My first week with the LEC Tesla Model X

MAR 4, 2019 – My first week with the LEC Tesla Model X – Powered by ND Coal

DAY 1: Thursday: After downloading the Tesla App and logging in, I first noticed that the previous pilot left me with only 30 miles remaining before empty (under normal operating temperatures). However, being that the temperature was -25 F, I really only had about 15 miles before the electric vehicle would stop operating due to running the defrost fan on full blast, heating the steering wheel to thaw my frozen fingers and heating the driver’s seat to keep my bum warm.

Realizing that the level 2 charger was adding about 30 miles per hour of charge (only 1 mile per hour of charge on a 110v outlet), I felt OK knowing I would have about 170 miles on the vehicle by the time I left the office at the end of the day.

DAY 2: Friday: I read the manual and watched some YouTube videos on the auto-pilot, navigation and other features of the Tesla Model X. Now I definitely had to take the Model X out for a real self-driving test in Bismarck. The auto-pilot feature didn’t seem to want to operate and “Auto Pilot Not Available at This Time” kept appearing every time I tried to engage. Fast Forward to jumping onto I-94….. Auto-Pilot definitely worked on the Interstate and gave me the true feeling of futuristic driving. I was absolutely amazed at how smooth and flawless Tesla’s auto-pilot handled cruising down the Interstate.

After connecting the vehicle to the Lignite Energy Council’s Wi-Fi, a notification icon appeared on the Tesla screen. I selected the notification icon and it indicated that the vehicle’s software had an update available. I remember reading about the software versions and associated features while browsing the Tesla website and reading the manual the day before.

It was about 2:45 p.m. so I decided to install the updated software version on the vehicle thinking that it would only take about 15 minutes. About 45 minutes later, I started getting a little worried about the update after reading about update problems on Tesla’s website. I contacted Tesla Support through the Chat system and finally got through after waiting in line for about 10 minutes. I informed the support technician about initiating the update close to 1 hour ago and nothing I pressed seemed to wake the vehicle up. While the support technician looked into the update issue, a message on the App indicated the update was complete. NOTE: Make sure that you do not need to use the vehicle for at least 1 hour once you initiate the update process!

DAY 3-5: President’s Weekend: took my wife and our children and their girl/boy friends for a self-driving Tesla ride. They were all very impressed and could not believe how well this futuristic vehicle handled the road, curves and traffic by itself. Like everyone else that has experienced it, they all thought the Tesla FART game was pretty funny and had a good laugh. I also noticed that when parked uphill at a stop sign, the Tesla would start rolling backwards when I removed my foot from the brake (acted like a manual transmission). NOTE: Updated the driving settings to enable Creep Mode so the vehicle creeps forward when the brake is released (similar to an automatic transmission). I also found out that after accidentally releasing the hood latch with the remote and then not being able to drive the vehicle until it was completely closed (I tried unsuccessfully several times to close the hood), I had to read the owner’s manual to figure out “How to Shut the Hood on a Tesla Model X”.

DAY 6 – Tuesday: Mom called and asked if I could come to get her and take her to work at Bismarck State College because she got stuck in her driveway while leaving for work. I really thought it would be cool to hook up the Tesla and pull her Subaru Outback out of the snowbank, but she really needed to get to work and I didn’t have a hitch on the Tesla. NOTE: Get a hitch for the Tesla! DOUBLE NOTE: Always ENABLE Trailer Mode when towing a trailer with the Tesla.

DAY 7: Unfortunately, I have not found or been able to activate the Dashcam recording feature.

DAY 8: Discovered one of the best life-saving features of the Tesla! #BringOnBiologicalWarfare
The Model X is equipped with a Bioweapons Defense Mode.

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Dave Allard
DaveAllard@lignite.com

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