have time to communicate face to face. When I look around I see people with their noses stuck in their mobile devices although they are sitting at the same table with other people. Of course, you know what I’m talking about. You’re doing it, I’m doing it. Technology tears us apart but can also bring us together and Tesla, the very definition of technology on four wheels showed me this is possible. Let’s take for example the family I was talking about. I’m sure they wouldn’t have had that moment if they had a regular car.

Also regarding the time you need to take in order to charge your Tesla: I find it an excellent fatigue antidote. Many people would drive for 12 hours in a row just because they can. And this shouldn’t happen. The roads are safer when you can concentrate, am I right?

We ate at a very nice restaurant overlooking the Tesla charging stalls. When we finished our meal, the car was fully charged and we took the way back home with the vent open. By the way, you can drive for about 500km between charges. Tesla became part of our story and seemed to be a perfect fit for our family. There are many cool things about this car and one of them is that you can personalize it according to your needs (driving mode, suspensions, and many other options that you will see in the video below). So I find it to be a perfect match for anybody. Its versatility is impressive.

16th of July, 8:26 am

I’m getting ready to hand over the car. But how could I ever drive my car again? Wouldn’t it be too complicated? The clutch pedal, the gearbox, the noise. . .

When I got to the garage, my car was waiting for me. I felt an urge to ignore it. Tesla managed to conquer me in such a way that it basically took my mind away. I handed over the keys in silence and went to my car. I looked again at the Tesla I drove for the last 4 days.

Now I know how Cinderella felt at midnight.

For the next 2 days, I frequently forgot to change the gear while I was driving my car.

Driving a Tesla was mindblowing. It was an experience that above all made me genuinely happy and as we all know, everybody spends their life in the pursuit of happiness.

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P.S. No, I didn’t try Ludicrous mode. I’m that kind of woman that doesn’t overcome the speed limit. No, I don’t regret not doing that.

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