I know myself. I’m a sucker. I always have been a sucker for the newest hotness. The newest flashiness. Sometimes I wish I weren’t but that’s like an elephant wishing it didn’t have such a long trunk. It just is what it is. At least I know myself.
I have driven a Chevrolet Volt for many years now. My first Volt was a 2012. That was one of the first generation cars. It was really awesome. It seemed to me that General Motors was showing off with that one. The engineering in it was top notch. The fit and finish was fantastic. General Motors wanted to show the world “Hey… look at us. Look at engineering excellence! We can still do it! We’re relevant!”
That car was great. I loved it. The technology in it was fantastic and it drove really wonderfully. Alas, it was a two year lease. At the end of the two years, it was time to give it back.
Thankfully, General Motors made more! After that 2012 Volt, I got myself a 2014 model.
In 2013, Chevrolet made some changes to the Volt. First the good news… they changed the chemistry in the battery to add an extra 3 miles of range. The book used to day a Volt would go 35 miles on a charge. Now, it will go 38. The other notable improvement is that the battery door is far easier to use. Instead of unlocking the charge door with a button inside, you can simply open it from the outside.
Now, the bad news. To make the Volt more accessible, they dropped the price by $5,000. Sounds like a good thing, but you can’t drop the price like that without sacrifice. And sacrifice they did. The overall quality of the car is FAR lower than the 2012 model. There are numerous squeaks and creaks that weren’t there before. The quality of the materials is lower. It just feels cheaper. My number one complaint about it is the stereo. It has such a weird behavior pattern with the phone. Sometimes I plug the phone in and nothing happens. Sometimes music starts playing from the phone. Sometimes, the thing can’t find any music on the phone. Sometimes, it’ll be playing music and then just quit. Sometimes the controls simply don’t work. It’ll be playing a song and you hit the button for “Next”. The stereo beeps to acknowledge the input, but nothing happens. You hit “Next, Next, Next, Next, Next, Next” and it “Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep” to let you know it knows you gave it input, but the song doesn’t change. For about a minute. Then all the inputs catch up. It is INFURIATING.
I still love being able to plug in at home and have a full charge, but that is rapidly not becoming enough to keep me happy with this car.
The 2016 Volt should be an improvement. It will support Apple CarPlay. The entire car has been refactored from the ground up. New engine, new batteries, new motors… it’s entirely new.
But for me, it doesn’t matter.
I think I lost my marbles and went and pre-ordered a Model 3. Here’s the thing…
My current Volt is a leased vehicle. The lease on it will be due in September of 2017. When I placed my pre-order, they said they’d be delivering the Model 3 at the end of 2017. The calendars aligned! I told myself that even if it were late (which of course it will be), I could either pick up some beater to drive for a few months or something like that until my shiny new toy arrives.
That was when I ordered it. At that point, Tesla had already taken more than 150,000 pre-orders. As of this writing, they’re up to nearly a quarter of a million pre-orders.
Here’s how the deliveries are expected to work… Tesla is giving priority to current owners of Teslas. So all those folks that own a Model S or will own a Model X (and presumably a Roadster) will move to the front of the line. Next, they’ll start rolling out deliveries from West to East. So Californians will get their cars before people in Colorado. I am in the Central Time Zone so I should be in the third wave.
But with so many pre-orders, Tesla will never be able to keep up with demand. When Elon Musk said they would be able to produce 500,000 cars a year, that was in 2020. As of today, they have the capacity to build less than 100,000 vehicles. That include the Model S and Model X. I just don’t see how they’re going to be able to deliver me my car any sooner than Summer of 2018.
Nevertheless… for those of you interested in the whole Model 3 process, stay tunes here. I’ll try to keep everyone informed in each step along the way.
Here’s proof that my wife (@shinysouthpaw) is cool with it.