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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Book Review: "Getting Ready for Model 3"

When 200,000 people reserved a Model 3 in the first day, you could bet a lot of those were enthusiasts or current Tesla owners.  As reservations continued their rocket-ride through day 2, totaling over 250,000, the bandwagon was officially rolling.  Blasting through 300,000 just as easily, they’re widely speculated to be hovering somewhere in the atmosphere above 400,000 and that bandwagon is promised to get several more hard shoves leading up the first deliveries.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Transformation Begins at New Pittsburgh Service Center

After a quiet break for the Thanksgiving holidays, workers at the new Tesla Pittsburgh Service Center have dramatically picked up the pace with an opening date in early 2017 squarely in their sights.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Final Verdict: Does the Light Harmonic Speaker Upgrade Make Cents?

touchscreen showing test clips used for speaker test tesla pittsburgh

Of all the things to review, this has to be among the most complex. Not only are there reams of technical procedures to consider, there’s also established testing protocols that require some level of expertise to be properly executed.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Light Harmonic's Speakers Go Head-to-Head With Tesla's

 head to head comparison of tesla sounds systems to light harmonic labspittsburgh
I finished the installation of the Light Harmonic speakers and then gathered up a small fleet of comparison cars. Rather than get bogged down in stats, we did more of a focus group approach.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Installing the Light Harmonic Speaker Upgrade

light harmonic speaker mounted in door with felt tesla pittsburgh
I’m going to take a deep breath before I explain to you how easily these speakers went in. Light Harmonic claimed they would be plug and play but the set I received -- which I was later told was not reflective of changes made to the production run -- was decidedly not cooperative.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Studio Test of the Light Harmonic Speakers

studio test of light harmonic labs stock factory speaker tesla pittsburgh
Before I installed the entire system in the Tesla, I wanted to gather some benchmark data. With the help of my friend Joseph St. Onge (who does have some legit audio expertise), we tested a pair of each speakers in a soundproofed production studio. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Introduction: Light Harmonic Speaker Upgrade


side by side of factory stock and light harmonic labs speaker tesla pittsburgh 
If it’s true that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” then look at those two speakers. Can you see the difference? Alrighty then, that’s pretty much my review. Let’s get this out of the way early: I am not an audio expert or engineer. But before you click away, let me assure you I’ve assembled a very qualified team and we’re going look into this subjective minefield of Tesla audio and see if I can’t persuade you to hear with my written words.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

I figured if I was going to sit and hand out candy (since my kids are old enough they don't want chaperones anymore), I might as well make the garage a little more intimidating.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Service Center Has a Lot Going On

This is actually the fourth update on the new Service Center's construction.  With a harsh winter forecast for Pittsburgh, it seems the bulk of the construction work has been to the systems and exterior of the building.
 With one glaring exception... the facade itself.  While it looks like something is happening here, it isn't.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Seeking a More Perfect Union

While visiting a local tourist attraction, I found myself-- as is still often the case-- approached by someone wanting to know about the Tesla.  "How long have you had it?" was the first question, following the usual script.  After I told him tongue-in-cheek that it was an "antique" he went straight for the standard rebounds, "How do you like it?" and "Have you had any problems?"
Having passed 2 1/2 years of ownership, I've certainly had a few of the latter (which I'll address once they're sorted) but I think it's our approach to the prior question that defines our place in the Tesla realm:  We like this car but we don't accommodate it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Empty Shell of a Service Center

Pittsburgh's new Tesla Service Center is still under construction.  Despite rumors of delays, the work was ongoing when we stopped by Saturday morning.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: A "Presidential" Cover-Up

1-IMG_3375
You walk up to your beloved Model S and find her defiled. The splotch of reprehensible matter could be from a tree, a bird or your drunken neighbor-- but it doesn't matter where it came from. The damage has been done. Your paint has had a crime committed against it. A brutalizing application of gravity to excrement or sap and now you're left with just the evidence: a crime scene made of goo where Fremont’s finest finish once gleamed.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Tearing Down Ethan Allen's House

Before you can create, often you must destroy.  The former Ethan Allen in Wexford is becoming the Pittsburgh Service Center and I stopped by to take a look at how things are progressing,  Much to my surprise, a large crew was hard at work over the holiday weekend!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Pittsburgh Service Center Construction Begins

pittsburgh tesla service center proposed facade closeup
Tesla's mysterious plans for a Pittsburgh Service Center have been rumored for several years but nothing could be confirmed. Then about a two months ago, concrete information began appearing on the public record. In June, Marshall Township planners gave their approval for the plans to move forward and now that they have been approved by the township supervisors and a bucket truck has been spotted upgrading the building's electrical service, it’s time to release all the known details.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Service Notice for Pittsburgh Area

FYI:  Dave Stella (Tesla Ranger for Pittsburgh) will be out of the area for several weeks at the end of August/early September.
Details after the click.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ross Park Mall Tesla Grand Opening

It’s official—Pittsburgh has a Tesla Store!  The Owners’ Exclusive Grand Opening was held Thursday night (June 23rd) as the store dropped the construction panels and was revealed to shoppers at Ross Park Mall for the first time.  Situated on a stretch of high end stores that my wife calls “Handbag Row,” the design follows the Tesla aesthetic to… well, a “T.”

Thursday, June 30, 2016

CMU Electric Garage to Permanently Close

Vast construction projects at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University will soon engulf the largest of western Pennsylvania's EV charging pioneer facilities.
The Electric Garage's chargers are being relocated immediately with demolition of the site to begin in July.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Autopilot 2.0

Pittsburgh area testing of Tesla's newest Autopilot has the world watching.
Following the refresh of the Model S last month, there has been much speculation about whether or not "that was it" or if Tesla still has some arrows in its quiver.  The mere suggestion that more "cowbells" could be coming has put prospective owners a-quivering too, as the on-going debate continues as to when is the best time to buy?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Erie Supercharger Powers Up

After years of not-so-quiet desperation, the "missing link" Supercharger in Erie, PA has finally powered up!  The location is a vital link for Tesla owners going multiple directions and one that has been near the top of regional owners' requests.
While you might not think of Erie as a transportation hub, it quickly became a desirable charging stop as the Supercharger network has been built out, much like railroad stations and crossroads have historically become vital only after their peripheral arteries grew.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Ross Park Mall Kiosk Grows Into STORE

Pittsburgh has long felt like a backwater town in Tesla's world.  My purchase was credited to Philadelphia.  It was delivered off a truck from Columbus.  It was serviced (until recently) by folks from or at Cleveland-- and now a Ranger commuting from Maryland!  Sure, Tesla surrounded us with Superchargers in Somerset and Cranberry (which Jake and I christened), but we were always a bridesmaid as Tesla took other cities into their honeymoon suite.
Then about a year ago, I caught a "help wanted" ad for Pittsburgh Tesla sales reps.  Soon thereafter, the company timidly consummated their spring fling by opening up a kiosk in Ross Park Mall.  Thankfully, they're not stopping there... Here I present to you: A STORE.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Model X 90D: Test Drivers Wanted

The production ramp on the Model X has been accelerating and Tesla is eager to clear the backlog of orders and get some new ones.  To that end, they've been dispatching the X to stores and galleries so that we, the unwashed masses, can finally try to put our fingerprints on those glossy seat backs.
The Pittsburgh Ross Park Mall Tesla Store has received this Titanium X 90D for use as a test drive car and they're already scheduling the runs.  That's right, she's ready to roll.  So I went over to get a closer look.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Refreshed S Lands at Ross Park Mall

As expected, Tesla has moved quickly to get their refreshed Model S out into the public eye.  For those of you who were waiting anxiously to see what Tesla changed, the answer is now waiting for you at Ross Park Mall.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Erie Supercharger Construction Starts

 Construction crews have descended on the parking lot of the Hilton Garden Inn Erie.  The crates are already there and the countdown to first charge begins!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Model 3 Reaction - WHEW!!

I wrote up a quick post on the reservation day and some perspective on the gravity of the moment.  I was quite literally a bit terrified of what COULD happen and that the company would either thrive or die based on this model.  As Elon said in the presentation, every other car has been done with the goal of getting to Model 3... And so the pressure was immeasurable.  So how do I think it went?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

An Unprecedented Historic Day

As a car guy, today is HISTORIC-- like none I've ever heard of. An entire company's vision and purpose for existence-- as embodied by its CEO, the kind of personification of a company that's a throwback to different time-- will be put up to public scrutiny to thrive... or die. The stakes are HUGE, even bigger than the lines worldwide today as thousands placed deposits on a completely unknown car. Absolutely unprecedented. By the time it hits the road, our Chrysler will be 18 years old so we have secured our place in line to replace it with a Model 3. Now we wait to see if Tesla comes through.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

New Standard Wheels: 19" Slipstreams

As Tesla is wont to do, the company quietly updated their Model S configuration page sometime over Friday night.  The long-standard 19" 5-spoke wheel design was unceremoniously removed from the page and replaced with new silver 19" Slipstream wheels.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

EVAnnex Front Seat Covers Review: Outerwear for Your Inner Tesla

You might think that you don't need seat covers-- I certainly didn't--  but read my review with an open mind and you could find yourself clicking over to the order page like a groupie ordering concert tickets to a sold out show.
BTW, if you're immune to clever imagery, sarcasm and general mischievousness with the English language, then please just watch to video review...  like a monkey in a lab experiment.  Heh.  Seekers of witty commentary, read on!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Erie Supercharger FOUND!

FINALLY, building permits for the Supercharger in Erie, PA are in the works.  We've been waiting for this location to appear for years now as it's popped on and off the "Coming Soon" maps on Tesla's website.  It will be a vital link for travelers on multiple routes and Tesla is sizing the site accordingly.
So here it is: 2225 Downs Drive, Erie 16509.  Right by the highway ramps for I-90 and surrounded by amenities on Peach Street.  Let's take a look.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Working For the Man. His name is Gene.

Eventually I'll cross/re-post the review here (with deleted scenes and gag reel!) but for now, please enjoy the hospitality of a man named Gene, who runs the Teslarati website.  I've done a few product reviews for them and this is the latest one:
Link is after the jump-->  WHEEEEeeeee.....