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Waiting in the queue for more than 2 hours amongst other car enthusiasts, I could feel a certain carnival-like atmosphere. It brought me back to a similar experience I had, one where I had waited patiently at a glowing new Apple store for a chance to be among the very first to own an iPhone which was released about a decade ago in 2008. Waiting to enter the Tesla Sales Office, many smart vendors were approaching the queue to offer things like electric docking stations for faster home charging and memberships to special electric vehicle clubs. Finally, I entered the holy grail – a Tesla Sales office and was greeted by a friendly person who helped to take my reservation and a small $1000 deposit. At this time, while all this was happening across the country, there wasn’t even a picture of the car available yet, as Elon Musk was set to reveal the car to the world a mere 10 hours later. The only possibility to jump to the front of the proverbial queue was to go to an official Tesla location and take this leap of faith.
In the end, this rather bold move enabled me to get production number 30,063 from the worldwide Tesla 3 deliveries. Having a number from this early on in production means it was probably produced during the time when Elon Musk was known for sleeping on the factory floor and would often take personal control of assembling Model 3’s. I can probably claim that our car may have even been produced by the extraordinary man himself.
During those long last few years, you may have read in the news about all the endless delays in production and even a few scary stories about potential quality issues. I regularly got a few sniggering remarks like: “your car is probably being built in a tent” or “Will you get your car this year at all?” and “hopefully you can get your car before the company goes bust”.
That all changed when a Tesla representative based in Las Vegas, USA contacted us in early July of 2018 and announced that our car has arrived at the Tesla delivery center recently set up in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver B.C. So, on July 9th, 2018 the day had finally arrived where I could take possession after fully paying my dues of a brand new shiny red Tesla 3. At the time of ordering our Tesla 3 was customized with a multitude of options including; an extended battery (not that I need it but it makes it go faster!), fully panoramic glass roof (which helps make the neighbors envious), 19” tires and special rims (the standard issues are dead ugly) and an improved sound system (what’s the point driving in near silence if you cannot fully appreciate the nuanced performance of Luciano Pavarotti or Lady Gaga).
One special incident at delivery must be mentioned: Each and every representative of this still young and rather unique company was very friendly and took every possible effort to make our experience a memorable event. However, when one extra chirpy employee told us: “Welcome to the family!” suddenly it felt a bit like I was joining a cult…
Now to the question which might interest you most: How is it to drive? Naturally, you would think that I’m biased, but I even took the risk of letting my friend and neighbor do a test drive and asked his wife to inspect and comment on the interior. Both results were positive, and they both mentioned how this is clearly the future of the automotive industry, and I’m pretty sure I heard them walking away muttering something about high gas prices and the possibility of self-driving.. I really like the balanced handling, rapid acceleration and the overall driving experience (in near silence). The interior with its unique single central display will take some getting used to – but like the Apple iPhone in 2008, this car represents the first taste of what’s to come.