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Welcome to the Tesla Club LA


Putting Power back into the Southern California Teslaficionado 

TeslaClubLA newsletter Volume 1 Number 3

Check out our NEW website!
Photos!  Events!  More!

- Paige Seidel-Hutton         July 29
In a word:  EPIC!
The Gigafactory Grand Opening Party was held Friday July 29th in Sparks, Nevada.  It was an International affair with attendees from across the globe.  We have all ascended on this spot in the desert to see the next evolution in this world of Tesla, and of course to see and hear Elon.
For several TCLA members, we arrived Reno on Southwest Airlines Flight #320. Some of us carpooled, hitting Superchargers to perfection from LA to Reno for a one night stay.  As we drove the last 30 minutes from The Biggest Little City, we were surprised with a flash rain and lightening storm that we quickly turned into comedy.  That’s right!  There was lightening happening in Sparks!  That must mean a party!  Gigady!  The rain quickly subsided and only left behind a bit more lightening, wind, and a glorious rainbow framing Elon’s latest unicorn factory.As we line up on Electric Avenue to enter the factory grounds, we see horses grazing through the fields and a helicopter landing zone, but not much else across the vast Nevada desert.  Finally, in the distance is a looming monolithic white building with that familiar red stripe.  We have arrived!
A camera drone flies over what was probably the longest line of Teslas ever seen. But once started, it moved quickly (of course!).  With credentials in hand, we soon entered the “tent” which was nearly the size of a Cirque de Soleil show, and were greeted with music, drinks, and the buzz of an energized crowd.  We strolled around sipping the signature cocktail (Vodka, lemonade, watermelon puree) and socialized with Tesla fans and supporters from near and far. 
Tours of the factory were happening and those returning from the tour were beaming with excitement.  Keep in mind that the factory is only 14% complete, so those of us in the tent were literally standing in the future center of the finished building. 
At the moment, the factory is divided into 4 sections (A, B, C, D) that are connected via interior hallways.  In addition to top-level engineers and technicians, the factory is serviced by robots that ferry supplies throughout, guided by a magnetic strip in the floor.  Currently, it is just the power wall and power packs that are being assembled here until the battery production comes on-line.  The current employee count of 1,000 will grow to 10,000 once the facility is completed.
At 9pm (EXACTLY!) Elon and JB came to the stage.  The crowd went wild and they were relaxed and beaming.  (Rumor has it that they had a pep talk just prior to walking on stage where they were told to “smile” and that “everything is awesome!”).  Here is a video clip to see their presentation.  They revealed vertical integration secrets (Raw Material Input-Bunch of Stuff Happens – Finished Goods Output) and the scale of the building (it can hold 94 Boeing 747 Jets, or 50 billion hamsters(!), to a summary of the “Top Secret” Master Plan “Part Deux” (Elon muttered both titles were movie references) One of our TCLA members asked Elon about “Recycling”.  He beamed that it was a good question and both described how recycling is a big part of the factory design and that the raw material for new batteries is even cheaper from the spent cells.
The party continued until well after midnight, and we were left with a new excitement about what is to come in the ever expanding world of TESLA.
P.S.  Physics 1st Principle According to Elon Musk: 
‘Physics is true, everything else is debatable…and even physics is questionable.
July 21
- Paige Seidel-Hutton

It was a hot Thursday in July when several Teslas converged at Irwindale Speedway.  Model S’s, Model X’s, and even a Roadster came to embarrass the souped up Camaros, Mustangs, Hemi-Pick Ups, and numerous other vehicles that bore no resemblance to their natural, street legal, peers at #SaveItForTheTrack.
The folks at Irwindale were very accommodating to us “newbies”.  We were walked through sign-up, the vehicle inspection (it seemed that it would take a lot not to pass), checking of helmets, and chalking the race number on the car window.  Once we were checked in they turned us loose.  Just like that. 
Next step, get ready to race!
It’s an interesting phenomenon watching this sub-culture of drag strip racers.  Everyone has their own style.  Some hang out for a while, socializing before joining the queue to run the 1/8 mile track.  Others jump straight into the line up, strategizing which car they are going to race against and whether they are going to go to the left lane or the right. 
The lining up is almost as good to watch as the race itself, and certainly just as loud.  Drivers rev their engines, spin out their tires.  The sound is deafening!  I suppose this is an effort to psych out the competition.  The air is filled with tire smoke and fumes from the muffler-free cars that have been tricked out. 
Amongst all that smoke, noise, and commotion were 6 Teslas not making a sound.
We watched a few early match ups, then announcer calls out the next two cars, which includes Marco in his Red Model S 90.  He pulls up to the tree (the racing lights that count down to green) but he pulls a bit too far forward and has to reverse back into position.  He is paired up with one of the earlier mentioned Cameros – this guy is known here and has quite a reputation for winning.  The light hits green.  GO!  Oops, Marco is still in reverse.  The Camero takes off!  Marco puts in in drive and uses that 0-60 torque to obliterate the Camero.  Fastest time of the day!
Post race is another set of rituals.  The parking lot was filled with cars, hoods up, in order to cool their oil guzzling, overheating engines. 
For the Tesla owners, our post race activities included showing off our cars.  The Falcon doors, three rows of seats (“yes, that was basically a mini-van with a car seat that just smoked you on the track”) and of course the large touch screen.
Heat after heat, the Teslas won.   First Jason, then Todd, Andrew, and Damian…It now seemed the norm to watch the score board show 93 MPH and a time of 7.34 seconds.  It was time to call it a day
After a fun few hours of killing the competition, it was off to The Old Spaghetti Factory.  Racing makes you hungry!
Club President Jason Fudenberg got some prime real estate in the Los Angeles Times, in both the Business section of the print version (front cover!), and a nice video of Jason showing off Autopilot in the online version.  

Many Tesla drivers are happy to help company test its 'beta' autopilot feature
Natalie Kitroeff and Samantha Masunaga, L.A. Times   July 1, 2016

Jason Fudenberg is a willing test pilot for Tesla Motors Inc.’s self-driving car technology.

As such, Fudenberg, 45, has had some issues with the autopilot feature on his Model X SUV. Once he was approaching a shredded tire while using the vehicle’s autopilot mode and had to manually switch lanes because the car “won’t swerve out of lanes for you,” he said.

At other times, the Sherman Oaks resident’s car has driven too quickly for his comfort because it couldn’t tell that traffic had stopped about a half mile ahead. And on several occasions, the car drifted out of a lane because it seemed to not be tracking white lines on the road.

Fudenberg, the chief information officer at tech consulting firm Sandbox Technologies and president of the L.A. Tesla Owners Club, said glitches are a part of all software updates; his job is to point out those flaws to Tesla.

If you missed this, click here to see the autopilot video and read the full article.  

An Evening of Innovation With Steinway And Tesla!
July 20, 2016
Paige Seidel-Hutton    

When Tesla partners on an event, you can count on it being special.  This night certainly proved that to be true.  A showcase of cutting-edge technology, the event was coined “Innovation” since Steinway, like Tesla, is pioneering to new musical frontiers. 
We gathered at the Pasadena Steinway Gallery where we enjoyed mingling with Tesla and Steinway owners (some of whom had both!) over wine and hors d’oeuvres.  McCallan Distillery was also present, providing tastings of their collection.  That would have been a great Wednesday night on it’s own, but it was just the beginning.
We were then escorted into the room where our private concert would take place.   Steinway was presenting its new Model B Spirio piano with its artistry of engineering.  Not your ordinary piano by any means.  This gorgeous baby grand sounds wonderful when played live, but it also works like a player piano.  Yes, a piano that plays any number of selections on it’s own.  Sort of like Auto Pilot.  You can select from modern, to the classics.  You can literally have a Mozart or Beethoven original being played in its truest form.
After a short introduction, the duo of Anderson & Roe took to the stage! Their show is called “Four Hands” since they share the keyboard and play together.  This innovative duo of Julliard alums, has turned what we know as playing the piano on its head by even playing inside the piano.  These Elite Steinway artists were absolutely stunning to hear and to watch. 
After a mesmerizing concert, attendees were invited back to socialize and enjoy test drives of both the Model S and the Model X.
It was an inspiring evening and one I am grateful to not have missed.
Check out these links for more information
Revealing interview, Elon Musk at the 2016 Code Conference, Terranea Resort - “Elon the house cat”
            This glimpse into the mind of a genius who will guide our future for years to come is a 90-minute high yield drive-thru of topics near and dear to Tesla enthusiasts.  Interviewers Kara Swisher & Walt Mossberg are well known tech correspondents but they too were blown away.  Grab some popcorn, a great root beer and follow me for a tour of Elon’s cortex.  
            Elon jumped right in with Space Travel 101 because the press does not get it right when they cover Space X.  Seems he’s kind of pissed off about that.  It’s the orbital dynamics that determine where the Falcon-9 first stage returns, onto a drone ship versus terra firma. Furthermore getting the Dragon capsule to the ISS (International Space Station) is all about speed, traveling “horizontally 25x faster than a handgun bullet” or 17,000 MPH.  The ISS, 250 miles above the surface of earth, not floating there because of weightlessness but because it too is traveling 17,000 MPH and the force tugging it away from earth matches the gravitational force tugging it towards earth.  The only way ISS can travel at such speed is because the atmosphere up there is very, very thin.  
Thanks Elon’s, you’re a good teacher, let’s hope members of the press got it.
            Retrieving the first stage of a rocket powerful enough to reach Low Earth Orbit is very difficult, that’s why no one has done it before.  He told his engineering team to imagine a palate of $40-million in cash falling to earth and burning up on reentry (the value of Falcon-9’s first stage).  “Wouldn’t you like to get that cash?”  And now they have, 5-times.
            Next step for Space X: within 2-3 months re-launch one of the 5 used boosters from recent missions. He plans to ramp up the Launch Manifest (launch timetable) to fire off a mission every 2-4 weeks, a very ambitious schedule that will surely challenge the launch team.  They have a substantial backlog of launch reservations.  Seems Elon and his crew may work best with backlogs of Launch Manifests, Model S orders, Model X orders Model 3 orders, you get the picture? 
            The Dragon v2, crew capsule will carry a crew of up to seven astronauts to the ISS next year beating the favored NASA contractor, United Launch Alliance (ULA).  The back-story is fascinating. .  ULA is also Space X’s competitor in the race for Mars and Elon dropped the bomb: Space X will launch the first Mars supply mission(s) in 2018 and the first Mars crew will depart in 2024 arriving in 2025, 6-months later. In September he’ll present his Mars colonization plan at the IAC space conference in Mexico ( ).
            During the Q&A, he was asked what kind of government does he foresee on Mars.  Elon deftly navigated away from current politics positing, “This is not the finest moment in our history” and further lauded the framers of the Constitution for limiting the President’s power, “the President is like the Captain of a very large ship, with a very small rudder”, somewhat comforting.  He’d prefer the Martian colony to have a direct democracy (e.g. no electoral college).  He recommends all laws expire (sunset provision), requiring a vote to extend them. Our current system, he explained, is hobbled with old laws not serving their intended or original purpose.  Elon, a Renaissance Man, demonstrates how deeply he’s thought about Mars and his no-nonsense knack for getting stuff done.
            The interviewers pressed him on Tesla. He reiterated his openness to competition by all other car makers which harkens back to his original plan – to encourage / push automakers to follow on the road to electrification. He believes within 2-years Tesla cars will be capable of FULL AUTONOMY!!  He remains optimistic that battery chemistry will continue to improve and the Gigafactory will lower the cost of batteries, essential for the Model 3’s success.  Mossberg cited the many Model S & X delays asking, “how will you meet the Model 3 delivery target of 2017?”  Elon admitted his failure to understand the dynamics of the supply chain, “we’ve learned a lot with Model S & X … we’ve experienced every type of delay imaginable, tsunamis, fires, storms, and sunken ships even a shoot out at the US-Mexico border”.  A truck filled with trunk carpet, impounded for weeks by US Border Patrol, shut down the Fremont assembly line.
            The interviewers asked Elon about his recent Tweet-fest on Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI learns by itself, without fatigue, sleep or bathroom breaks, and will rapidly out smart us, Elon agreed that by comparison he would be “no better than a house cat” and he would be fine with that provided the AI were benign.  He stressed the need to be vigilant in order to “increase the probability that the future will be good”. Many of the other interviewees talked of AI, but Elon was the most sober.  He quoted Lord Acton, ”freedom exists in the distribution of power and despotism in it concentration”.  He’s proactively co-founded Open AI, a non-profit, unaligned organization to promote democratized AI power, possibly his greatest contribution to humankind.
            AI is a fascinating and very deep topic worthy of further reading:
            Elon’s solution to making AI symbiotic with humans is the “Neural Lace”, and again the room was rapt.  An injectable mesh, the Neural Lace may enable a neural-computer interconnection between human and computer allowing for augmented human existence.  Elon explained “We’re basically I/O bound”, human’s can’t input or output (I/O) data, thoughts, ideas quickly enough to function in the coming AI world.  Elon has definitely been doing his homework.  At that point I imagined Mr. Spock muttering “Interesting”.
            Later in the Q&A Elon was asked, had he considered that we may be living in “a simulation" (i.e. The Matrix, which I find an uncomfortable concept).  The question yielded a curious personal anecdote, Elon and his brother Kimbal have had “ the AI/simulation conversation” many, many times, “in fact it basically got to the point that every conversation was the AI/simulation conversation and my brother and I finally agreed we’d ban such conversations if we were ever in a hot tub, because that really kills the magic”.  Once again, Elon great at setting limits.  He concluded, “The odds we’re in base reality is one in billions” and the room was uncomfortably silent. Elon believes we’re in The Matrix.
            Enjoy the 90-minuite interview full of science, philosophy and the Elon charm we all love: and check out Talking Tesla podcast for more entertaining commentary:
Photos courtesy of

Tesla Club LA Calendar

Saturday, August 13   
3rd Annual Tesla Scavenger Hunt

Drive Electric Week
Two of our members have organized electric car shows during Drive Electric Week. The weeks following the shows, which are held internationally, record the highest EV sales of the year as owners convert potential buyers!  
Woodland Hills, August 27
Long Beach, September 17 

October TBD
Tesla Ladies Tea
One of our members is selling Signature Roadster #5! in Fusion Red and it is in pristine condition with 68,000 miles!  It has a plaque signed by everyone at Tesla!  Asking price is $57,000 with a special donation to the Club!  If you would like more information please contact Debbie Jackson at .
Meet Terri Lincoln, Tesla Convert!
How long have you owned your Model S?  How many miles does it have?
I just had my first annual maintenance after racking up 10,000 miles. Wow, that was easy. This made me realize how truly low maintenance the Tesla is to own.

How did you learn about the car and what made you buy it? 
I was driving a gas guzzling Range Rover and that was something in my life that seriously needed to be updated. I researched numerous E/V and hybrid options but when I discovered the Tesla, I was sold.

What are your favorite things about the car?
This car is so smart and so intuitive that it almost finishes my sentences. The auto suspension feature remembers even when I forget. The incredibly fast acceleration has gotten me out of trouble many times. It requires zero gas, zero oil and it has zero emissions, what’s not to love? The HOV lane access and Metro Express lanes in LA are priceless! It’s gorgeous to look at and comfortable to drive. Actually, it drives itself more often than I do not to mention parking itself. Also, I’ve never met a group of people more excited to talk about their cars as I’ve found with Tesla owners.

Have you done anything crazy with the car that it would be best for the CHP to not know about? (high speed, zero to 60 trials, racing an adjacent car, etc.)
This is CRAZY! (But the CHP wouldn’t care) I had a hitch installed to the rear of my Model S. Most people think this cannot be done but with some ingenuity, it can. You are probably going to ask what in the heck do I plan on towing, well my electric bike of course. When my bike is not in tow, I have a rhinestone hitch cover that can be spotted miles away.
Does your dog ride in the car?  Where does he/she get to sit?
Yes, my dog rides in the car. She has a custom car seat that matches the interior and it’s secured in the backseat for her safety. She loves going for drives as much as I do.  Sometimes I will put her in the drivers seat and use the ‘Summon’ feature. I’ve had people watching and tell me that she is one heck of a good driver!
What did you drive before the Model S?  Any thoughts about what you would drive next?
I have been driving Range Rovers for years but once I learned how to turn my Model S into a true dog-hauling, bike-hauling machine, I’ve switched for life to the Tesla family of vehicles.
What’s usually on your big screen?
The traffic map – I live in LA!
What’s your favorite Tesla Club LA event you’ve attended?
They are all so much fun but if I had to choose one it would be the holiday party. The festivities, the food, the gifts, the people and all of the laughs made that event a forever memory for me.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My helicopter career had me flying above Los Angeles for over 20 years. Now in my retirement, my goal is to experience everything from the ground that I saw from the air for so many years. Thanks to Tesla and my Model S, I’m doing that everyday in style.
I consider myself an expert at knowing where to find rooftop pools and venues. I even found my gym flying by the US Bank Tower at 600’. I used to land on the rooftops but now I take elevators to get everywhere and I couldn’t be happier.
Thanks to TeslaClubLA for letting me be a part of the team and share my experiences with so many other Tesla enthusiasts.
Welcome New Members
Mid-May through Mid-August 2016
Sandra Graham
Howard Hoffman
Wayne Kartin
Janis Penton
Heather Ramsdell
Dennis Rizzo
William Weise
Jenny Youngblood
Delivery Info
In Q2, Tesla delivered 14,402 new vehicles consisting of 9,764 Model S and 4,638 Model X.  They manufactured 2,000 cars per week.  

With the improvements in vehicle production efficiency, Telsa said it expects to make 2,200 vehicles a week by the end of the third quarter, and 2,400 a week by the end of the fiscal year.

Meanwhile, new vehicle orders rose 67 percent over the same quarter last year.

Panasonic Doubles Investment in Gigafactory 
The Latest 
Supercharging Tip:  When you arrive at a Supercharger plug in your next destination.  If it's another Supercharger, your car will send you a text when you have charged enough to get to the next charger.  Also, in the interest of keeping the Superchargers from being clogged with cars finished charging, your car will send you two emails - one that tells you you're almost finished, the other as you finish.      
Copyright © 2006-2015 Tesla Club L.A. - Enthusiasts & Owners Club. All rights reserved.
Tesla Club L.A. is an independent enthusiast organization and is not affiliated with Tesla Motors, Inc. or its subsidiaries. TESLA, TESLA MOTORS, TESLA ROADSTER, MODEL S, MODEL X, and the “TESLA,” “T” and “TESLA and T in Crest” designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of Tesla Motors, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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