Re: For the record...
Happy to reply to you because you’re being nice about it.
Yes, I have two keycards and carry one with me in my wallet but rarely use it. It is useful to have a card I can give to someone if they need to do work on my car such as when someone dented the door.
The phone itself opens the car up via Bluetooth. You don’t even have to open the app and this method wasn’t affected by the server outage because the phone is the key. I always have my phone with me so it’s by far the best way to open the car up. There’s also no on switch in the car. My LEAF has a fob but you still have to press the button on the door to unlock it and when you get in you have another button to ‘start’ the car. The Tesla doesn’t do this, you just walk up and the door is already unlocked. You get in and there’s no ‘on’ switch, it is already on. If you want to drive it there is an optional PIN that the owner can set which prevents someone driving off if they do get in with your phone or keycard as an added security measure.
The phone app has a lot of great features such as setting climate control, setting charge rate and turning charging on and off as well as summon where you can call the car out of a tight parking space. Had a few times where someone parked a big old car too close to mine so I couldn’t get in the door so I just summon the car out of the space and go on my way. With advanced summon I can even tell the car to come to me which I have done when it is raining heavily and I just call the car which pulls out of the space and drives up to where I am. The app is great but it relies on the Tesla API and that’s what failed.
The nice thing about the API (and I don’t get all the hate of a technology driven vehicle that runs Linux here on The Register but the media seems to have done a great job of pushing an awful lot of bull) is that you can access the car from other software. I have a Raspberry Pi hooked up to my wall connector which monitors solar production, Powerwall state of charge and house use and when there’s solar excess it puts that into the car rather than selling it to the grid. It can dial the amps up and down to soak up the excess and no more and when there’s no longer enough excess it can stop charging, then start again later when there is an excess again. I leave my car plugged in all the time so it is always ready to take this excess power and it covers most of my daily driving just from ‘free’ solar power. The API issue meant this stopped working and I couldn’t access the car via the app. Irritating but not the end of the world.