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May 22, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Traveling here and how

Tesla car hood and headlight. MotorWeek screenshot Season 37. Episode 36)

Once only a gleam in someone’s inner eye.(MotorWeek screenshot 3736)

Ever watched the morning bird commute? No matter how crowded the skyway, they never run into another.

Where is the coordinating flight tower? They probably flock into mandated a Rules of the Flight School.

If only we could decode their traffic guidance systems.

Not such direct movement with Tesla cars these days.

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 is supposed to be the  “affordable battery-electric car”. The vanguard for all others.

There are a few of these cars on the road, but there’s so much of “available, but not quite yet” about the Model 3 that people wonder. While Tesla “offers”  two battery choices, right now only the Long Range Battery Pack is available. (Providing a 310 miles range as opposed to the base model of 220 miles…which begs the question of why would anyone bother with the lesser? Cost, perhaps). Right now Model 3’s offers rear wheel drive, while, once again, twin-motor all-wheel drive versions will soon be available.

Some have noted a bit of road noise which might be expected as there is no engine noise to cover it up.

The name Tesla itself suggests smooth, sleek, and advanced. At first glance, it looks good, too.

No toothy grill across the front since cooling slots not mandatory with electric motors. Oddly the car’s panels don’t always come together flush. (Just cosmetic, right? At this price, too much to expect?) Big sweeping windows with an optional giant sun roof. (We call those solar passenger cookers in this climate.) It really is cool how the charging port is hidden behind a rear light assembly. Gotta love how those door handles float out of the side panel to greet you as you approach.

Worrisome that the car suddenly became shy and withdrew during a test drive: wouldn’t unlock from the phone command or from the emergency backup entry key card. Not really great for some of the mall parking lots here…talk about feeling vulnerable.

The interior is sleek and minimalist with the dashboard is as smooth as a Kentucky Derby winner’s stride.

No messy knobs, dials, or gauges. A couple of programmable wheels on the steering wheel to activate and manipulate all car information on a large 15 inch center video screen.

Test drivers noted that the info panel does not tilt/angle/swing towards the driver who ends up spending a great deal of time gazing sideways at the screen instead of eyes on the road. Worse, the screen becomes unreadable and rainbow-colored in certain light conditions. (Can just hear it now. Driver to police office “Honestly, I couldn’t see how fast I was going. No, we weren’t watching the Wizard of Oz…”)

Car and driver. Tesla Model 3 interior of 2018 Tela Model 3. (Screenshot Motorweek You tube video)

We’re off top see the Wizard in a 2018 Tesla Model 3. (MotorWeek YouTube)

The 2018 Model 3 is rolling even if a work in progress. But an entry level car?

All the options that really aren’t an option add up.

Want another color than black? Get out the wallet. Bloomberg discusses the actual sticker cost here.(May 20, 2018).

While Tesla had promised a cool $35,000.00 base level entry car, that version isn’t currently being produced.  “… The company’s current business model and financial position — it’s operating at a loss and has negative operating cash flow” means the company to pay the rent by focusing on the faster, pricier model with longer battery life and all the fancy stuff everyone dreams of.

  • Business Insider: “Tesla Model 3 performance version is overpriced at $78,000.00” (So the car can do 3.5 sec 0-60mph with a 155 mph top speed – “faster and handles better than a BMW M3”..Will enough people notice/care/be willing to pay for it? Price isn’t exactly chicken feed.)
  • Interesting enough very shortly after reviews noting issues with the 2018 Model 3 appeared, this: “Tesla restructuring to meet profit goals” Elon Musk mentioned “…also found that there are some things very well suited to manual operation and some things the are very well suited to automated operation, and the two should not be confused…” (Hopefully this means they are working to make sure the car’s outer panels match up smoothly. That’s something even non-gearheads notice.) (Hmmm, now how much has money has been given to start-up Tesla? What were the promises?)
  • Watch YouTube of the 2018 Model 3 here.
car.Side view of Smart Car, (Image Craig's List/japopnik)

Arrest me red. Of course it’s appropriate.(Craig’s List/Jalopnik)

There are other routes for those who driven by tiny houses and tiny cars…

Oh, OK motorhomes towing cars don’t really count as tiny houses, but electric Smart Cars are frequently the carry-along-vehicle-of-choice behind travel vehicles. For local travel, a Smart Car may be safer and more dry, than a scooter or motorcycle. Not to mention fewer bugs in teeth, less shouting when talking to a passenger, and freedom for worrying that over-protective BlueJay is going to continue kamikaze attacks.

The modified Smartacus Smart Car could be just the ride for those who want to go small with zoom. “At $23,500.00, could this Hayabusa-powered 2002 Smart Fortwo be for you?” (Jalopnik)

Authorities concur that there’s little possibility of eagles or giant California condors mistaking Smartacus for fast food for their young. Even if it does look a little like a plump hamster running along. (Watch it scamper here.)

Getting you wheel smart for your summer escape.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

car. Power in the rear of modified Smart car. Smartacus. (Image Craigslist/jalopnik)

Totally untrue that Smartacus is powered by rubber bands and hamster wheels.(Craigslist/Jalopnik)

Front view of red 2018 Tesla Model 3 (Image Motorweek YouTube screenshot)

“Little ones are always the jokesters, right. They get you seeing red.”(Motorweek)




  1. easyweimaraner / May 22 2018 6:17 am

    the smartacus reminds me a little of Christine… but at least it can not eat you in one piece, just bit by bit ;O)))


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2018 6:23 am

      Like termites or fire ants! Only one close to the ground could bark that astute remark. Thanks for driving in to park that chuckle


  2. pensitivity101 / May 22 2018 6:52 am

    Don’t think we’ll be getting one of these then. Hubby has been thinking about a golf cart.


  3. Kate Crimmins / May 22 2018 6:55 am

    solar passenger cookers! I hate sunroofs because they are bright, glare producing, cataract inducing things. Guess you can guess my age. What I love about Tesla is that they break the ground. They may muddle around a bit but advances should come out of it that would work for reasonably priced cars.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2018 7:51 am

      It’s so dumb to feel like you have to wear a hat while riding in your car. The sun is really brutal here. Sun roof are great in fall/spring in the mountains.
      Tesla and their developers are very interesting. Wish they would take a little more time and not bring out stuff before ready for prime time – make it even more difficult for something breaking ground…and not make so many promises far too early in the process. Eventually good solid products will drive out – meanwhile, if they need to make expensive cars to survive, do it – let the ones with money fund development for the good of all. Focus, guys. (and get those darn car panels to line up – really, even granny and the young and foolish notices that)
      Thanks for pushing the starter button on a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sustainabilitea / May 22 2018 3:59 pm

    I also find Tesla and Musk interesting, but I’d just love to have my ’75 Super Beetle back. It had more room than these, didn’t cost much too drive (although gas prices were enormously less), and had pizzazz. Ah, well, I do love my Sienna van. 😉



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2018 4:26 pm

      Oh those vintage VW bugs. Peppy and so practical as they floated and you just got out and pushed them over to dry land…seriously…it floods here. HAHA!
      Musk has vision – cool guy (jump start those Tesla sales so you can continue that company who knows what he’ll end up discovering….interesting that he found many robots are not the ultimate production model. Would like to see his plant.). Wonder what he thinks of what is going on in the land of his birth.
      Unique places create unique people.
      Thanks for shifting gears to leave a comment


  5. Ally Bean / May 22 2018 4:25 pm

    Musk seems like a con man to me and little cars like this one scare me. I wouldn’t want to be in one around here where the vans and SUVs would never see me on the hills and curves. And how do you keep it from being stolen when you park it somewhere? I’ll pass on this car.


  6. Pied Type / May 22 2018 9:57 pm

    I’m with Ally. Wouldn’t consider driving one of those tiny cars here in SUVland. And Teslas are waaay too expensive. Guess it’ll be me and my Forester for the forseeable future.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 23 2018 8:15 am

      Foresters last forever – and so practical. Small cars are great if you don’t need to go far, a small town with polite drivers and mild weather. During commutes on major freeways, I’ve seen far too many cars smashed, crumbled, under trucks – give me a tank. The huge transports hauling freight from the port have to be able to see me. And now all the construction material trucks – there is no “peak traffic time” – it’s always nuts and jammed.
      Thanks for adding a caution sign

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Roxie / May 23 2018 1:54 pm

    omg I’m laughing so hard, yes, the rubber bands and hamster wheels! tiny little cutie that it is, perhaps it needs a side car, like the sporty 3 wheel cycle, dangle a carrot to make it go. lol.
    I’ll get my helmet for a lovely test drive. Anyone see the bunny rabbit lately? 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 23 2018 5:35 pm

      There is something that happens to people when they sit in the driver’s seat of a little Smart Car sized vehicle – Suddenly they are bullet proof – and can close to sliding sideway as well as darting here and there. Sometimes the remind me of roaches scrambling when a light turns on.(Shudder) Maybe a sidecar would be a good idea: increase visibility to others, anyway…
      Thanks for packing up a giggle to leave here

      Liked by 1 person

      • Roxie / May 23 2018 6:39 pm

        Roaches, that’s a great analogy!


  8. LordBeariOfBow / May 23 2018 5:02 pm

    The biggest problem I see with all these cars is the steering wheel.
    It’s on the wrong side! Ha! Hugs 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 23 2018 5:26 pm

      Hey how about putting one foot on each of two Smartacus car roofs and driving them Roman chariot style? I can see you doing that. Thanks for steering a comment this way


  9. Littlesundog / May 23 2018 6:42 pm

    Forrest got to ride in a Tesla a while back – his company is considering one for a fleet vehicle. Of course he wanted one (he likes fine things) and my first comment about the $$$$ ticket was met with all of the reasons why it would be a great deal to buy a used model. He had all of the Tesla charging stations mapped out for most of our family-related trips out of state. I still said, NO. 😀


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 24 2018 6:55 am

      If a company wants to hand me a brand new hotrod model – and pay for the charging, I’d probably take it. Some guy in the area has one and we see him tapping around commuting. Judging from his driving, he’ll probably be gathering tickets.
      Right now I would avoid used electric cars – batteries aren’t perfected yet and the track record is iffy…if you live in an area that gets hot for a good part of the year, battery life is a concern: heat kills batteries rapidly (as some early adopters found out here) and AC drains batteries at an astounding rate (so know where the charging stations are or wear cool clothing) Companies don;’t like to reveal the cost of a replacement battery – and how much it cost to switch them out – specialists have to be flown in to some places. One of my biggest concerns is what happens to those batteries – very toxic ..just like old cell phones and computers..where’s the elephant burial ground fore car batteries? Then there’s the old now rapidly brushed aside reality of how electricity is made – that’s still evolving, too. But right now if you like Big Oil you’ll love Big Electricity. Not to mention the irritation of other gas/diesel powered cars who are right about saying E car drivers are not paying gas tax at the pump, so they are getting a free ride and not paying their share of road construction and maintenance. (and solutions for that are opening a real can of worms)
      Still give Musk some time and hopefully he’ll give us all some dependable affordable zoom options before long (probably after I head for the Mars colony. Sigh)
      Thanks for plugging in a comment (Whew – dog jumping in the bed thunderstorms last night – that time of year. Take care up there…and swat those annoying woods bugs – ugh here already)


      • Littlesundog / May 24 2018 7:15 am

        We had to replace the eight batteries in the electric buggy this spring. They were $220 a piece. I can only imagine what they’d be in a Tesla. I like that you think about all of the other concerns. Most people do not consider battery life, conditions and disposal. It’s no different with the “green” energy (solar and wind farms). The underlying cost and problems are rarely known. So yes, all of this “green” power might appear to be “all that” but there is always more to consider than what’s on the surface.

        As for the weather, Oklahoma has has very few storms and tornadoes… very weird for us. We have decided to let the orchard go wild this year, though I will have to concentrate more on musk thistle control, and killing out Osage Orange and Honey Locust trees. I think the deer will love the wild. It’s only because I couldn’t get out there this winter to clean up limbs and burn (burn ban most of the winter) that we couldn’t get things picked up to mow this spring. There’s much to explain… I need to find time to write but this year is presenting a lot of change. It’s not a bad thing… just life presenting itself!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 24 2018 7:29 am

          It looks like we live in an era of shallow, surface, just the appearance of and no understanding of environmental awareness and concern…just enough to post on FB to show “they are a part of the movement…any movement…the one currently getting all the attention from media…”
          I keep wondering where the wrong turn was.
          While maybe not what you would prefer, I love the idea of a managed wildness for the orchard. The deer and animals will be charmed with that.
          Life is pretty busy right now here, too – don’t have the time to blog as much right now. Priorities and perspective. Choices.
          Thanks for following the Ups and Downs here!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Littlesundog / May 24 2018 7:42 am

          It’s all good… isn’t it?


  10. Anne Mehrling / May 24 2018 5:17 pm

    I loved your exposing that the little car is not run by rubber bands.


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