Yes, it's a Tesla!
We've been electric vehicle advocates for many years, doing conversions and being active in Plug-In NCW since 2005. We just ended a four year lease of a Nissan Leaf and wanted a longer-range EV to allow environmentally-friendly cross country travel.
We've always considered the Tesla to be way outside our price range, but after considering alternatives like the Chevy Bolt (months away, if we're lucky) or the Tesla Model 3 (years away), we started looking at used Tesla Model S's with Supercharger capability.
When we learned that Tesla Motors has "pre-owned" vehicles (lease returns and trade-ins) on their website, we checked it out. Not only can you order new vehicles, but also "inventory" vehicles (new loaners and demos) and pre-owned vehicles.
We found two vehicles at the Seattle Tesla SoDo store that were within a carefully crafted budget. Coincidentally our credit union sent us an ad saying we prequalified for a low interest auto loan that would cover the vehicle cost after our down payment. It was fate!
We went to Seattle and test drove the vehicle we were interested in. It was in perfect condition, a late 2013 60kWh battery (200 mile range) with only 28,000 miles on it. We would have driven it home, but Tesla insisted on going through a 200+ point inspection and reconditioning process.
We paid our deposit and went home where we anxiously waited almost four weeks for the car to be ready. When the big day arrived and we went to the Bellevue Tesla store to take delivery, we were not disappointed. The car looked brand new! We received a very thorough orientation to the vehicle operation and all my technical questions were diligently answered.
The ride home was surreal. We are still a little awe struck. It really happened. We own (along with the credit union) our dream car! If we can do it, so can you!
But even if you can't afford a Tesla, there are lease return Leafs available for less than $10,000! Remember that the majority of climate changing emissions, in Washington state and the U.S., are from transportation. The single greatest thing we as individuals can do to have a positive affect on climate change emissions is to drive an EV instead of a fossil fuel vehicle!
We already had an L2 charger (240 volt, 30 amp, J-1772 plug) installed in our garage for our Leaf. It works just fine with the J-1772-to-Tesla plug adapter provided with each Tesla. The car comes with a “Mobile Connector” cord which allows L1 (120 volt, 12 amp) charging, and L2 (240 volt, 50 amp, NEMA 14-50 plug) charging. Other L2 plug adapters for the Mobile Connector can be purchased. We also purchased a Chademo-to-Tesla adapter so we could use Chademo L3 DC quick chargers in the area. Then there are the 744 SuperCharger stations nationwide! With all these charging options, we’re looking forward to our first road trip!
- Anne and Randy Brooks