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Tesla Model 3  Owning and Road Trip Experience
Report 9 by Carl Morrison, September 30, 2020
Comments welcomed at:

This is my Ninth report on our 3-month-old 2020 Tesla Model 3, Standard Range Plus, Rear-Wheel Drive, posted at  In this report I cover:  1. The first Tesla 3  Police Car  2.  The Tesla Club of Orange County  3.  Solvang, California, Road trip, 343 miles  4.  Packing a Model 3 for an overnight trip with 3 adults. 5.  Solvang, California.  610 Reasons to Buy an Electric Vehicle.  7. Software Update 2020.36.11 on September 25, 2020.  8.  Model 3  60,000 mi. Operating Cost  9.  Tesla Model 3 with 100,000 miles shows extreme low cost and minimal battery degradation.  10.  California bans the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks in the state by 2035  11.  Tesla (TSLA) secures massive order of Tesla Semi electric trucks from Walmart  12.  Size comparisons of Model 3 to S and Y to X. 


Tesla Model 3 Performance Police Car. 

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Tesla Model 3 Performance Police Car Westport, Connecticut

Summery:  Chosen for Safety and Performance (able to catch a speeder going 55 mph from a standstill in fewer seconds than any other police car).  With 300+ miles range it can run for two shifts.  Savings on gasoline, brakes, tires, oil changes, and spark plugs.  Because of Police cars idling so much, Tesla immediately decreased the carbon footprint.  Sub trunk for radio and computer equipment, trunk for weapon systems, locked, but frunk can be opened remotely so a citizen can get medical and other equipment from there without access to what is in the trunk.  Find out what patrolling officers call "tapering."  License plate reading software and be integrated with existing cameras in the Model 3 making an outside camera system unnecessary.

Zak and Jesse's "Now You Know" YouTube channel full interview:

The Tesla Club of Orange County (California) is starting rEVolution speakers. 


I had not seen this week's speaker, Robert Llewellyn from the UK YouTube Show, FullyCharged show.  Here is his 2016 show when the Tesla Model 3 was announced.

Click any image for a larger, more easily read copy; "X" it out to return to this page.

Here is a playlist of all the rEVolution speakers to date:

Learn about and/or join at:  OCTesla.jpg

Solvang, California, Road trip

For our son's only day off for months, on Labor Day, we took the Model 3 on an Orange County, California, 343-mile round trip to Solvang, California.  We left about 3:30 pm on Sunday, had dinner at the Fish House in Santa Barbara, then drove on to our reserved room at Pea Soup Andersen's Inn in Buellton, near the Buellton Supercharger.

Prior to leaving on Sunday, I noticed I had not charged the car to 100% as planned, so, since we were leaving in a few hours, I went to the nearby Anaheim, CA, 2404 East 2404 East Katella Avenue 250 kW Supercharger for the first time at that Supercharger.

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When you enter off Katella, turn left at the Wells Fargo Building,  16 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 250kW.  Did you notice at the end of the line of chargers is a Hooters?

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To the left is the main entrance. Center  photo, Lily shows how Hooters got its name.  Right, enlargeable menu.

Looking south at the chargers.  There were only 3 Teslas with front plates and 2 cars were from out of state.
On the south end of the chargers, at the edge of the Wells Fargo Bldg. is this nice reflecting pool with tables and chairs. 
Above right, Around the corner of the bldg. is the entrance to the Anaheim Angels Stadium, through an underpass under the Anaheim Amtrak Station.

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On August 6, 2020, there was one "Out of Order" charger and one north of it needing repair (Not good for a wet-rag approach.)

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I did not charge to 100% so I could charge again along the way for the experience. 
The screen shot above shows only 1 charger available, and it was probably the broken one. 
However, cars rotated out quickly because of the 250kW charger speeds.

When you leave, turn right on Katella and enter Hwy 57,
under the bridge and right to go north to Glandora, or south to merge onto I-5 in less than a mile. 
I-5 runs through California from San Diego to Seattle, Washington.

Packing a Model 3 for an overnight trip with 3 adults.

We took my TravelScoot electric scooter (tell them Carl Morrison referred you) with us since I knew there would be considerable walking about the Danish town of Solvang and the adjoining Mission, and we packed for only one night out for the 3 of us.

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Left, Frunk loaded with soft bags. Right, In the lower section under the cover was my rolling camera/computer Tutu bag (21 x 15 x 12 inches), Folded scooter up against the back seats (which folds down if necessary), and room for other bags in the open area.

We stopped at the Fish House in Santa Barbara for supper.  Very crowded the night before Labor Day.  I dropped Sue and Matt and drove quite far looking for a parking space.  Since there was to be a 45-minute wait to be seated.  I unloaded the Travel Scoot and zipped over to the Fish House

IMG_6784.jpg     TravelScoot.JPG
When you've parked your Tesla far from your destination (blue dot), use your app and on the first page you will find its location (red triangle).  Tap the center icon of the three in the upper right to see the satellite photo of its location.  Photo on the right is my TravelScoot next to a Tesla Model X, which is larger than our Model 3.

On the Tesla's computer map, I first set my destination where we would be spending our first night.  I then looked at the Supercharger locations and their wattage and picked where we planned to stop to charge.  We would still have 46% charge at that time, so no range anxiety at all, and we wouldn't have to charge very long. (As noted on the bottom line, we could even do a round trip there and back home with 8% state of charge left.)  This route has us taking Hwy. 60 through downtown Los Angeles, but I wanted to go farther up to Hwy. 210 and avoid downtown LA.  The computer made the adjustment when we passed Hwy. 60 going farther north.  (Does anyone know how to change a route the computer gives you, even though it might be fastest?) 

The "A Better Route Planner" gives you 2 or 3 choices and you can select one.  However, I had to tell it I was going to Pasadena as an intermediate stop to get us on the right route.


Very little traffic on this Sunday evening before Labor Day, so we made good time.  Entering Thousand Oaks, we missed the first Supercharger, but caught the second one on the next exit! 


Notice the temperature on the top line, 112°!  So we did the routine of putting a cold, wet rag on the nozzle and it worked to keep it cool enough to touch the handle and we charged quickly.  Before you unplug, notice the "Current Session" (cost) of this charge.   We added a little more for a charge of $5.32 for 83 miles of charge in 20 minutes.  There were no businesses in sight, so we asked the computer for the nearest Starbucks for restroom, coffee and tea for the last leg to Buellton for the night. 

We then reentered Hwy. 101 and finished our journey to Pea Soup Andersen's Inn.  Good thing we had made a reservation with a note for late arrival because their "No Vacancy" light was on. We found the Inn to be reasonable - $122. Included Continental breakfast, a small patio, two queen beds, handicapped room, refurbished room with marble counter tops, and handicapped parking right outside our door.

Labor Day, 2020

We arose and had Continental breakfast at the Pea Soup Andersen's Inn.  While Sue participated in a Zoom quilting podcast, Matt and I went to the nearby Buellton Superchargers.
Santa Ynez Valley Marriott 555 McMurray Rd Buellton, CA 93427
, 10 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 150kW.  This is the first place we received the notice that this was "a high usage Superchargers station Charging set at 80%, adjust manually if needed."

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Actually in the Marriott lot.  Several parking choices, drive in, back in, with two handicapped (one didn't work). Large building is a theater, across that lot is MacDonalds.

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One drive in station across the drive with one plugged in and a Model X next to it with a nice bike rack in the tow hitch spot.

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Left, steps down to the theater.  Right Map of area at Solvang/Buellton exit off 101.  Click map to enlarge.

We got this notice both on the car's computer screen and on my iWatch and Tesla app.

Solvang, California.  A danish designed town with Norwegian character, souvenirs and food.


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View from my TravelScoot. Good parking behind the windmill also entrance to the Mission. Right, same building from which I shot the windmill.

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Sue doing Sentry Duty and street flowers and windmill.
Several folks rented the multi-person vehicles, but I preferred my electric scooter.

Had aebleskivers for lunch - pancake balls with raspberry jam and powdered sugar.

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Who said, on Sunday night TV, "We have a really big shoe tonight"?

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This young man had a nice spot to play where the whole, roped-off block could hear him.  A Jr. at UCLA.

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Near the restrooms were these Charge point chargers, which take their credit card.  That my be a different brand in orange at the back.

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Old Mission Santa Ines was the nineteenth of the 21 missions built in California from 1769 to 1836 by Spanish Franciscan priests led by Father Junipero Serra.

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When I traveled by train rather than Tesla, I took screen shots of my watch to remember details.  Still works.

While at the Camarillo Outlets, I noticed that Sentry had a red dot, I checked the video and this lady had not touched our car. Notice that sentry mode used 4 cameras.  Click to enlarge the photo.

At the Thousand Oaks Charger that we had missed on the way up, I noticed that the computer shows how much you spent at the last Supercharger. This Thousand Oaks charger was twice as fast as the one we used on the way up.  This one: 4000 East Thousand Oaks Boulevard Thousand Oaks, 91362  24 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 150kW

The computer shows the way to get back on Hwy. 101. 

Back home, with the computer screen darkened for night viewing.

Fuel cost for the 343 mile round trip:  Left home with full battery.  Thousand Oaks $5.32, Buellton $7.32, Thousand Oaks $7.60 = $20.24 or 5.9¢ per mile at Supercharger rates.

10 Reasons to Buy an Electric Car. 

YouTuber, SpawnPoint, says, "10 benefits of owning and driving an EV in the UK, including running costs, maintenance and some other interesting advantages."  His excellent presentation both verbally and photographically is at:  1.  No Gears  2.  Performance 3. Running Costs 4. Charging at Home  5.  Maintenance  6. Silence  7.
Environment  8.  Storage  9. Purchase Incentives  10.  Community.  Watch his video for a thorough explanation of all 10.

Software Update 2020.36.11 on September 25, 2020.


My fifth OTA software update has arrived - 2020.36.11 ccacdb181f16 on September 25, 2020.  I am beginning to realize that in addition to the numbers, 2020.36.11, I need to look at the following letters, ccacdb181f16, when searching the Internet for a complete description of what's new in this update.  Furthermore, I can just look at the car's screen after the software update and be satisfied with the description there (screen shot above).  Perhaps the full set of numbers and letters is specific to my model, not to the full self-driving models because they are talking about the car recognizing stop lights and chiming when the light turns green, but my on-screen description doesn't say anything about that feature.  For an additional $4,000 I could add more driving features, but no thanks.

Model 3  60,000 mi. Operating Cost

I follow Kyle Conner, YouTuber for Out of Spec Motoring,  and he posted this video on the cost of his one-year ownership of a Tesla 3.  He drove it on a Cannonball Run and on race tracks drifting, hard use.  His lead in to the video said:

Kyle goes through what 60,000 mi. of abuse does to a Model 3.  From cross country road trips, dogs in the car, and track use, we look at the car and the data from his one year of ownership!  Interested in seeing servicing cost, battery degradation, supercharging use, and overall data? Then this is your video!

A few of the many facts that impressed me were: 
Total maintenance cost $100.  Gasoline savings $8,500.  He traded it for a Model 3 Performance and got $35,000 for it from Tesla.

full report:

Tesla Model 3 with 100,000 miles shows extreme low cost and minimal battery degradation

It is interesting to see what some high-mileage Model 3s are finding as their maintenance costs for that many miles.  The owner of a 100,000 mile Model 3 said,

I was astonished at the little cost of maintenance and service for the car. The total cost of electricity was $2,985. Total maintenance and service cost was $1,741.11; so the total cost of ownership was $4732.11.” .

Other interesting facts, including things that Tesla replaced and fixed under his 50,000 mile warranty or goodwill, are listed in's article at:

California bans the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks in the state by 2035.

An executive order signed Wednesday, September 23, 2020, by Gov. Gavin Newsom aims to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks in the state by 2035.

The first-in-the-nation policy is far more stringent than anything the state has implemented before. But given that a dozen states, accounting for 40% of the American market, already conform to California’s auto rules, the policy could spread quickly.

My Comment:  Not mentioned in the article is the fact that 80% of EV charging takes place at home, and no figures are available for charging at work, so "range anxiety" is not an issue for the 2035 proposal.

The whole article:

Tesla (TSLA) secures massive order of Tesla Semi electric trucks from Walmart - Fred Lambert - Sep. 29th 2020 8:43 am ET - @FredericLambert

Photo Source

Tesla (TSLA) has secured a massive order of 130 Tesla Semi electric trucks from Walmart Canada.
Walmart cites the following sustainability and safety features as “key highlights on the new Tesla Semi electric trucks”:

   •  Tesla Semi consumes less than two kilowatt-hours of energy per mile at Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and highway speed, significantly reducing operating costs per mile compared to diesel.  500 miles range allows a driver to go to their destination and back without recharging (500 mile range at maximum weight at highway speed) [Do they know that you get about 80% of the rated "miles" just like an I.C.E. car when you fill up and check the "miles" it does not equate to odometer miles. This might be remedied with charging while unloading.]
   •  Capable of 0-60 mph in 20 seconds with a full 80,000-pound load and can climb 5 per cent grades at a steady 65 mph (compared to 45mph for same grade in a diesel truck) Regenerative braking technology recovers 98 per cent of kinetic energy to the battery

    •  Surrounding vehicle cameras and sensors aid object detection and minimize blind spots, automatically alerting the driver to safety hazards and obstacles
    •  Additional driver safety features including Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Lane Keeping, Lane Departure Warning

Full story at Electrek:   

I wonder if Tesla will be putting in truck charging stations along major Interstates in Canada like they plan on the west coast of the US?  My earlier mention of this and a map is at:

Size comparisons of Model 3 to S and Y to X.

I was recently asked how a Model 3 compared to Model S in size.  Here is a chart which references the size of those two models as well as Model Y and X:


My Referral Number is  Just click the URL to the left to go to the site that will explain the benefits of using a referral number:


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