Well after 5 months of waiting I got a telephone call from my very friendly Delivery Experience Lady at Tesla that my/our Tesla would arrive before the New Year and we probably could fix a day around the Middle of December.Wow-what a surprise as I had just arranged to pick up my father from Germany for a life in the UK.So I thought Friday the 18th December sounded good or was it? It was the last day of a weekend before Christmas.Usually a heavy day for traffic on the Motorways around Manchester.So maybe best avoided! So we settled on Wednesday 16th December for pickup.
How would I get there?By hire car, train or somebody drive in a car and drop us off? No too far to Manchester and back for one person to drive.So we settle tee on the train but actually there is a hire car place just up the road from the TESLA Service Centre.Anyway how are we gettting from the train station to the Setvice Centre.Well the Delivery experience Lady said.Leave that to us.We will pick you up from the train station!All part of the service.Wow again!
So train booked via “The Trainline” app and wow again what an experience.Touch Id from iPhone implemented on the Trainline app.Great user experience.I like it when things are integrated.£26/per person for a single not bad price to Manchester Airport railway station in comparison to £60 for a hire car plus petrol and hassle.
2 days to sleep and I needed to look at the videos on the Tesla Website to see how a car “without buttons” would drive.I had never driven on my own before and respect to my 80 year old father but his experience is the remote control of the 1970s Nordmende colour TV;Technology has stopped for him since then.
Anyway I watched all the Videos and I had an idea of how this car operates and what do do in customising it regarding mirrors and seats.Also I would have the guidance of a Delivery Experience Instructor at the Service Centre.
The day had come and Tom my son dropped us off at the train station.We collected our tickets from the machine and I must admit that I had not done this before myself and it was quite an experience in itself.I only saw numbers on the keypad,but I had actually an alphanumeric code to type in.The display changed once I inserted my correct credit card and I could type in my reservation code.Well great experience again!The train got extremely quickly to York but stopped outside York.Why?We only had 13minutes to change platforms in York.Well with 7 minutes to spare we actually arrived in York and luckily the Trainline app displayed the platform we had to get to.Wow again.
Well we arrived at Manchester Airport station and were guided to the exit and saw right in front of us a white Tesla.Me,Quick thinking thought that this was our ride and I opened the Door of the car excitedly.Yes it was our ride to the service centre and the driver was actually grateful for the excuse to drive a Tesla and pick somebody up from the Station.
After a tea and visit to the Toilet we were guided to our car. I was shrouded under a dust cover.I am not sure that I enjoyed the drama, but I think Laura the delivery experience Instructor was more excited than us.So we played along and she was aloud to give us her spiel.I am sorry but when I learn a new car I want to play with it myself! This is not a game with spectators.
Anyway she was very helpful but you could tell she used to be a primary teacher.Anyway 10/10 for her effort.
However this could not mask my disappointment that I found an item on the back seat I was not expecting: a middle console.Was this a gift from Tesla?After all this car was expensive.Unfortunately not-it was put there in error .First no Wow!
After we signed some papers we were free to go.Of course I paid no attention to Laura and thought: How do I turn the Satnav on again?Oops- reverse back into parking slot on try again.right Satnav is arrow button on top of the screen where all the apps are.But we wanted to go home via M6 so better to type in Kendall first and then HOME.The pitfall of this comes clearer later…..
Manchester to HOME would be about 120miles so I thought.Well it’s not its 149 miles.This is not dangerous in itself but I did not pay fully attention to Laura-did I?
The Tesla was not fully charged up was it?And we played around with it, and I gave it a few blasts of ludicrous acceleration, and we had no charge card (yet) and I just did not think, because I was toooo excited, and the way we were planning to go was NO Tesla supercharger to charge for free.Not good planning!
So off we went on our trip home via Kendall and Kirkby Stephen and Barnard Castle and …….
Well in Kirkby Stephen – after a forgetful break at the famous M6 Moto Service Station with the concrete indoor bridge over the motorway and the two broken chargers- I suddenly got Range Anxiety.A well known condition known to speed boat drivers (like myself) or electric car drivers(like myself).I suddenly realised we would make it only with a few miles to spare -home, if we were lucky and NO chargers of any sort to rescue us.
Well here the Satnav came into its own and also the Battery Range Projector/calculator.All spot on! Wow and Wow again.After this I could actually enjoy the ride and the bank up to Kirkby Stephen was a really a joy and pleasure to drive up in this powerful, sporty, sophisticated, extremely well engineered and put together car.
I have driven now in 35 years a Polo,Golf, Audi 100 Avant, several E-Class Mercs and MLs and even the Best one of all: a Merc CLK 350 CABRIO, but this car beats them all! There are surprises everywhere like no buttons on dashboard and the 17inch screen, but most of all is how this car makes you feel.Utter quality and sophistication everywhere!
We got home with 29 miles to spare (as predicted!) Of Course.My father was not so sure however.