We have great customers. The kind of customers that call up and ask “Hey, what do you think about having a Tesla test drive event for PADt employees” Duh. Yes. Please provide contact information.
Then we thought this was an event better shared with other techno-speed-nerds. The Tempe Tesla showroom people liked the idea so we put together an event for our ANSYS and Stratasys customers. (Just another reason to buy from us)
The basic idea was simple, stop on by the PADT parking lot in Tempe and drive a Tesla Model S or Model X, or both. The Tesla people brought along their technical person and the test drive people were also very knowledgeable about all the features in the three vehicles they let us drive. The course left the PADT parking lot, drove up to Elliot, then entered to 101, and then get off at Warner or Rey and head back, while the brave Tesla employee tried to keep cool. Especially when Oren was driving.
For many of us, this was the first time we had driven one. Let me just say that the common factor across employees and customers is that everyone had an ear-to-ear grin on their face when they got back from their test drive. These cars are not just fast (large numbers of electrons pushed through big motors equals lots of torque right away) but they are brilliantly engineered. From the user interface to the seats, to the suspension. Everything is done right. As a group of engineers that was almost as exciting as the raw power and impeccable styling of the cars.
It was a true nerdfest. We spent 10 minutes discussing regenerative braking systems and the idea of using regeneration all the time when you lift off the accelerator instead of putting your foot on the brake to slow down slightly. This is the type of paradigm shift that disrupts around one hundred years of automotive legacy. Why does the accelerator pedal have to be an accelerator pedal? Why can’t it be an input for acceleration and deceleration based on position? We also spent even more time (I’m embarrassed to say how long) talking about charging. And then the topic turned to autonomous driving and the sensors used. Good times. Good times.
PADT’s relationships with Tesla actually goes way back. When they were first starting out and were just a handful of engineers, we provided some ANSYS training and did a consulting job for them on thermal management for an early battery system. So we proudly count them as a happy PADT customer. And of course, PADT worked on the large Blink chargers and has supported many companies that are suppliers to tesla.