Going electric; almost a year in

The ‘going electric’ will be different blogs from my usual beat. Not only because they will not be related (directly) to software development, but also because they are opinionated and personal reports; editorials about switching over to an electric car. They will list my personal joys and annoyances about the switch, but I’ll try to be fair and balanced.

After almost a year of driving electric, I’m about to do the one year look back. And it is a two side one. It really is.

The good

The good actually is really simple; it is a great car to drive. I cannot wrap my head around why anyone ever thought it was a good idea to put an internal combustion engine in a car and then try to mitigate its shortcomings with a gearbox. The complexity of a ICE car are mind-boggling, and you still don’t get the quality of a ride that an EV does out of the box (without 100+ years of maturing).

Except maybe for the growl of the engine revving 🙂

The bad

Oh my. I don’t think two months have passed without my car being serviced. This is a new level of problems with a brand new car.

To start there is a rattle from the very first day that is very annoying, I’ve recorded it, but cannot be reproduced and thus fixed. Luckily it is not present most of the time.

Then there was a second rattle on the other side, which turned out to be an incorrectly installed side mirror.

My rearview camera stopped working, of which I do not know the cause.

My network connection stopped working. All I had was WiFi, but when driving the car would not connect. A software driver problem.


And since yesterday I have a nice decorative band on my screen. Apparently the glue is becoming visible.


I believe my car was made on Monday morning.

Or Friday afternoon.

Update 2019-08-10

Tesla has acknowledged that the band is glue becoming visible and they will provide a fix using a UV lamp. They will get back to me once that lamp is available to the repair centre.

In the meantime a lot of people have voiced their opinion on the decorative band to me via twitter. Apparently it is caused by Tesla using laptop instead of automotive components, the latter have a much higher quality because of more extreme conditions that can occur in cars. There are many sources on the internet talking about this, but it is hard to rate their credibility. All I can say is that if this is the case, then it was not a wise decision by Tesla. The band formed when I was away on vacation (not with my Tesla), and temperatures at home rose above 40 degrees C (104 F), something that may happen more often due to climate change. I can only imagine how hot it became inside the car.

Anyhow, Tesla said they will fix it, I totally assume under warranty, because this is not how a screen should look in a 100.000 euro car of less than a year old. And it does impact the value of my car. How they do it, I do not care, it just needs to be fixed. I also have no problem waiting a fair amount of time, a few weeks I guess, for a repair. We’ll see.

Update 2019-08-12

Tesla indeed qualifies this as a cosmetic issue and offers a one-time-courtesy fix with the special tool. This is quite similar to having the paint of a car discolor within the first year and claiming that to be cosmetic only. Totally true, but that does not make it acceptable. And the same goes for the screen. So I replied that I only accept a full repair, under warranty, within a reasonable timeframe.

Update 2019-10-02

I never noticed the same yellow band, only smaller, also is present in the binnacle. Makes totally sense that it is, of course.


Update 2019-10-04

Lawyered up. The lamp still is not available, enough time has passed, time to take the next step. The man laughed; a car should meet reasonable expectations, so no way in hell this is not covered by the warrenty. He advised me to write a notice of default. Here we go.

Update 2019-10-07

Look at that! An email from Tesla that they have received the lamp and want me to schedule an appointment for repair. I already had started on the notice of default, but had not finished it. Lucky them (and me for that matter, it always is a hassle).

Update 2019-10-18

UN-F*CKING-BELIEVABLE! So today at 08:45 I had the appointment to repair the screen with the lamp. When I arrived the service desk employee told me that the lamp broke yesterday… Apparently nobody saw the need to call or email me that I did not have to come today. It’s not like they’re around the corner! 1.5 hours drive for nothing! Yes. I am not amused.

Update 2019-11-01

Second attempt at getting the yellow band fixed. The man doing the intake again said the lamp broke the night before. (Again, yes.) Somehow my less-than-understanding reaction to that convinced him that maybe the lamp was not broken after all. Weird. But alas, they took in my car, I sat in the lounge for a hour or 2, and then got the car back.

The screen looks impeccable. Impressive. I’m still worried this is symptom solving and the band will return the next time it is hot outside, but since it is fixed now, there is not much I can do. The center screen looks very sharp and clear, giving the binnacle a yellowish glare. That is disturbing.

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