3rd Year Anniversary!

April 28, 2021

Between a rock and a hard plague
(Click to enlarge)

It has now been 3 years since we took delivery of our Tesla Model 3, and we’re loving this car more than ever. Indeed, thanks to the 55 software upgrades (so far!) that Tesla has downloaded into Correcaminos, it is now an even better car than when we bought it, with a myriad of new and improved features.

We have now put this many miles on Correcaminos:

A few weeks ago, after one update, Correcaminos’ touchscreen froze inexplicably, and I had to reboot the system, which unfortunately erased all my settings, so I lost my “lifetime” odometer readout. Nonetheless, I had kept track of those numbers prior to the reboot, and here are the stats with the total kWh used to drive the above distance and the averages to date:

You can see that Correcaminos’ energy efficiency has averaged 4.18 miles-per-kWh. The EPA rates the Model 3 at 3.85 miles-per-kWh, so we’ve exceeded that estimate. The EPA also claims that “1 gallon of gasoline = 33.7 kWh,” so our miles-per-gallon equivalent cannot be beat by any fossil foolish car on the market:

4.18 x 33.7 = 141 MPGe

I should clarify, however, that we have not driven nearly as far during the past year as in the previous two years. The reason should be obvious: because of the pandemic lockdown, we weren’t able to take any roadtrips. Other than two afternoon day trips to simply get out of the house, all our driving was merely to run local errands around town for food and necessities, as you can see in this table:

Now that we have both been fully vaccinated, and it looks like the pandemic will start to abate during the summer, we hope to get back to roaming the highways. We owe Tamara’s parents another visit, and I had long ago promised my three daughters that we would visit them and their families in Texas, Alabama, and North Carolina. Let’s hope we can do so in the not-too-distant future.

Readers know that I became obsessed with electric cars and renewable energy many years ago because of global warming. I consequently keep track of Correcaminos’ greenhouse gases and fuel costs, and tally comparisons of the results. Here are how the stats stack so far:

Readers will likely note that, thanks to my solar array, the only noticeable emissions and “fuel” costs are from the 118 times I have used Tesla Superchargers on roadtrips. It assuages my conscience to know that I’m helping mitigate the climate crisis, but I will admit to also feeling ashamed for having ignorantly, naïvely, gullibly contributed to the crisis for decades. Of course, naysayers, shorts, and FUD’sters always try to tell me that my Model 3 is just as dirty and costs as much to fuel as an average gasoline car. Sorry, pe’trolls: math doesn’t lie!

Such fossil fools also claim that the Model 3’s battery will deteriorate so quickly that I’ll need to replace it for a premium price after only 5 years. That’s another bare faced lie. I have extrapolated Correcaminos’ capacity with every single charge, and this graph plots the results after three years:

It is evident that the battery remains extremely healthy. Yes, the scatter plot has wobbled a bit, especially during the colder winter months. Nonetheless, there is a noticeable oddity in the graph: after one software update last January, my capacity suddenly dropped by about one percent. My guess is that Tesla started to use a new algorithm in the program that strives to be a bit more conservative with its range estimates. For example, today’s 80% charge predicts this range:

I thus estimate that the battery pack’s capacity is hovering around 97%. I think that’s remarkable, since after the same number of miles my previous LEAF’s capacity had dropped to 72%! Indeed, if I postulate Correcaminos’ capacity when it crosses the 8-year battery warranty threshold, it looks like it might still be at about 94%:

Of course, I don’t know if I will still have it by then, as I might upgrade to a Model Y in a few more years. Nonetheless, the projection is reassuring.

Unlike for previous anniversaries, I can’t compile a video with highlights of our roadtrips since we didn’t take any. I will, however, post below some photos that relate directly and indirectly to Correcaminos, if readers are interested in perusing them.

NOTE: You can click on any of the following photos to enlarge them.

The two roadtrips we took were on the same circuitous route that included visiting Zion National Park, shown in the photo at the top of the page. From there we drove to the Thunderbird Restaurant in Mount Carmel to use the restroom.

I always wonder what the female employees at the Thunderbird think of the way the owners depict them with signs advertising their pies. Hmmm.

The first day trip was in May last year, and there was still snow on Navajo Lake near Duck Creek Village.

The second day trip was in October. The snow was gone, but… so was the water in the lake, a consequence of the severe drought we’ve been experiencing for several years now!

During the summer, I decided to have Tesla Mobile Service replace the inner door panel on the passenger side. Tamara’s father had accidently put a hole through it with his cane nearly a year earlier. Here is the door with the panel removed.

And here is the inside of the panel. The repair was fairly expensive, but seeing that hole in the door had been bugging me for months, and I figured that I might as well spend what would have otherwise been roadtrip money to repair it.

Another project I decided to tackle was to replace the cabin filters with HEPA equivalents. I was pleased with the results, and shared this link on Twitter. True to form, a naysayer quickly snarked at me that I had wasted my time and money, as the HEPA filters were worse than the standard ones. Nice…! So courteous and kind!

Rarely did I have to wash Correcaminos during the year. I was pleased, nonetheless, to again see its colorful glass roof when it rained.

In November I was delighted that, after 3 years since I placed my order, Tesla finally arranged to have a 3rd-party electrician in our area install my 2 Powerwalls.

I can’t tell you how delightful it is to power our home at night from the Powerwalls instead of the greedy utility's grid.

In December Tamara gave me a fun stocking stuffer: a Hot Wheels Model 3 ornament for our Christmas tree, the same color as Correcaminos.

Readers might recall at the end of our 2nd Year Anniversary post that we lost our Pomeranian, ’Tisa, to kidney disease. I was heartbroken for months, as she had been my constant campanion. The good news is that, in January, we took delivery of another Pom puppy, Moxie. She has already captured my heart, and loves to go for rides in her carseat. Fun times ahead with her in Correcaminos, for sure!

Also in January, one night we heard a loud BOOM on the roof at 3:30 AM, and the next day discovered that there was a gaping hole broken through one of our solar panels.

I later found the bullet that had punctured that hole. Some idiot had shot a gun into the air during the night in our residential suburb.

A couple of weeks later, I had the broken panel replaced. Unfortunately, since my original panels are no longer available, I had to settle for a black one of similar size. The good news is that it is rated higher at 325W.

Just last month I decided to replace the clear screen protector on our touchscreen. Tamara's dad had apparently put a nick and crack in it, maybe when he also put a hole through the door panel with his cane.

This time I opted to install a matte version, and I will admit that I like it even better than the clear one.

Finally, just this month I decided to “improve” our console with wood overlays, but the project turned out to be an abject failure. I've since reverted to the much better “brushed titanium” wrap.

I’m really looking forward to the fourth year with Correcaminos. It will be so liberating to be able to take more roadtrips to visit family and friends. In anticipation of such trips, I will likely install a new set of tires next month, for these have almost reached their 40K mileage warranty, and when I perform a “penny test” on the treads, I can now almost see the top of Lincoln’s head. Time to put new shoes on this electric horse!