Mark Carlile (aka Veda Prime) is no stranger to the business world, having worked in London, Paris, Singapore, and Brisbane in senior finance-related roles. He is also no stranger to risk, having sailed solo from England to Australia. Veda Prime (not Optimus Prime’s little brother) is currently based in Brisbane, Queensland.
But it appears his real adventure began when he ordered a Tesla Model 3 on July 28, 2017, and began his two-year wait. It is significant that he remembers the date. He was frustrated by the lack of communication from Tesla regarding his car (weren’t we all) and so he got involved in forums and used his knowledge of logistics to identify and track his vehicle. A real-life “Dude, where’s my car?” … and when is it going to arrive?
He identified that it was a July 10, 2019, build. But he found that other cars built after his were already being delivered. With a bit of logistics detective work, he found his car. It was not on the first ship to arrive in Australia, but the third. He started sharing his expertise on Facebook and other forums as “Veda Prime.” As demand grew, he realized that this was a business opportunity and he launched his service.
This is another success story of a hobby formed from a desire to help people, which became a business able to help many more. For Mark, each person he helps to find their car allows him to relive his own experience of anticipation and excitement from tracking his Tesla across the sea. “Ordering a Tesla is an emotional roller coaster,” he tells me.
As his client base has grown, Mark has added more services to Veda Prime. The Discord service is a safe place where the Veda Prime community gathers to communicate. People new to the electric vehicle world can be assured their questions will be answered respectfully. It is a private forum split into different topics. The topics accessible depend on which tier you join on Patreon. Even if you choose not to join, Mark announces the arrival of ships on Twitter and on some Tesla-affiliated Facebook pages. The Discord service is now more about answering questions than about tracking. It is a way to avoid the FUD that sometimes circulates in other forums.
One frequently asked question is: why are some people who ordered their car after me getting their car before me? Doesn’t Elon love me anymore? Veda Prime has become a pre-delivery company. Questions are answered across many topics — like insurance, tinting, charging, cables to buy, real-world range, and many other topics — and, of course, ships and deliveries are tracked. In the owners lounge, drivers ask more operational questions about efficiency, software updates, tires, modifications, and car features. With 8 ships containing up to 8000 Teslas arriving in Australia this quarter, it is no wonder Mark has decided to turn his hobby into a full time business.
He answers three basic questions: Where’s my car? Where’s it been? When will I get it? Sometimes his answers are modelling based, and sometimes from commercial or unpaid sources. Once ships have landed and data is available, the model can be verified. This has led to the VDD, the Veda Delivery Date, which has proven more accurate than Tesla’s.
Mark can advise when the car leaves the production line, goes to the test track, and then goes to the car park — so you know why there are those km on the odometer. It reminds me of that first baby ultrasound.
He says Model Ys targeted for delivery in Q4 2022 have started being built now in Shanghai. Model 3 builds will not be far away. He tells us that his twitter chart will look more dramatic in the next couple of weeks once we see the September delivery numbers.
Veda Prime can track almost any new car, not just Tesla as he does now. What about an MG or BYD EV, I ask him. It is likely he will expand to other EV markets as the business grows. For now, the Veda Prime site is a valuable source of information for those who are asking: “Hey Elon, where’s my car?”
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Source: Clean Technica