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Whether you are looking for a new vehicle or a used inventory vehicle from Tesla, ordering a Tesla on the Isle of Man is the same procedure as it is anywhere else on the globe.

I ordered my Model 3 in early May 2020, during the first COVID lockdown. Little did I know at the time how long the lockdown would last. However, I'd had my eye on buying a Tesla for some time and was eager to pull the trigger.

Whether you are looking for a new vehicle or a used inventory vehicle from Tesla, ordering a Tesla on the Isle of Man is the same procedure as it is anywhere else on the globe. Simply go to tesla.com choose your configuration and place your order with a £100 deposit.

There’s no need to talk for hours at a dealership, go through needless negotiations or talk to any pushy car salespeople. It’s simple and the price on the website is the price you pay. The cost savings from not having a sales force are passed directly onto the consumer. You can tell this because a Tesla, specifically the Model 3 in my case, is an incredibly good value for money vehicle when all things are considered (no expensive petrol, no servicing, very few parts to break, monthly updates over the air, autopilot included etc)

The ordering Process

While you’re on the tesla.com website, there are two options, order a new Tesla or one from the inventory.

I followed the custom order option but you can save some money if you can find what you want in the inventory.

Standard Range Plus, Long Range & Performance

Teslas come with a whole bunch of features included as standard, which makes ordering incredibly easy. Once on the custom order page, for the Model 3 you can select between the Standard Range Plus, Long Range or Performance. I went for the Long Range as I feel it has the best of both worlds. Over and above the standard option, you’ll get the premium interior & sound system (which is amazing!). You'll also get around 80 extra miles of range and a much faster 0-60 with the option to further improve this to just 3.7 seconds with the optional acceleration boost post-purchase.

The Performance model is slightly faster than the Long Range with Acceleration Boost with a few changes to the brakes and suspension. I think the Long Range is the best all-round for value but it depends on your day to day requirements and budget of course.

Colour and Wheels

Once you’ve chosen your base model, select your colour and wheels. I’d seen a blue one on the Island and loved it, so I ordered that with the Tesla classic aerodynamic wheels.

For the interior you can choose between black and white. I told you Tesla keeps things simple!

Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self Driving

Finally, you have the important choice of adding Enhanced Autopilot. You get standard Autopilot for free with all modern Teslas. This will drive your car within its lane on the motorway or dual-carriageway, which is great for driving in the UK. While it’s not recommended, Autopilot does work on the Isle of Man. I’m able to travel between Douglas and Peel, often without any interventions, and I can also travel to Castletown or over the mountain most of the way without steering or pedal input too. This is worthy of a separate post but I’d be happy to demo this with anyone interested.

Enhanced Autopilot will overtake cars on the motorway and take your exit as long as you have your destination input to the built-in sat-nav (Navigate on Autopilot)

With Enhanced AutoPilot, you also get Autopark (between two cars), including parallel parking and Summon which is mostly a party trick at this stage but it can be useful to move the car forward via the app when someone parks too close, or to put the car into the garage without sitting inside.

If you’re a believer in Full Self Driving, then you can add this into your order too. I work in IT and I understand the challenges of FSD. However, after talking to people that know people in the FSD software team at Tesla and seeing some of the beta software, I now believe that Full Self Diving is possible and is likely to be available within a year from now.

The FSD price keeps going up as new features are added, so if you believe that the current price is worth it then be sure to order it now to lock in the price. What I can say on this is that once FSD is ready (and the regulators agree) then your car will become a big income generator. Imagine a world where your car will turn into a taxi or delivery vehicle while you are at work. Instead of costing you to keep the car it will turn into an income generator. This is why the value of FSD is estimated to be around $100,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle once it is feature complete.

Perhaps I’m optimistic on this but knowing what I know and after seeing it in action, I do believe it will happen, if not this year then next.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need the FSD option if you want your car to automatically stop at traffic lights and stop signs. This works now, even on the Isle of Man and it’s very good!

Finally, place your order and be greeted with the Hedgehog meme. (You’ll become familiar with all the Tesla jokes soon enough. Yes, all Teslas come with “fart mode”!)

Pre-Delivery Paperwork

Once you’ve placed your order, you'll be contacted depending on what finance option you chose. If you’re leasing or financing the vehicle then you’ll be contacted with steps on how to arrange this. If you’re a cash buyer then you won’t need to pay anything further until a few days before collecting the vehicle.

One thing I recommend is a few days after placing your order, call Tesla and ask them if there is a new inventory vehicle to match your order. I did this and there was an identical vehicle already on it’s way to the UK which I believe had been cancelled. The ships take a while to arrive in to the UK so it’s certainly worth seeing if they can match you to one already on its way. By doing this I was able to take delivery of my car within just 3 weeks rather than the 2 months I was originally quoted.

Tesla's contact numbers are emailed to you after placing your order.

Once the email requesting payment is sent to you, get that out of the way and be sure to call the next day to ensure that it’s all gone through. At the end of each quarter, Tesla are incredibly busy so it’s worth a call to ensure everything is in order.

Tesla will send you links to a few documents and YouTube videos to familiarise you with how to use the car. You’ll need this if you have a contactless delivery during COVID.

Delivery Day

When choosing a delivery day, I’d advise choosing an early morning appointment so that any identified issues can hopefully be resolved the same day. This is important because there are no delivery centres on the Island and an extra day in the UK, if needed, could be an inconvenience.

Due to the COVID restrictions, I was unable to leave the Island to collect my vehicle. Fortunately, my father lives in the UK and he collected the vehicle for me.

If you live within a certain radius, Tesla will drop off your car at your house, however, I opted to collect from the service centre so that if there were any issues, they could be addressed on the day.

My father tells me that the whole experience was contactless. The key card for the car was all he needed to collect from the office as I had already signed for everything online before collecting.

After an inspection of the car, there were zero issues, no panel gaps or obvious paint issues. (Don’t believe everything you read on the forums!) If you do spot issues, be sure to identify them. This is key, especially with no service centre on the island.

Transportation to the Isle of Man

If you can go to the UK to collect your vehicle, you’ll need to book the ferry in the usual way.

If you're getting someone to drive the car onto the ferry for you, you’ll need to contact the freight office of the Steam Packet to book this.

Due to COVID, the staff would not drive the car on, so you’ll need to have someone at the ferry terminal in good time to be able to drive the car onto the ferry.

The Steam Packet request that you keep the windows open and wipe down the interior, leaving the key card on the driver's seat.

By this time you should have the Tesla App downloaded on your phone. Log in with your Tesla email and password. Your car will be there and you’ll be able to track it and open/close the car, windows etc. remotely if requested by the Steam Packet.

Once the ferry gets to the Island, you’ll need to walk onto the boat with a high-vis jacket. The Steam Packet ask that you meet them at the weighbridge, near the check-in booths. Once the ferry is docked, you can walk on and figure out how the fancy door handles work on the Tesla!

Once you’re in the car, put your foot on the brake and push the right stalk down once and you’re set! (This took me 5 embarrassing minutes to work out, even after watching all the YouTube videos about 10 times!)

Post Delivery

Tesla called me a few days later to check that everything was okay. I had a couple of questions about ordering the acceleration boost. You just buy it on the app and the car instantly reboots with the new performance. In typical Tesla fashion, it was very easy to do!

I decided to get the front and impact areas of the vehicle protected with a PPF (Paint Protection Film). I highly recommend this over any ceramic coatings. DC Valeting were great, definitely go and see them if you’re interested in keeping the paint new and super easy to clean.

As there is no Tesla service on the Island, you’ll need to take the car to a UK service centre if you have any warranty issues. The only issue I’ve had is a driver's door seal break but I’m happy to leave that until I can travel to the UK. Be sure to log issues within the app so there is a record.

Given the fuel and servicing savings (yes, Teslas require very little servicing), I gather that shipping the car back to the UK if anything went wrong wasn’t too much of an issue. I’m one year into my Tesla ownership now and I could not be happier! My Model 3 is the best thing I have ever bought for reasons that would take far too long to write here. I’m always showing people the car so please feel free to reach out if you’d like the unofficial “tour” and acceleration demonstration!

For a tour of my Model 3 and to answer any of your questions, please feel free to contact me any time via the contact page.

The Mannin Hotel in Douglas has installed three new Tesla Destination charge points. They are complimentary for hotel guests only and can be found in the hotel car park (the gate is locked for non-residents). There are two Tesla Type 2 (32amp, up to 22kw) points and one Tesla Type 2 universal charger (32amp, up to 22kw Type 2 tethered cable). Details of the charge points can be found on our map page and other popular EV maps such as PlugShare.

For information the hotel reception can be contacted at info@manninhotel.im, on +441624602555 or on Facebook at @manninhotel.

 

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There have been no new public charge points installed or upgraded since our last update but we do have news on repairs and faults.

North

Market Square, Ramsey

Photo: Robert Lener, via Facebook

This charge point has now been repaired and is back to full working order. Remember that the parking disc restrictions apply in this car park. The square is also often used for events which means the charging bays may be inaccessible on occasion. It also appears that the repaired charge post no longer has the dumb blue commando sockets so you will need your Type 2 cable.

 

Isle of Man Motor Museum

These are still available to museum visitors. The four bays with the red signs are for Tesla cars only. The other two with white signs are for any EV (ask inside for them to be activated).

Please be aware that these have Type 2 tethered cables so will only work on vehicles with Type 2 charging ports. EVIOM had purchased a Type 1 to Type 2 converter to allow other vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf to be able to charge but the cable proved to be incompatible. Hopefully we can find a converted cables that is proven to work with Tesla destination chargers.

East

Chester Street Multistory

The two commando sockets here have been problematic of late. Manx Utilities have advised a damaged socket has been repaired but the last update states they are still having problems.


Information is available about the status and location of each charge point on The Island at eviom/map.

If anyone has any updates on public charging around the island or if you own charge point you would like to make available to the public or to your customers let us know. If you would like to know how you can go about getting a charge point installed we can offer advice and put you in touch with the right people. Use the contact form or mail@eviom.im.

Tesla Model S charging alongside BMW i8

As part of Tesla's Destination Charging Program six charging points at the Isle of Man Motor Museum have been installed. The charge points are free for use when paying to come into the Museum. Visitors can ask at the admissions desk for details. The chargers are all Tesla branded with tethered Type 2 cables:
  • Four of the chargers are wired for Tesla charging only -  these are three phase 32A chargers
  • Two of the chargers are suitable for any EV with a Type 2 socket; these are single phase 32A chargers

These chargers are the first of their kind on the Isle of Man and are a welcome addition to the small, but growing, collection of available charge points around the island.

Please note that all chargers have tethered cables with Tesla only or Type 2 plugs on the end. This means that only Tesla vehicles and cars with a Type 2 socket can use the charge points. This excludes cars such as the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander or Peugeot iON etc which all have a Type 1 socket. Details of the chargers can be found on the EVIOM charging map.

One question we often get asked at EVIOM is how many Electric Vehicles there are on the Isle of Man. We've asked Vehicle Licensing a few times over the years recently we got the figures sent though. It's tough to know the exact number as not all vehicles are Manx registered due to being recently imported or maybe if someone has a UK address a car would be registered there to benefit from the UK's Plug-in car grant. Other issues with counting EVs is that the vehicle categories used when registering on the Isle of Man. Some EVs seem to end up being registered as Category B, some Category L and some hybrids seem to have made it through to Category L regardless of whether they have a plug or not.

All this makes a true count impossible but we can report on the number registered as an 'Electric Vehicles' and Category L. These include cars, vans motorcycles and mopeds all lumped in together.

At present there are 93 registered EVs on the island. There are 63 hatchback cars, 10 vans, 7 motorcycles and 3 mopeds. There are also a handful of vehicles classed as quadricycles and agricultural vehicles along with one very interesting vintage car circa 1916. If the owner of this vehicle would like to get in touch EVIOM would be very keen to take a look. As many makes and models are singular we won't publish a complete list of each but the over 50% of the total are Nissan, 43 Leafs and 8 eNV-200 vans. After that we are into single digits for Peugeot, BMW, Tesla and Renault.

Cars and bikes aren't differentiated, so along with the others we have a total of 10 electric 2 wheelers including mopeds, maxi scooters and the famous Saroléa Manx 7.

Strangely there is at least one or two vehicles on the list that are hybrids of the non-plugin variety so it's strange they make the Category L list but it has become clear that vehicle category can be somewhat hit and miss here on the island. Plug-in Hybrids shouldn't be on this list either and we have no way of knowing how many there are presently. This is a shame as plug-ins are rapidly increasing in numbers on our roads.

It's a small number compared to the large amount of vehicles per head on the Isle of Man. Given many discrepancies in vehicle registration categories, however, it doesn't seem that the count is complete or indeed accurate but does give an indication of the numbers.

If you own or know of any of the interesting or unique EVs on the island please get in touch as we would love to learn a little more about them and you.

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You may or may not be aware that Tesla Motors visited the Isle of Man recently to meet potential customers and offer test drives in a Model S P90D they brought with them. EVIOM managed to wangle a go.

Lets get the numbers out of the way first. Or rather the numbers and letters. The model we tested was the P90D, that's 'P' for Performance as this model has the more powerful motor in the rear. '90' denotes a battery capacity of 90KWh, it's the 85KWh model with an optional upgrade giving the car an increase in range of 6%. The 'D" means all-wheel drive, one motor in the front and one in the rear with no heavy drive-shaft between the two axles, this means the floor of the cabin is flat and there are no restriction of leg room.

Screenshot 2016-02-03 21.07.09The Model S comes in a range of versions from the rear-wheel drive 70 starting at £51,900 all the way to the P90D at £84,500. Both prices are before incentives such at the UK plug-in car grant if you are able to register the car in the UK rather than the Isle of Man. There are a range of additional options available such as Smart Air Suspension which automatically adjusts itself to the road surface and is location aware so can learn where your steep driveway is and raise the suspension for you. There is also the famous Autopilot feature which allows the Model S to automatically steer within its own lane, it has traffic-aware cruise control and will park for you as well. Our Model S had the acceleration choices of Sport and Insane mode allowing the car to accelerate from 0-60MPH in in just 3.1 seconds, the optional Ludicrous mode decreases this to 2.8 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 10.9 seconds. Not bad for a 7 seater luxury car. Range is the Tesla's other impressive number with NEDC claimed figures between 275 and 320 depending on the battery chosen. Take a look at the Tesla Motors website and build your own model S to the spec you want.

The numbers are all very impressive, whether they be prefixed with pound signs or suffixed with the letters M, P and H. But what Tesla Motors have built here is a high quality luxury car with superb ride quality, more technology that the space shuttle (maybe not a SpaceX rocket) and negligible running costs. One potential owner said he wouldn't be buying a Model S after all because of the price of electricity on the Isle of Man. This seems to be the most misinformed reason for not buying a Tesla, assuming you could afford the asking price, so I got out my calculator. If you charged the P90D at the peak rate electricity price of 16.25p per unit it would cost you £14.62 (plus VAT at 5%) to charge from totally flat to full and on that you could reasonably drive around 300 miles. If you can't afford that then you can't afford any car let alone a Tesla!

The car drives so smoothly whether you're in traffic, pootling around country lanes or exploring all that Insane mode has to offer. No matter how you are driving it there are no extra vibrations or noise, something that EV drivers are already accustomed to. The Tesla just turns this up to 11, or down from 11, erm... Throttle response is instant as there's no waiting for revs to build or for an automatic gearbox to decide what gear you should be in. I recently drove a Mercedes C class (hybrid) and was so annoyed by the throttle lag and noise from the engine when it finally decided to do what I told it to do. EVs have spoiled me on this front but this is the 21st century after all. Although all modern EVs have this instant torque and response you can use the Model S as you like without worrying about range due to the size of the battery.

The battery itself is an impressive piece of technology. You can charge the car from a  domestic 10 amp 3-pin socket, giving you a measly 7 miles per hour on charge, right up to the Tesla Supercharger which has a whacking great 120KW DC Screenshot 2016-02-03 21.21.10kick and will give you 170 miles range per half hour charge. The Tesla isn't picky when it comes to charging, the car has a type-2 7-pin socket with a range of standard and optional adaptors allowing you to take advantage of almost any kind of power socket such as an industrial 3-phase supply or a CHAdeMO DC rapid charger such as those found at UK motorway service stations and supplied by Ecotricity. Both the Tesla Superchargers and Ecotricty rapid chargers are free to use.

The interior of the car has everything you'd expect on a high-end luxury car, there's too much for me to list here. The most striking feature of the interior is the 17" touch screen which makes up the centre console.

From here you control most of the car's functions from media, navigation, phone, lights, ride height, regenerative braking and even check you calendar. It's quite an imposing console and I must admit that at first sight it gave the impression of a 60 inch TV in a bed sit. Once you realise that there are no other buttons or controls on the centre console it starts to look OK, much like that 60 inch TV over time. For the iPad generation its intuitive and responsive to use.

The Model S is far from being an everyman car, but this is precisely what it isn't trying to be. Tesla took a top down approach when building cars for the first time with the Roadster then the Model S and soon the Model X. If you were in the market for a high performance yet practical luxury car it would be ludicrous (no pun intended) not to go for the Model S. Just because you have the finances for a car like this doesn't mean you want to throw money away on services and fuel costs. Plus there's the superior feel and response of the electric drive train, once you've driven electric you won't want to go back to 19th century technology. I don't want to get into the debate on whether EVs are "green" but they are responsible for fewer harmful emissions in our towns and cities so that has to be a consideration too and that also means that the Model S is exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

I like what Tesla and their CEO Elon Musk have tried to do. They've aspired to create a new car company that doesn't follow the same tired road that the rest do and have forced the established car manufacturers into a position where they are playing catchup. Tesla have made their patents freely available to anyone to try to encourage others to start building credible EVs, it's amazing more haven't as yet. The Tesla model S isn't a car I can't afford to own myself but it's certainly one I aspire to own, that's got to be the mark of a great piece of design, engineering and not to mention marketing.

EVIOM would like to thank Tesla Motors for allowing us the test drive. Especially Jean-Luc and Wendy from Tesla Motors, Manchester South.

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