Tesla Model Y earns Motor Trend’s respect: “(It) delivers the ultimate glory of a performance SUV”

By Joey Klender Posted on on May 27, 2020

The Tesla Model Y Performance recently underwent a detailed first drive review from MotorTrend, which highlighted several points of modern ingenuity that the electric automaker incorporated into its first mainstream crossover. The analysis does not cover the straightforward aspects that the Model Y has, like Autopilot capabilities, battery capacity, or range. It is a clear and concise explanation of why the car won over MotorTrend’s staff.

“The Model Y Performance delivers the ultimate glory of a performance SUV,” the esteemed motoring publication stated.

Labeled as “the most convincing American sport luxury SUV” that MotorTrend’s Christian Seabaugh has ever driven, the Model Y Performance packs 456 horsepower and just one mile less range than the Long Range AWD variant of the vehicle. With performance upgrades like a more robust rear motor, revised powertrain software, a rear spoiler, and performance brakes, the Model Y Performance’s power was undoubtedly a point of approval for the reviewer.

Even though the Model Y doesn’t pack Ludicrous Mode or a dedicated launch system, which are both exclusive to the Model S and Model X, the all-electric crossover “still continues the legend of brutally prompt Tesla acceleration.” Tesla’s instant torque is synonymous with the company’s fleet of sustainable, high-performance automobiles, which makes them an intimidating sight on a drag strip. The Model Y Performance’s real-world 0 to 60 mph time of in 3.7 seconds in MotorTrend‘s test is quicker than the Jaguar I-Pace, the BMW X3 M Competition, and the Porsche Macan Turbo outfitted with a performance package.

During Seabaugh’s drive, he stated that none of the Model Y’s outstanding performance was unexpected. “Quick acceleration, quick steering, and firm braking are par for the course for Tesla,” he stated. However, the firm ride of the Model Y equipped with the Performance Upgrade Package, or PUP, was one completely unexpected thing.

Driving over potholes and rough roads or highway expansion joints were handled by the Model Y Performance’s lowered suspension. “To Tesla’s credit, the ride is by no means punishing—you’re neither flinching before bumps nor wincing after them—it’s just firmer than most other vehicles in its class,” he said.

From an interior standpoint, the cabin of the Model Y certainly won over Seabaugh, who said its “a pretty nice place to be.” The higher seat position compared to the Model 3 comes as a pleasant surprise, giving the driver a commanding view of the road. Visibility is good even though the front of the car isn’t visible from the driver’s throne.

Even though the Model Y Performance’s build is practical for hauling the kids around and grabbing items from the grocery store, it is a vehicle that packs plenty of power for those who desire a little bit of fun. While the Model X was undoubtedly the car to offer families a mode of premium sustainable transportation that’s incredibly difficult to match, the more-affordable Model Y is here to reach out as a “mass-market” vehicle, just like the Model 3 before it.

Seabaugh’s final words sum up the Model Y perfectly. “Revolutionary falcon-wing doors be damned, the original Model X didn’t make any of Tesla’s rivals lose sleep. The Model Y will give them nightmares.”

Myth: Driving electric means accepting a worse driving experience

05.20.2020 – by Tom Saxton

In 2006, my wife and I put down a deposit for a Tesla Roadster and started the long wait for production to begin. At the time, I was driving an Acura NSX and was a little nervous with the idea of replacing it with an electric car. We wanted to support the fledgling electric automaker, but the NSX was a sweet ride. Could I really give it up just to be nicer to the planet? In the fall of 2007, we had the opportunity to test drive a Roadster production prototype in the Bay Area hills near Alice’s Restaurant on a wonderful road twisting through the forest. Once behind the wheel, I was instantly taken by the sheer joy of driving electric: smooth, instant acceleration accompanied only by the sound of the tires grabbing the pavement and air rushing by, a pure visceral driving experience. After that, I couldn’t wait for the Roadster to arrive. After driving the Roadster for just a few weeks after it arrived in 2009, the NSX felt like a dinosaur. I’ve been hooked ever since.

In the years since, I’ve come to appreciate much more than the now well-known excitement of electric acceleration. The electric motor delivers smooth, instant torque from a full stop to freeway speeds, with no need for a transmission between the power and pavement. This has profound benefits in all driving situations.

Starting at zero

If you’ve ever driven up a steep hill with a stoplight, you’ve had to learn how to start without stalling. It’s quite a challenge with a manual transmission. An automatic transmission makes it easier to avoid stalling, but results in the car rolling backward until the engine speeds up enough to have the torque to power forward. That just leaves the issue of revving up fast enough that you don’t roll into the car behind you but slow enough that you don’t lurch forward and squeal the tires. There are countermeasures, using both feet with an automatic, or the handbrake with a stick, but let’s face it: the only reason drivers tolerate this is because it’s “normal.”

Driving electric upgrades normal. This whole hill-start problem goes away with an electric car. You have full torque available even from a stop. It’s very easy to get a smooth, slow start from a stop going up a steep hill. No problem. Well, there’s one problem left: when you’re behind a gas car you still have to wonder if they’ll get moving forward before rolling back into you.

Electric vehicles also do better starting on packed snow or ice. What you need is the ability to slowly increase torque so you start rolling without losing traction and spinning the tires. Electric motors do this very easily, much better than gas engines.

Accelerating to pass

When you push the accelerator on a gas car to pass on the freeway, there’s a delay before it responds. It’s short, but it’s there. The engine in all its piston-pumping mechanical glory needs to rev up and the transmission needs to shift gears. This takes time, not much, and I never really noticed it, until I tried doing a quick pass in an electric car. The response was immediate, startlingly so. After driving electric for several years, now I notice how sluggish gas cars are to accelerate.

Driving over the mountains

As you drive up a mountain in gas car, the combination of the slope and the speed often wants to run between two gears in the transmission. This causes the car to lurch every time it has to downshift to get just a little more torque to maintain speed climbing the hill, then shift up after gaining too much speed. An electric vehicle doesn’t have gears, it doesn’t have to shift to maintain torque, it just goes. Whether you’re maintaining speed manually or letting cruise control do it, that lurching and revving is totally missing from the electric driving experience.

The difference between gas and electric is even more pronounced on the downhill side. On a long, steep slope in a gas car, you have to cycle braking and coasting while your speed yo-yos up and down, or downshift and endure the whine of engine braking. In an electric car, regenerative braking works like engine braking, except the electric motor acts as a generator to charge the battery while holding your speed steady. Cruise control works beautifully both up and down the mountain, and on the downhill side you get free electricity charging your battery instead of heating up and wearing out your brake pads.

Fun, practical and affordable

Not every electric car has sports car performance, but they all share the significant advantages of an electric drive train and offer a better driving experience compared to a gas car with similar performance. There are now a wide variety of electric vehicles on the market, running the spectrum from practical cars starting around $30,000 up through performance monsters that handily beat gas cars costing twice, or ten times, as much. If you’re hesitating to go electric because you think you’ll be sacrificing driving experience, I urge you to go test drive one today.

Photo: Tom Saxton drag racing his Telsa Roadster at Portland International Raceways in 2010. Photo credit: Cathy Saxton

Vancouver Tesla Birthday Drive

April 12, 2020

Here is the little blog of the event. …. Alfred

Our proud Tesla owner, Aimee King set up a drive by birthday celebration for her lovely son, Gavin 3 weeks before his birthday which was April 12th.   Gavin was also a Tesla enthusiast. More than 45 Tesla owners showed up at the event.  It was a simple drive-by event and no gathering happened during the most challenge time in human`s history.

Here is the story, one of our proud Tesla owners, Aimee King invited all the Tesla owners on  Tesla Owners of Vancouver (Lower Mainland/GVRD) and Tesla Owners of Vancouver (Lower Mainland/GVRD) FB pages three weeks before her lovely son Gavin`s 7th birthday.  On April 12th, more than 45 Tesla vehicles showed up at Gavin`s .  neighborhood.  Most of the Tesla owners were blasting Gavin`s favorite music during the drive by.  The music were Thunder Struck, Smooth Criminal, All Tragically Hip songs, Guns and Roses`, Thunder by Imagine Dragons and the Happy Birthday song. The event was successful and “Quiet“ except the loud music. 😉

Thanks for organizing such a great event, Aimee has notified the neighbors and local police before it took place.  It was a meaningful event during the most challenge time in our human history.  Well-done to our Tesla owners in Vancouver, B.C.

Powerful Drive for a Cause

Dale Cory – Apr 4, 2020 / 7:10 pm | 

Fill your Frunk

It was called: Fill Your Frunk — All-Electric Food Drive for Central Okanagan Food Bank.

And it was a huge success.

The Tesla Owners Club of British Columbia, Okanagan Chapter, took to the streets Saturday, and filled their cars with food donations. Everyone met at McCurdy Corner Parking Lot, and transported food to the Central Okanagan Food Bank.

“In total we were able to donate three carts of essentials to the Central Okanagan Food Bank, while maintaining safe social distancing,” said Tesla car club member Olivia Nowek. “In light of more recent guidelines to avoid non-essential trips outside the house, we will be re-evaluating future electric food drive plans, but hope to continue in some capacity so long as it remains safe. 

“We would love to donate to other Okanagan food banks, the SPCA or Animal Food Bank, and fill other community needs as identified.

“The newly-formed social club is unable to socialize or have public events due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so…

“We have shifted our focus to giving back to the community, and decided to collect food donations and fill our front trunks, also called ‘frunks’ with food, and go together as a group to drop off the donations to the Food Bank,” added Nowek. “We are strictly enforcing a two-meter social distancing rule during the group photo and the drop-off of the goods.”

Shifting Into Winter: Winter Tires, Driving, Energy Consumption, Tips & Expectations

Winter driving can be dangerous and also has higher energy consumption. However there’s a misconception that electric vehicles fair much worse than their internal combustion engine counterparts. Electric vehicles actually fair better on costs and efficient energy use. There are also measures you can take to help counter or reduce the impact on both range and consumption.

Tires are important!

Tires: The cooler it gets below 7° C, summer and all-season tires loose their grip. They suffer from a big increase of traction-loss to loosing most of their grip around -14° C. However, winter tires are made to gain grip as it gets cooler. With rain (and any form of frozen precipitation) this impact get even bigger.

Winter tires or chains are required on most routes in British Columbia from October 1 to March 31. For select highways, including mountain passes and rural routes in high snowfall areas, the date will be extended until April 30 to account for early-spring snowfall.

3.5 mm or more tread & a proper symbol

Mountain/Snowflake and/or
“M” and “S” lettering.

See the BC Government website tire and chains passenger vehicle requirements for more details.

Winter Driving: Avoiding problems

Drive for the conditions! Shifting your driving habits to tackle winter driving which puts our car and our skills to the test, is vital to avoid problems. There’s just too much unpredictability & variability to drive the same as we do during ideal conditions.

  • Drop your speed. The speed limit is for ideal conditions. Be ready for the inevitable unpredictability of snow and ice on the road. Its going to take you longer to stop as you’ll very likely have to slow down and maneuver slowly to maintain control.
  • Four second following rule minimum. At least double your stopping distance from others.
  • Always be looking and planning ahead for your stops, turns, and lane changes.
  • Adjust and smooth out your steering, braking & accelerations.
  • Black Ice is common in shaded areas, bridges, overpasses. Be extra vigilant when maneuvering in those area. Slow down slowly in advance if you know you’ll need to in those areas and coast through it otherwise.
  • Sharp curves & hills: Try to avoid accelerating and braking during turns, try and coast thought them. Slow down slowly before going down a hill.
  • Drive with headlights on in low light, fog, smoke, & snow to see and be seen.
  • Use extreme caution around road maintenance vehicles. Be ready with the wipers and whats ahead in case you have a few seconds of no visibility.
  • Practice how to handle skids in case you accidentally find yourself start or are out of control of your vehicle. If you start to skid, ease off the brake or accelerator, and look and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go. Be careful not to over-steer. When in a straight line try to shift into neutral or coast.

For more tips & resources on how to stay safe on the road this winter see the BC Government DriveBC website Shift Into Winter. DriveBC also provides current road conditions via an interactive voice response system. Call the Traveller Information System at 1-800-550-4997. For example to get the Highway 1 road conditions in the lower mainland say the following voice prompt at the main menu: Highways, Trans Canada Highway, Mainland, Conditions.

Drive BC Phone Tip: You can interrupt and speak the next option (or confirm by saying Yes) to speed up getting though the 4 levels of menu to get the conditions. Say Yes to confirm and say Main Menu to start over.

Higher Energy Consumption: The Cold Weather Factors

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that a drop in temperature from 24° C to 7° C can increase fuel consumption in urban commutes by 12 to 28 % for internal combustion engines.

Here’s some of the other factors and impacts

  • Cold, dry winter air is 11% denser (1.3 % impact) & its windier!
  • Rainy & winter road conditions (7 to 35 % impact)
  • Higher vehicle electric loads due to heating, defrosting, longer time with headlights on, heated seats, mirror, & more use of the wiper pump & motor.
  • ICE: Winter Fossil Fuels have less energy ( 1.5 to 3 % impact)
    BEV: Battery pack heating for optimal energy efficiency & cabin heating (5 % impact)

Model S and X Range curves appear similar

Model S 100D 22% less range when below freezing
Model X 100D 22% less range when below freezing

Are EV owners actually fuelling the myths and misconceptions about winter range?

As with all cars in the real world, electric vehicles don’t get anywhere near EPA mileage estimates during normal driving. However electric vehicle owners are well aware of our energy consumption and thus notice any impact. Thus its important to understand all the factors that cold weather drives up energy consumption.

The maximum range of Model S and X at temperatures below freezing is about 22% less than at temperatures above 20° C (68° F). For the Model 3, the ‘statistics’ are a little harder to come by. Reports of 25-30% loss at and below freezing to 40-50% at below -20° C. There are many factors that aren’t due to the battery rated range we see. Our expectations should have this loss in mind.

The chart below shows how the real world range is compared to the ‘rated’ range. This shouldn’t be excepted in cold weather conditions. Maybe we need an Igloo Mode to adjust the rated range for typical winter conditions?

Click on the image for a larger view.

As you prepare for winter, please read TESLA’s Winter Driving Tips to make the colder months a breeze and be aware of some mitigation strategies you can implement if you should desire or require them. The average regular trip and regular seasonal trips such as going to the mountains likely won’t require any effort in assuring your vehicles range ability.

Have a wonderful Happy Thanksgiving and please drive safe!

Drive Electric Week: EV Advocacy by supporting Ride and Drive Events.

National Drive Electric Week, presented, now globally by Plug In America, Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association, Drive Electric Events are on now.

Plug In America also released in conjunction with Sierra Club, AchiEVe 3.0: Transition to EVs Policy Toolkit. Part of their toolkit talks about Consumer Education and Protection including EV Proclamations, Driver Bill of Rights, Ride and Drive Events, Open Access and Interoperability, and Uniform Signage Requirements.

We again see a theme regarding Ride and Drive Events. They state “Nothing gets people more excited and sold on the idea that an EV could work for them than a ride and drive event. These opportunities give people the chance to kick the tires and check out EVs for themselves, so they can see just how easy a transition it is.” (Page 21).

We totally agree and support local events by offering ride alongs whenever we can (not just this week)! Nothing beats a bum in a seat! Tell your friends & family if they are curious about electric vehicles that these type of events are a great way to experience it and talk to an owner with first hand experience. These owners are passionate about it for a reason and want to help others see how driving electric is right for them. They help combat myths & stereotypes that people start believing as misinformation is shared without fact checking. We applaud our members and all other volunteers for volunteering their time doing this public advocacy work.

Thank-you Tesla Owners Club of British Columbia club members for you support! We are making a difference. People walk away and Take the 2 Degrees Institute Electric Pledge (

For further reading on what you can do and what legislative efforts to support, please see this great resource of what the best policies around EV adoption are to incentivize people to make the switch.

Tesla Owners Club of British Columbia
Drive Electric Week has been postponed due to the Corona-19 epidemic

The Model S/X “Raven” Refresh

Did you know that Tesla Vancouver has an updated test drive fleet for the Tesla Model S and Model X?

Here is a quick summary of the three areas of improvements.

Ask your closest local store to take one out on a test drive or even arrange for an overnight one to compare for yourself!

More Efficient Design
The Model S and X now has a new generation of drive unit technology (pairing a permanent magnet motor in the front with an induction motor in the rear). In addition to adding range, power and torque increases improving the 0-100 km/h time.

Faster Charging
Recharge rates can now be up to 50% faster at the new Version 3 Superchargers. The recharge rate also has Improvements on the existing Version 2 Superchargers.

Fully Adaptive Suspension
The new air suspension provides a fully-adaptive damping, giving it an ultra-cushioned feel during your ride.

The system constantly adapts by sensing the road and adjusting for driver behavior, automatically softening for more pronounced road inputs and firming for aggressive driving.

Also improves the leveling of the system while cruising, keeping the car low to optimize aerodynamic drag.

For full details, see the Tesla blog posting linked here:…/longest-range-electric-vehicle-now-…

Tesla Charging Guide

Tesla Owners of British Columbia

Charging Guide by Kelly Saunders, Abstract Energy 
Our newest Sponsor, Abstract Energy has created a charging guide for new and existing owners.

For the best ownership experience, it is important to have a charging solution in place that doesn’t require thinking ahead each time you need to plug in. This guide provides an overview of your charging options and helpful tips on how to hire the right electrician for your home installation.

Home Charging
Charging with a 120v wall outlet will not provide enough range for most drivers, so it’s best to install a 240v charging solution at home and plug in every night – this ensures a full charge every morning without any hassle or stress. There are 3 options for home charging:

  1. 240v Outlet – this is the cheapest option and allows you to plug directly into the wall with your Mobile Connector Bundle and a NEMA adapter (14-50 is the most common). You can charge at a maximum of 32A (40-48 km of range per hour), which is more than enough for most drivers.
  2. Tesla Wall Connector – this option provides the best experience and is the fastest way to charge your Tesla at home. Most Model S, X and 3 LR vehicles can charge at a maximum of 48A (66-80 km of range per hour). NOTE: Model 3 SR can charge at a maximum of 32A.
  3. J1772 Charging Station – this is the least desirable option because these stations are typically more expensive and you will need to use your J1772 adapter every time you charge. However, the J1772 plug is universal and can be the best option if you share charging with a non-Tesla EV.

Whichever option you choose, make sure to get multiple estimates from reputable electricians that  specialize in EV charging. Price is important, but don’t let it be the only factor in your decision – If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur. Getting multiple estimates will create competition for your installation, but it does require significant effort and coordination.

If you are looking for the easiest way to get multiple estimates from reputable electricians, Abstract Energy will streamline this process for you. No need to juggle contractors, the team will complete a single site inspection and then invite top-rated installers to compete for the electrical work. You select the winner based on availability and price. Please see Abstract Energy for details on how to get an estimate.

Tesla Supercharger Network
The Supercharger Network is the fastest way to charge your Tesla and can provide a full charge in 75 minutes. There are now over 1,500 Supercharger Stations and 13,000 Superchargers in the world, strategically located along major road trip routes near restaurants and other amenities. The new Urban Superchargers are designed to serve local owners that are unable to install charging at home or work.

Tesla Destination Network
The Destination Network is a convenient way for Tesla owners to charge at hotels, restaurants and shopping centres. These strategic partners offer free charging as a way to attract Tesla owners to their business. Charging speeds vary by location, but each Wall Connector should provide at least 40 km of range per hour.

Public Charging
The best way to see all public charging stations is with Plugshare – you can download the app or visit their website. Your Tesla comes with a J1772 adapter, which allows you to plug into any Level 2 charging station. Unfortunately, only Model S and X have access to the Level 3 CHAdeMO network at this time. If you are planning a trip, do your research in advance because some charging networks will require you to register before plugging in. Some charging stations are free, but most will require payment.

About the Author
Kelly Saunders is a Board Member at the Tesla Owners Club of BC and the President of Abstract Energy . As an early employee with Tesla Vancouver back in 2015, he began providing vehicle walkthroughs for new owners, then was promoted to oversee delivery operations, and then all Used Tesla sales and trade-ins across Western Canada.