So you want to buy a Tesla?
If this is your first time shopping or owning an electric vehicle, there sure seems like a lot of things to learn. The truth is there is a bit of a learning curve, but the good news is, unlike Elon Musk’s other venture, it's not rocket science, and you have a great community and this handy dandy “owners manual” to help you get up to speed.
Is an electric vehicle right for me?
The answer to this is an unequivocal “probably”. There are two things to consider:
How much daily range do you need? All current Teslas have 200+ KM and while the EPA rating is not perfect, its actually pretty reasonable guide. For most folks, 200 KM is plenty of range to commute to work, take the kids to school and run errands. The thing to remember is that if you plug your car in every night you start the next day with a “full tank”. If you find yourself consistently putting 150+ KM on your car in a day, you may want to consider opting for a bigger battery or perhaps considering a hybrid.
Where can I charge?
Do you have a place to charge? You will need a place to charge. If you are a homeowner, this tends to not be an issue. However, if you rent or live in a condo, you should do your homework and check with your landlord or condo association about getting a charger installed.
Charging on The Road
Charging when you are travelling can be a bit more complicated as there are a few more things to keep in mind, but, again, with a couple of road trips under your belt, this will become second nature. This post will cover various types of public chargers available, how to find them and how to pay for them.
You have four resources for finding chargers when you travel:
The Tesla website: head on over to the “Find Us” page and you can find an interactive map that will show you both Supercharger and Destination charger locations. Clicking on a charger location will reveal details on exact location, types and numbers of chargers, and any amenities.
Plugshare.com: this is a crowdsourced website of EV charger locations. You can filter results to find a particular type of charger and clicking on a pin will bring up exact location, types and numbers of chargers, access restrictions and comments on that location. If you access Plugshare via the in-car browser, the website will present a version of the site optimized for the car’s browser (unfortunately, it's still slow).