So I rented a Tesla Model 3 on Turo and had it for 24 hours. These are my first impressions and thoughts on the car. Can’t wait to get mine!
So I rented a Tesla Model 3 on Turo and had it for 24 hours. These are my first impressions and thoughts on the car. Can’t wait to get mine!
Tesla has made it a point to strongly emphasize that the Model S is their most premium flagship sedan. In most ways the Model S is obviously better than Tesla’s smaller, simpler and more affordable sedan, the Model 3. However, there are a few key advantages that the Model 3 has over the Model S.
This video was inspired by this Reddit post.
The base Model 3, which should start delivering later this year, is $36,000 at its cheapest which includes the unavoidable delivery fee. On the other hand, the cheapest Model S is $75,000. So technically you could get two base Model 3’s for the same price as one base Model S (kind of a two for one deal there). We still don’t know how much a loaded AWD Performance version of the Model 3 will cost, but right now it’s safe to say that a Model 3 is half the price of Model S even when they have the same add-ons and options. The Model 3 is also more efficient than the Model S (we’ll get into the reasons why later in this video) but that means charging a Model 3 at home should cost less than charging a Model S because a Model 3 uses less energy than a Model S when traveling the same distance. Given the drastic price difference it’s also safe to assume for most people the car insurance should cost less for the Model 3 compared to Model S. So if saving money is a priority, choosing a Model 3 will definitely give you that advantage.
Based on EPA documents, all Model 3’s come with newer 2170 battery cells which have 18.5% higher energy density than the older 18650 cells in the Model S. Tesla claims that the 50 kWh standard Model 3 has an estimated range of 220 miles, and the 75 kWh Long Range Model 3 has an estimated range of 310 miles. However, Tesla was found to be under-selling the actual range of the Model 3. According to tests, the Long Range Model 3 has a 78.3 kWh usable battery capacity compared to 72.6 kWh usable battery capacity in the Model S 75D. So even though they’re both equipped with 75 kWh batteries, the Long Range Model 3 actually has more usable capacity compared to the Model S 75D. And what’s even more interesting, according to the EPA, the $45,000 Long Range Model 3 actually has 334 miles of range compared to the $94,000 Model S 100D which has 335 miles of range. That’s a difference of $50,000 in price with a difference of 1 mile in range. That’s pretty crazy and it means Tesla is choosing to under-advertise the Model 3 range capability. Not only that, but a Tesla executive said the 18” Aero wheels that come standard on the Model 3 can potentially add up to 10% range. Some tests have shown it’s more likely to be around 5%, but even then that’s still something that the Model S currently does not have as an option. According to FuelEconomy.gov, the Long Range Model 3 has 130 MPGe which is much better than 103 MPGe on Model S 75. On average, Long Range Model 3 only requires 26 kWh to travel 100 miles compared to 33 kWh per 100 miles on the Model S.
The Model 3 has a different motor technology. It uses permanent magnet motors for high efficiency instead of induction motors that are used on the Model S. Some people think permanent magnet motors are the cheaper inferior option. However, permanent magnet motors used to be more expensive but have recently come down in price and still hold many advantages. The Model 3’s permanent magnet motors are lighter and have better track performance. They also reduce weight and improve handling. The induction motor on the Model S is larger, heavier, and less efficient resulting in more draw on the battery pack, when compared to a permanent magnet motor. Permanent magnet motors are also more efficient than induction motors over a wide range of RPMs and more efficient at capturing regenerative energy at low speeds. So even though the motor is not a newer tech per say, it does have its advantages compared to whats in the Model S.
The Model 3 has one of the most minimalist interiors in a car right now. It lacks a lot of the physical buttons and knobs that were typical in cars up to this point in time, and it replaced most of those functionalities with one big center-mounted 15” touchscreen display. However, The Model 3 does have some things that the Model S does not. For starters, the Model 3 has a small interior-facing camera built into the rear view mirror, and while Tesla has not yet said what this camera will be officially used for, it’s most likely there to provide some type of facial recognition features for Autopilot or driver profiles, and it’s also very well meant to monitor the inside of the car when it’s used in Tesla’s future ride sharing network. I did an entire video about this if you want to check it out here. The Model 3 center console has more storage space than the S, and with the Model 3 Premium Upgrade Package it also has charging docks for two smartphones. The Model 3 has coat hooks, lighted vanity mirrors, folding rear seat armrest with cup holders, and door pockets, all of which are lacking in the Model S. The Model 3 infotainment computer has a liquid cooled & faster processor which results in a more responsive touchscreen. The Media Control Unit is now powered by an Intel SoC instead of the Nvidia Tegra chip in Model S. The Autopilot ECU is still powered by Nvidia. But it’s worth mentioning the Model 3 needs a lot more processing power because it has to do everything on one processor. The Model S runs the navigation routing and voice recognition on the Instrument Cluster computer which divides the workload. The Model 3’s minimalist interior also provides a better field of vision out of the windshield because it’s completely flat all the way across the dashboard since there is no instrument cluster and the front hood doesn’t stick out as much as it does on the Model S.
You may be saying “Andy, how can this be an advantage when everyone knows the Model S is bigger and more spacious?” Yes that’s true, the Model S is supposed to be the bigger, better car. But the smaller, more compact Model 3 has its advantages too. The Model 3 is 184.8” long and 82.2” wide. The Model S is 196” long and 86.2” wide. So the Model S is about 11” longer and 4” wider. However, with the mirrors folded, the Model 3 is only 76.1” wide and the Model S is 77.3” wide, which only makes up a difference of about 1” in width. With the Model 3 being smaller, it’s most likely easier to park and maneuver in tight spaces. The Model 3 has been reported to have better handling because of it weighing less than the Model S. The Model S 75 curb weight is 4,469 lbs, and the standard range Model 3 curb weight is 3,549 lbs, which is a difference of 920 lbs. The weight difference is also similar when comparing the Model S 100D to the Long Range Model 3 which is a difference of 841 lbs. The lighter weight of the Model 3 also results in better range when compared to a Model S of the same battery capacity. And what’s the most surprising to me is that based on certain tests, the Model 3 has 1.5″ more headroom in the front and 2.4″ more headroom in the back compared to the Model S. Also, the Model 3 has the same amount of front legroom as the Model S, and only 0.2” less legroom in the back. So even though it’s smaller, it might not even be noticed.
Those are the top 5 advantages that the Tesla Model 3 has over the Model S. Does that mean the Model 3 is a better car than the Model S? Absolutely not. There are a ton of advantages that the Model S has over the Model 3 and I’m betting that Tesla releases a new refresh of the Model S very soon with a lot of the advances that the Model 3 has over the current S lineup, but since I’m a Model 3 reservation holder I am just more enthusiastic about the Model 3 for the time being so that’s why I wanted to do this video, to show the Model 3 some love as if I haven’t fanboy’d over it enough already. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Do you prefer the Model 3 over the Model S? Why or why not? Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks for watching, if you enjoyed this video give it a thumbs up and subscribe to this channel if you haven’t already. My name is Andy and I’ll talk to you in the next one.
Let’s talk about the Model 3 and why its possibly the most mind blowing futuristic car on the market right now.
Back in August a member of Tesla Motors Club forum wrote a very interesting article about this Model 3 theory that I want to explain in this video and what it means for car owners going forward.
Last week Tesla had their best event ever in my opinion when they announced the new Tesla Semi and the 2nd Gen Roadster. Since these are two very cool new products, as expected Elon seemed happy and excited when he was announcing the Semi and the Roadster. Compare that to the last Model 3 event, which was probably the least climactic Tesla event where it was short and some parts were a bit awkward and Elon didn’t seem very happy and excited.
Why was that? It’s because the Model 3 event was the Anti-Sell. Tesla does not want you to buy a Model 3…yet.
That’s The Anti-Sell.
Now let’s talk about that new tech in the Model 3. It’s actually referred to as Autopilot Hardware 2.5 and its purpose is to provide more computing power for future autonomous driving. Tesla tried to downplay this by saying this:
“The internal name HW 2.5 is an overstatement, and instead it should be called something more like HW 2.1. This hardware set has some added computing and wiring redundancy, which very slightly improves reliability, but it does not have an additional Pascal GPU.”
Some people are saying that Tesla started producing cars with Hardware 2.5 instead of the previous Hardware 2.0 because they had some reason to believe Hardware 2.0 wouldn’t be capable of full self driving in the future.
Starting in July or August 2017 all Tesla cars (S, X, and 3) have Hardware 2.5, and Tesla has said that any previous Model S and X cars with Hardware 2.0 that somehow may not be capable of full self driving would get a free upgrade if the customer paid for FSD feature. Having said that, Tesla still believes Hardware 2.0 is capable of self driving.
Why introduce Hardware 2.5?
The Tesla Network.
This is the name of Tesla’s future ride sharing platform, which works sort of like Uber and Lyft but instead of a human driver, nobody will be driving because the car will be driving itself, picking up passengers and taking them to their destinations without the owner having to be in the car.
Here’s an excerpt from Tesla’s Master Plan:
“When true self-driving is approved by regulators, it will mean that you will be able to summon your Tesla from pretty much anywhere. Once it picks you up, you will be able to sleep, read or do anything else enroute to your destination. You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost.”
So what’s the big “secret”?
The Model 3 is currently the only Tesla vehicle that is capable of joining the Tesla ride sharing Network. Let’s find out why.
The minimalistic interior is one of the most polarizing features of the Model 3. Some people love it (like me) while others hate it. I know some people who reserved a Model 3, but they’re not excited about the interior. And let’s not forget that touch screen. Some people are just infuriated that almost everything in the Model 3 is controlled through the 15” touch display. I mean almost everything, from opening the glove box to setting the direction of the air vents to opening the trunk, it’s all software-based controls on the touch screen.
Why? Because it needs to be, for autonomous ride sharing, that is. Since it’s software controlled, everything is customizable and can be remembered and even better, it can be remembered based on who is using the car.
The Model 3 answers the two biggest concerns regarding autonomous ride-sharing: What if someone steals my valuables, and what if someone damages my car?
The first issue is addressed with the software-controls. You can restrict or grant access to anything, based on your own custom settings. So if you don’t want anyone to access your trunk, trunk or glove box, you can set it that way.
What about damage to your car? Well, this is where some more new tech in the Model 3 comes into play. The Model 3 has something in it that the S or X don’t currently have: an interior camera. It’s built into the rear view mirror and it can see who is in the car at any given time and monitor what’s happening inside the car.
But with an interior camera how is the car going to be able to handle that new data processing? Remember when Tesla said that the new Hardware 2.5 has “added computing and wiring redundancy”? There ya go.
The Model 3 solves the two biggest concerns with autonomous ride sharing by giving the owner complete control via software settings based on who is using the car, and the ability to monitor the interior.
But there’s one more piece to the puzzle: The Entry
The Model 3 doesn’t come with a car key or even a key fob. It comes with a key card that uses NFC to unlock and start the car. But this is just the backup entry method.
The real entry method to the Model 3 is a smartphone. With the Tesla app utilizing Bluetooth LE, it sends an encrypted signal to the Model 3 as your get near it so in theory when you have your smartphone in your pocket and walk up to the Model 3 it will unlock and start when you get in. But not only will it do that, it will also know exactly who is getting in the car and it will set the car settings based on who the person is.
To recap, the Model 3 has:
So what does this mean? It means The Model 3 is not just another electric car built for the mass market. It’s not even just about a car capable of driving itself.
The Model 3 is the first car ever to be designed for autonomous ride-sharing.
Tesla is trying to downplay the significance of the Model 3, for now at least, because they are still in production hell. But there’s no denying that the Model 3 may be the most technologically advanced car ever to be built. Of course, autonomous ride sharing is entirely dependent on whether or not the Model 3 will even be capable of full self driving if and when it is made legal.
But from Elon himself:
“There will be a shared autonomy fleet where you buy your car and you can choose to use that car exclusively. You can choose to have it used only by friends and family… or other drivers who are rated five stars. You can choose to share it sometimes but not other times. That’s 100 percent what will occur. It’s just a question of when.”
What do you think about this? Do you think that this will happen and if so, when?
This is my video entry for the Tesla Project Loveday contest.
If you enjoyed, please subscribe to my tech channel.
Here’s all the camera gear I used to make this video.
Filming this was an adventure! Here’s the story of what happened and how I almost wasn’t able to get it done…
As soon as Tesla announced the Project Loveday contest in March I started envisioning the story line of the video. I knew I wanted to make it a personal story that would lead into and ultimately end with the Tesla vision in the viewer’s mind.
However, there was one huge roadblock I faced.
I don’t own a Tesla yet nor do I personally know anyone who owns a Tesla. I needed footage of a Tesla vehicle or I wouldn’t be able to fulfill my vision for this video. I reached out to a stranger (friend of a friend of a friend) and asked if I could meet up with him to get some footage.
With the deadline creeping up, I decided to camp out at my local Tesla Supercharger for a few hours on a Saturday in April and try my luck on anyone who happened to stop in and charge their Tesla. I got to the Supercharger and literally 10 minutes after arriving I spotted a blue Model X pulling in to one of the charging stations.
As I looked over at it I thought “Wow, what are the odds”. I had never even seen a Model X in person before that. I started to unpack my camera equipment from the backseat of my car, and while I was unloading I heard someone talking to me.
I turned around and it was the blue Model X. The couple inside said “Sir, are we in your way? We saw you looking at us and we thought you were a photographer working for Tesla on a photoshoot or something.”
I laughed and said “No, as a matter of fact I was just about to come ask if you would be willing to help me out.” I explained that I was a Model 3 reservation holder and that I was filming a video for the Tesla Project Loveday contest. I asked if they would be willing to let me get footage of their car. I thought they were going to turn me down.
Not only were they willing, but they were ecstatic to let me get footage of their Model X (the one you see at the end of the video). They even let me sit in the driver seat and showed me all the cool features of the car. Complete strangers going out of their way to help me, and even if I don’t win the contest, knowing that I’m joining the Tesla family with people like that is worth it in the end.
I respected their wish to not be on camera, but I want to give a huge shoutout to Marshall and Chanell for making my video possible. THANK YOU!
This video was written, filmed, and edited by me – Andy Slye (with some help from my girlfriend Jamie who has some super awesome handwriting and cat-holding skills, and my sister Brittney who starred as our younger mom, spot on impression if I do say so myself. THANK YOU)
Obviously I couldn’t have done it without my parents who have always supported and encouraged me to do what I want in life. And to anyone else who has helped me along the way, thank you. You’re very much appreciated.
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