Tips on how to take your Tesla to Portugal, vacations in Portugal

It’s that time of the year when planning surfaces, “Where can I take my Tesla (S / X) for vacation time?”. From my experience? Anywhere. Some places might take a bit of planning, but not too much. Taking the Tesla to Portugal is getting easier each passing day. I wrote a series of posts, from 1 to 6, detailing the info. What I wrote is from my own experience. It works.

The local charging network, even without superchargers for now, works fine with Tesla cars and the chademo adapter: Portugal has now a North to South 50 kW fast charging coverage, spaced between 40 to 100 km; paired with the electromaps App, this network is very Tesla usable.

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The local network is now updated with several chademo chargers, electromaps helps with the locations and status

If you just want to use superchargers obviously they aren’t here yet, this is not yet your territory to be explored. If you are used to connect your chademo adaptor, here you’ll find fast chargers very happy to charge you. Bon voyage!

Portugal Part 1 how to get here
Portugal Part 2 charging around here
Portugal Part 3 using the local chademo chargers
Portugal Part 4 surfing the local charging Web
Portugal Part 5 same network but not for you
Portugal Part 6 superchargers

The Android app

Short tour on the current Android app.

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  1. You open the app and get the Tesla logo as a splash screen.
  2. You wait for the communication to begin; if you have, as I do, the car in sleep mode to preserve energy, it takes longer to connect to the car.
  3. The app tells you that keeping communication always on (setting done in the car) enables faster connection, but takes more energy; I prefer less energy consumption and waiting a bit.
  4. Home: tells you the global status of the car, Parked, Valet, Locked, the address where it is (in motion I don’t know what it shows, Hellas, not able to drive the car yet).
  5. Controls: you can Lock or Unlock the car, Honk the Horn, Flash the Lights; you can also Start the car and drive it without the fob, but for this to work you have to have GSM signal (for car and data for your mobile) or usable WiFi signal, it does not work on underground parkings with no hot spots or lack of GSM antennas/signal. Pretty cool but just in case you need universal location independent car access you better have your fob with you.
  6. Charge: tells you the current amount of kms you have in the batteries, if it is charging or not (charging status is displayed if it is, more on that later), and let’s you Open the charging Port; you can also Set the Charge Limit but here it is a bit imprecise; I learned quickly that it’s better to do this in the car since it applies rubber banding/sticky feedback; but for any afterthoughts in the Charge Limit, this let’s you do the job, nice and easy.
  7. Climate: sometimes it tells you the Interior Temperature, sometimes it doesn’t, may be it depends on the deep sleep status; it let’s you set the temperature and Turn On to set the the car warmer or colder before using it; it takes quite a nasty piece of energy if you need it with a temp very different to your current temp, it’s measurable when connected to charge and the charge limit has been attained, you set it on and what you see in your power meter is all directed to climate and, I say, its huge, never thought it would be so much (next time will show it).
  8. Location: shows you where the car is, with satelite photography or just the map; it should show also more info when in motion but that, as you might already know by now, that is something I can’t test right now.
  9. Left tab: let’s you access Valet mode, Notifications (and also select the car you want to follow or control, if you have more than one), and Calendar sync on/off.
  10. Notifications: it’s more than that, you can select the car to control/follow, it shows the VIN, set on/off the Alarm, does it warn you if the car is brake into? Most probably yes. And the other Notifications, Charging warnings, and the Software Update, not for the Android app, the update for the car!

All in all it’s quite an amazing app, because the car is amazing. Just that Amazing is an understatement.

Measures

The car is big. You do the test drive and measurements don’t come to mind. You realize its real size when you think you have the garage ready. You measure, you confirm. The beast is big. It’s a big beast, a bb.

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Taken from the Owner’s Manual PDF file

23 days

Exactly 23 days from now, may be, just may be, the car will be ready for pickup. From the last phone call with my DES the conversation went like this:
– Your car is in New York in the process of getting into a ship in its way to Rotterdam. Most probably your car will be ready for delivery before Dec 15. I will update you when I have more info.
And that’s it: using Dec 15 as a reference. The transport agency asked for a date in the week before. The DES says he can not know now the exact date. No one knows.

I am officially insane with anguish. I am bursting. My Model S is somewhere with thousands more, waiting for a ship to the EU. Safe journey. I am waiting for you.

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Production Complete. Your Model S is in transit from the factory.

5 days later, from the 1st post

After 5 days so many things happened, so many things did not happen! Starting from the beginning.

1. Finally managed to contact the transport company that will fetch my Model S from Tilburg, The Netherlands, to its destiny, my garage. It so happens that the difficulty in the contact, land line or mobile phone, had to do with renovation work and painting being done in their office. But I really, really thought that something fishy was going on: who in its right mind does not want a new client? After a first contact, followed by no followup the next day, I was desperate and started looking for alternatives. Phoned my brother, he deals with import/export – not automobiles – but he could use a company that also moved cars. And yes, indeed they did. But, big but, were they used to deal with electric cars, not only that, with Tesla Model S electric cars? With this in mind I tried to contact again, last chance, the company I know already transported to this country most of its current fleet of Model S… Bingo. Spoke for half an hour with the lady that deals with the routing, the trucks schedules, from Germany and passing by Tilburg, and we were in sync to deal with the details of the Model S import.

2. Immediately sent an email to my DES (Delivery Experience Specialist) in Tilburg, with a status report from me. And phoning immediately to Tilburg to sync the info with him on the Model S transit path from the US to Europe, how much more precise the delivery date could be defined, the complete list of accessories and, last but no least: how could I get an accessory available in the US shop but not available on the EU shop, and have that delivered inside the car from Tilburg to here…

3. The thing is: I know I have been a p… in the a.. with my nervous anticipation of the Model S arrival. I have been not able to sleep. Or I sleep very few hours. Or I don’t sleep at all. It’s a nightmare. Few people in the family know I ordered the Model S. Friends do not know. This means I have no one with whom to talk about this extraordinary adventure this is, placing the order, defining the configuration, picking the options, building the accessories list, the YouTube video after YouTube video screening and discussion and sharing, specially now that Auto Pilot is out… So, you guessed it right: my wife pays the toll. And she is – understandably – fed up. She is tired. She stands it no more. She is in fact an angel. With devilish eyes, sometimes.

4. I stopped talking about the Model S. I just feel I am bursting because I stopped talking about the Model S. I only share the absolutely minimum on the Model S with my wife. Only when it has to do with the house, the garage, with her, when I undoubtedly need her advise, or I need her saying “yes” (lately she has been saying “yes” even before I finish my sentences… hum…). I do not live alone. After some thought, I realized what will be her Christmas gift: the bag she saw in a Tesla store and she admired and said “nice but expensive”, meaning “No way, Jose”. Yes way, Jose, I say. That’s what you will have for Christmas, baby, arriving with the car, inside the car. As a surprise.

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Aurland Tote

“Premium, modern and sophisticated, … The Aurland Tote is named after a Tesla Supercharger location in Norway.” So, there you have it, baby, I am thinking of you all the time. [No way she will know in advance, she is not reading these posts, she does not know this place exists]

5. In the process of trying to solve the gift transport in time for the delivery with the Model S, I realized that for the Dual Motor version there is no frunk mat, the All-Weather Model S Front Trunk Mat – Dual Motor. It’s available in the US, it is not available in the EU.

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All-Weather Model S Front Trunk Mat – Dual Motor

This means I have another item for my list of accessories… Let’s hope it’s the final one, let’s hope the list is now finally closed. I do not want to have to send a gift to my DES.