Tesla Model 3 ❤️🤍💙 Triplets

Dr Ken Lunde
17 min readJan 1, 2022

By Dr Ken Lunde

From Left to Right: Baby Ruby, Baby Pearl & Baby Sapphire (photo taken on 2020-06-20)

Count the number of Tesla Model 3 EVs in the family photo above. Of course, there are three, and there is a reason why we have triplets.

As highlighted in the articles that I published at the end of 2019 and at the end of 2020, my wife and I not only own a His & Hers pair of Tesla Model 3 EVs that we purchased in September and December of 2018, but they are the best vehicles we have ever owned, hence the article titles. They are named Baby Pearl and Baby Ruby, and both are LR (Long Range) Dual Motor AWD (All-Wheel Drive) versions with the awesome Acceleration Boost upgrade.

Our overwhelmingly positive ownership experience must have rubbed off on our oldest son in a positive way, because he and his wife bought a blue SR+ version about a year after we bought ours, in August of 2019. Their Model 3 has been aptly named Baby Sapphire, which replaced a 2012 Honda Civic LX.

In other words, we are a “Tesla Model 3 ❤️🤍💙 Triplets” family.

The purpose of this particular article—besides being a follow up article to the previous two—is somewhat to serve as an excuse to publish photos that I took throughout the past year (or so) with the Apple iPhone 11 Pro that I am still rocking. Hopefully you, the reader, will pick up some useful nuggets along the way that will either mirror your own experience with these wonderful all-electric vehicles, or possibly convince you to purchase one—or more—for yourself.


Yes, I actually want to write a few words about the storage capabilities of the Model 3, which is Tesla’s smallest vehicle. As evidenced by the photo below, the trunk has plenty of space, and is actually quite deep:

Baby Pearl transporting soil from Almaden Valley Nursery on Mother’s Day 2021 (photo taken on 2021-05-09)

For those who are not aware, there is a hidden compartment under the main trunk that can accommodate a typical carry-on suitcase. We usually use it for storing charging cables, an air compressor, and our fair share of reusable shopping bags. The left side trunk pocket is useful for storing a spray-bottle of windshield cleaning fluid and a dry rag or two.

Pro Tip: Most Tesla Supercharging stations do not provide windshield washing equipment, so I quickly learned to bring along my own. This is particularly useful for longer trips during the warmer months when the windshield may become dirty with bugs.

And then there is the frunk (aka front trunk), which we honestly do not use all that much, mainly because the trunk has enough capacity for almost all of our needs. I do use the frunk for special occasions, such as to transport items that deserve special care, such as the 1:64 Hot Wheels R/C Cybertruck when it was first released:

Baby Pearl transporting a Cybertruck in her frunk from the Target at Oakridge Mall (photo taken on 2021-03-07)

…or my new (2021) Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch equipped with M1 Max (10-Core CPU, 32-Core GPU), 64GB, and 2TB SSD whose fans I have yet to hear turn on:

Baby Pearl transporting a 2021 MacBook Pro in her frunk from Apple Oakridge (photo taken on 2021-10-26)

As an aside, this is the best computer I have ever owned. It is unreal that Adobe Photoshop 2022 launches in a mere two seconds! This MacBook Pro replaced my personal MacBook Air (2019) equipped with 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 16GB, and 1TB SSD that was thin and light, but struggled with many of the apps that I frequently use.

Our favorite use of the frunk thus far was when we participated in the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley Holiday Frunk Toy Drive that took place on 2021-12-11:

Baby Ruby transporting toys in her frunk from the Target at Oakridge Mall (photo taken on 2021-12-05)

I purchased a little over $100 worth of toys at our local Target, which included a pair of the 1:64 Hot Wheels R/C Cybertrucks. Our oldest son and our grandson accompanied me. We had a great time, and plan to participate every year, though we will decorate the frunk next time. Baby Ruby is the ideal Model 3 for Holiday Frunk Toy Drives due to her color.

Our German Shepherd Dog, Lucky, even got her very first rides in Baby Pearl in 2021, thanks to the Orvis Grip-Tight Heritage Hammock Seat Protector:

Baby Pearl transporting Lucky to VCA Almaden Valley Animal Hospital (photo taken on 2021-07-15)

I am likely to upgrade to the Tesla Model S/3/Y Pet Liner at some point, or at least to buy door guards to complement what I am currently using.

I may even bring Lucky along when I drive to South Dakota later this year, which will probably be sometime in July and October. She has accompanied me to South Dakota since 2012, the year when she was born, but this will be her first time riding along in a Model 3. She has accompanied me to South Dakota approximately 15 times, in our 2006 Infiniti FX35 AWD (traded in when we bought Baby Ruby) and 2016 Mazda CX-5 AWD (our daughter now uses this last remaining ICEinternal combustion engine—vehicle).

Long-distance Driving

Being able to drive across entire states with ease, thanks to the ever-growing Tesla Supercharger network, is one of the most compelling reasons to buy a Tesla over any other EV brand. This matters to me a lot, because I have been driving from California to South Dakota to visit my parents at least twice a year for the past 15+ years. Due to COVID-19, I visited only once in 2020 and 2021, but as the previous section suggested, I hope to resume the usual two visits from this year.

One of the more scenic Tesla Supercharger stations along my 1,400-mile route between California and South Dakota is the one in Tooele, Utah (approximately 750 miles from home), which is only a few miles West of Salt Lake City:

Baby Pearl happily Supercharging in Tooele, Utah (photos taken on 2021-08-07 and 2021-08-21)

Pro Tip: If a Tesla Supercharger station is adjacent to a hotel or located on its property, you are considered a guest of the hotel while Supercharging. This means that you are welcome to use their restrooms, and if you are Supercharging while they are serving complementary breakfast, you are welcome to partake.

The Tesla Supercharger station in Rock Springs, Wyoming (approximately 950 miles from home) has some nice dining options, one of which is shown in the background, and is a very pleasant place to stay overnight when driving to South Dakota:

Baby Pearl happily Supercharging in Rock Springs, Wyoming (photo taken on 2021-08-07)

The Tesla Supercharging station in Winnemucca, Nevada (approximately 425 miles from home) was upgraded in 2021 to 250kW and from six to eight stalls, and is where I typically stay for the night when returning to California:

Baby Pearl happily Supercharging in Winnemucca, Nevada (photo taken on 2021-08-21)

The Tesla Supercharger station in Truckee, California (approximately 225 miles from home) is adjacent to a Safeway supermarket. It is also the last Supercharging stop before leaving California, and the first Supercharging stop upon returning to California:

Baby Pearl happily Supercharging in Truckee, California (photo taken on 2021-08-22)

My worst Supercharging experience was in Reno, Nevada (approximately 275 miles from home). It was my first—and last—time to Supercharge in that particular location. I was planning to Supercharge enough so that I could bypass the Tesla Supercharger station in Lovelock, Nevada (approximately 350 miles from home), and drive directly to the one in Winnemucca, Nevada, but an earlier-than-expected departure changed those plans. While I will not go into any detail here about what transpired, I will simply state that the experience was due to less-than-pleasant behavior of Reno’s nocturnal lifeforms:

Baby Pearl reluctantly Supercharging in Reno, Nevada (photo taken on 2021-08-07)

In terms of more pleasant experiences, another Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley event that I attended in 2021 was the one in early March for taking over the 56-stall Tesla Supercharger station in Firebaugh, California (approximately 100 miles from home):

Baby Pearl happily Supercharging in Firebaugh, California (photo taken on 2021-03-06)

Mini Teslas

Each of our three Model 3s has a 1:18 and 1:64 scale version. The 1:18 Scale ones are sold by Tesla, and are quite nice, though I wish that the Pearl White one had a white interior to match Baby Pearl:

Baby Ruby, Baby Pearl, and Baby Sapphire at 1:18 scale (photo taken on 2021-02-17)

The Hot Wheels 1:64 Scale version in Pearl White does have a white interior, and the Red and Blue ones have a black interior. Their colors match Baby Ruby, Baby Pearl, and Baby Sapphire inside and out, and are therefore Mandalorian-approved:

Baby Ruby, Baby Pearl, and Baby Sapphire at 1:64 scale (photo taken on 2021-01-25)

My latest Mini Tesla find is the Matchbox 1:64 Scale Tesla Roadster Version 2.0, and in two types of packaging:

Tesla Roadster Version 2.0 at 1:64 scale (photo taken on 2021-12-10)

One day I hope to own the 1:1 Scale version…

Thus far, my largest Mini Tesla is the Hot Wheels R/C 1:10 Cybertruck:

Tesla Cybertruck at 1:10 scale (photo taken on 2021-09-23)

I bought two of them, and plan to give one to my grandson after he turns eight years old. Even the 1:10 Scale Cyberquad that is included is quite detailed, though not motorized:

Tesla Cyberquad at 1:10 scale (photo taken on 2021-09-23)

I was lucky, because the ordering window for the Hot Wheels R/C 1:10 Cybertruck on 2021-05-21 was less than two minutes before they were completely sold out.

With any luck, the 1:1 Scale version that I ordered the morning after it was announced will be ready sometime later this year.

Local Driving

Really. I really love driving the Tesla Model 3 more so than any vehicle I have ever owned. The closest vehicle, a 2006 Infiniti FX35 AWD that we no longer own, is a distant second. Knowing that I am not using any gasoline, especially at today’s prices, is icing on the proverbial cake. The lack of sound and the instant torque never get old, even after three years of ownership.

Whether Baby Pearl transports me to the San José Root Canal Birthing Center:

Baby Pearl at the San José Root Canal Birthing Center (photo taken on 2021-01-12)

…or Baby Ruby assists when we shop for groceries at our local Safeway:

Baby Ruby at a Safeway in San José, California (photo taken on 2021-01-19)

…or Baby Pearl takes me to the local Olive Garden on Veterans Day to enjoy a complementary meal:

Baby Pearl at an Olive Garden in San José, California (photo taken on 2021-11-11)

…or Baby Pearl guards me while staying at Motel 6 in Winnemucca, Nevada on the way back to California:

Baby Pearl at Motel 6 in Winnemucca, Nevada (photo taken on 2021-08-21)

…or Baby Pearl waits for me while I deal with a dentist appointment:

Baby Ruby at Smile Dentistry in San José, California (photo taken on 2021-12-16)

…or Baby Ruby takes our daughter, Ruby, to SFO:

Baby Ruby waiting nearby SFO for confirmation that Ruby’s flight to Tampa, Florida successfully departed (photo taken on 2021-12-28)

And I have to admit that even looking at Baby Pearl and Baby Ruby parked in our driveway never gets old:

Baby Pearl and Baby Ruby parked in our driveway (photos taken on 2021-09-06, 2021-09-11, and 2021-11-14)

Tesla Tequila

Tequila is among my favorite spirits, so naturally when the Tesla Shop offered Tesla Tequila (link courtesy of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine), I couldn’t resist:

Tesla Tequila is Mandalorian-approved (photo taken on 2020-12-31)

Of course, Tesla Tequila is no longer offered, just like Tesla Short Shorts (link courtesy of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine), so I am glad that I bought a bottle. In case anyone is wondering, I own two pairs of Tesla Short Shorts. I officially decline to indicate whether I have ever worn them. At least, there is no photographic evidence that I did, which is probably a good thing.

The closest one can get to Tesla Tequila at this point is to buy the Tesla Decanter when—and if—it is in stock again, then fill it with one’s favorite tequila.

Full Self-Driving

Right at the beginning of 2019, mainly motivated by the free upgrade to the FSD Computer, I purchased the Full Self-Driving (FSD) Capability upgrade for both Baby Pearl and Baby Ruby. In retrospect, I am glad that I did so, because this upgrade now costs twice the price that I paid. It certainly seemed expensive at the time, but no longer. The FSD Computer upgrades were installed in early April of 2020.

Of course, there is a fair bit of controversy as to whether Tesla EVs are capable of genuine full self-driving, but I will not cover that topic in this particular article. My experience with that feature is somewhat limited, which is in part due to my enjoyment of driving these vehicles so much.

Up until October of last year, I had not experienced FSD Beta, which was in limited deployment among the fleet. One of the first places I visited while FSD Beta (Version 10.2) was engaged was Mount Umunhum, whose drive offers scenic and winding roads:

Baby Ruby at Mount Umunhum (photos taken on 2021-10-23)

For the limited times that I have engaged FSD Beta, it has been impressive, and seems to get better with each update. The latest version as of this writing is FSD Beta 10.8 (aka Version 2021.44.25.6).

For me, the most accurate way to describe the experience of FSD Beta is to describe the experience of teaching our daughter how to drive when she was 15 years old… …except that I sitting in the driver seat! FSD Beta has taken me from home to where I work, which is a 15-mile drive that involves city streets and three different Bay Area freeways, with zero disengagements.

I used a somewhat roundabout way of getting FSD Beta pushed to Baby Pearl and Baby Ruby last October. When I first opted in sometime in September, which subjected both vehicles to driving behavior monitoring by Safety Score Beta, Baby Pearl’s safety score dropped on the very first day due to a driver who pulled in front of me that required hard braking. Also, I neglected to tell my wife that her driving was being monitored and scored, so Baby Ruby’s safety score was even lower. One needed a 100+ miles with a 100% score to have FSD Beta pushed. It would have taken a lot of driving to raise their safety scores, particularly Baby Ruby. My solution was to opt out, wait a couple of hours until the Safety Score no longer appeared in the mobile app, opt in again, then wait for the Safety Score to reappear in the mobile app. This was mid-October, and my wife had just flown to Japan, so over the course of three days—2021-10-18 through 2021-10-20—I drove up and down the southern end of Almaden Expressway, McKean Road, and Uvas Road until I had 100+ 100% miles on both vehicles. These roads have very little traffic, an average speed limit of 45MPH, and very few stop signs and traffic signals. In other words, these roads served as an ideal place to quickly rack up 100+ 100% miles. FSD Beta 10.2 (aka Version 2021.32.25) was pushed to Baby Pearl and Baby Ruby on the evening of 2021-10-21, which was the very next day.

It will be interesting to see how FSD functionality develops over time, and I am grateful to be able to engage it when I am in the mood.

Software Updates

Updates to the vehicle software are frequent, over-the-air (OTA), and have always been successful. I have been keeping track of Baby Pearl’s software update history the longest, thanks to TeslaFi, and the following table will give you an idea about frequency:

Yes, over the course of nearly a year and a half, Baby Pearl received 42 recorded software updates! I have less than a year of software update history for Baby Ruby, but in that time she received 20 software updates. If I had access to the full software update history—approximately two years worth is missing for both—I imagine that it would be well over 100 software updates in both of their lifetimes.

Note: I had TeslaFi logging disabled for Baby Pearl from 2021-03-12 through 2021-05-27, and did the same for Baby Ruby from 2021-03-13 through 2021-06-01. This means that a non-zero number of software updates were installed during those periods, but were not recorded.

Based on the additional functionality and other improvements that are included in the software updates, I can truthfully state that both Baby Pearl and Baby Ruby are better vehicles than when we first bought them over three years ago. They have more features, and perform better. Very few—if any—vehicle brands can even come close to making such a claim.

Long-distance Driving—Redux

Cross-country trips have been nothing but an excellent experience when I drive Baby Pearl. In fact, once I am out of California, I typically engage autopilot, which does most of my driving, to include passing slower-moving vehicles on interstate highways. Most of my route to and from South Dakota is along Interstate 80.

Compared to flying, I have always enjoyed using my own vehicles in states that I visit. I am not sure why. Perhaps I think of my vehicles as an extension of myself, and I therefore feel more complete when away from home. Or, perhaps I am simply anthropomorphizing. In any case, that feeling has been sharply accentuated when driving Baby Pearl in other states that I visit.

Baby Ruby, on the other hand, has never been outside of California. Of course, she was born in California, less than 25 miles from our home at the Tesla factory in Fremont. This will change.

Baby Pearl in Hot Springs, South Dakota (photo taken on 2021-08-12)

Top Ten List

Keeping your attention while reading this article may or may not have been entirely successful, and hopefully the photos helped to pique your interest.

Some of those who made it this far in this article may enjoy the following Top Ten List of reasons why I feel that the Tesla Model 3 is superior to any vehicle we have ever owned:

10—Tesla Supercharging network enables cross-country driving

I have demonstrated this by driving from California to South Dakota and back four times thus far—nearly 1,400 miles each way—with two such trips planned for later this year. On average, my Supercharging stops are on the order of only 15 to 20 minutes.

09 — Spacious trunk (with a hidden compartment) plus a frunk

The combined trunk and frunk capacity is greater than that of a typical sedan.

08 — Frequent OTA software updates

In the span of a year and a half, Baby Pearl received over 40 OTA software updates, which provided improved efficiency, or new features and enhancements.


The acceleration never gets old, especially with the Acceleration Boost upgrade that lowers 0 to 60MPH to a mere 3.5 seconds or so. More importantly, the instant torque is a safety feature for getting out of harm’s way quickly—and quietly. The overall handling of the Model 3 is superb.

06—Sentry Mode plus live view via mobile app

These excellent security features did not exist when we bought Baby Pearl and Baby Ruby, which further demonstrates that they are better vehicles than when we first purchased them. Another excellent security feature that I recommend enabling is PIN to Drive, which requires that you enter a four-digit PIN in order to drive the vehicle.

05—Remote control of some features via mobile app

Besides serving as a key, the official mobile app—available for iOS and Android OS—allows one to control or access many features of the vehicle, such as climate control. Some third-party iOS apps that have watchOS support, such as Stats: For Model S/X/3/Y and TezLab, even allow one to control some features using an Apple Watch. I use all of these mobile apps.

04—Garage as a virtual gas station

If you install a dedicated EV charger in your garage—or close to where you park your EV—you have a virtual gas station whose virtual gasoline (aka electricity) is cheaper than actual gasoline, especially if you charge during off-peak hours. Even if you have only a 120V outlet available, you can still trickle-charge your EV. This is how I charge Baby Pearl when I visit my parents in South Dakota.

03—Excellent audio system plus Tesla Light Show

I enjoy listening to music in Baby Pearl and Baby Ruby via Bluetooth and the iOS Music app. The Model 3 premium audio system is excellent. Tesla Light Show is a new feature in Software Version 11.0, which was released right before Christmas last year, and provides the ability to program the various vehicle lights to synchronize with music. The entertainment system also includes several games and a web browser.

02—Near-zero maintenance

We have paid almost nothing in maintenance during our more than three years of ownership. Baby Pearl had her pair of cabin air filters changed at the end of August last year. Baby Ruby will be due for replacement cabin air filters this year.

01—Minimalist interior and controls

The Model 3 must have done something right with its landscape-oriented touch screen, because the refreshed Models S and X now use the same orientation for their main touch screen. Other than a minimal number of controls on the steering wheel and its column, all features are easily accessed with the touch screen. In addition to a minimalist interior and simplified controls, the UI of the touch screen also evolves over time.

To close this article, I will leave you with a couple of recent photos that show the glass roof of the Model 3 from the outside and inside after a rain shower:

Baby Pearl’s roof after a rain shower (photo taken on 2021-12-23)
Baby Ruby’s roof—from the inside—after a rain shower (photo taken on 2021-12-28)

About the Author

Dr Ken Lunde has worked for Apple as a Font Developer since 2021-08-02 (and was in the same role as a contractor from 2020-01-16 through 2021-07-30), is the author of CJKV Information Processing Second Edition (O’Reilly Media, 2009), and earned BA (1987), MA (1988), and PhD (1994) degrees in linguistics from The University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to working at Apple, he worked at Adobe for over twenty-eight years — from 1991-07-01 to 2019-10-18 — specializing in CJKV Type Development, meaning that he architected and developed fonts for East Asian typefaces, along with the standards and specifications on which they are based. He architected and developed the Adobe-branded “Source Han” (Source Han Sans, Source Han Serif, and Source Han Mono) and Google-branded “Noto CJK” (Noto Sans CJK and Noto Serif CJK) open source Pan-CJK typeface families that were released in 2014, 2017, and 2019, and published over 300 articles on Adobe’s now-static CJK Type Blog. Ken serves as the Unicode Consortium’s IVD (Ideographic Variation Database) Registrar, attends UTC and IRG meetings, participates in the Unicode Editorial Committee, became an individual Unicode Life Member in 2018, received the 2018 Unicode Bulldog Award, was a Unicode Technical Director from 2018 to 2020, became a Vice-Chair of the Emoji Subcommittee in 2019, published UTN #43 (Unihan Database Property “kStrange) in 2020, and became the Chair of the CJK & Unihan Group in 2021. He and his wife, Hitomi, are proud owners of a His & Hers pair of acceleration-boosted 2018 LR Dual Motor AWD Tesla Model 3 EVs.



Dr Ken Lunde

Chair, CJK & Unihan Working Group—Almaden Valley—San José—CA—USA—NW Hemisphere—Terra—Sol—Orion-Cygnus Arm—Milky Way—Local Group—Laniakea Supercluster