Why did you buy your Tesla?
"Why did you buy your Tesla?"
Imagine that you're driving a little faster than the 70 MPH speed limit on a freeway. It's 6:00 or so in the morning and there's not much traffic. Now, imagine that there's a small road that runs perpendicular to the freeway and that it ends right at the freeway, but a few feet lower than the freeway. Now, imagine a drunk driver (yes - at 6am), driving down that side road fast enough that when she hits the berm at the dead end of that side street, her SUV gets airborne (yes - all four wheels off the ground) and it lands right in front of you on the freeway as it sails across the lanes of traffic.
That's what happened to me. I had just enough time to move my foot from the gas pedal to the brake, but not enough time to press the brake and slow my car. I went from ~70 MPH to ~0 MPH in an instant.
I am only here because of seatbelts, airbags, and crumple zones. My passenger and I walked out.
I was driving a Honda Accord that day and that accident taught me the importance of 5-Star crash ratings. I kinda felt like I owed Honda one for saving my life, so I bought another.
I normally drive cars into the ground, and that second Honda was starting to show some signs of age. I started to hear stories about Teslas being the safest production cars ever made and that got me interested.
I had never owned a luxury car before and had a lot of trouble justifying the expense to myself. But remembering back to my accident, and desiring to see my kids graduate from college, I went to take a test drive. That was pretty much it.
All the stuff about it being better for the planet is just a nice addition. For me, it was really about safety and then about how dang fun it is.
And I should mention that part of that fun is charging my car via solar energy, and not having to stop at a gas station once or twice each week.
I now say that my car makes me far happier than any material possession should. :)
I bought my P85D in 2015 after seeing a few Teslas in person and reading the incredibly favorable review of the Model S in Consumer Reports. This was the first review when the Model S got "only" a record-breaking 99 on the Road Test. (The P85D got 103 later that year, breaking the scale and forcing CR to recalibrate its Road Test scoring protocol, so the re-calibrated score was reduced to 100. That's still the Model S score today, by the way.)
The idea that a high performance car could be so cool looking and still get a record-breaking score from CR was irresistible, even though at the time I was driving a very nice Lexus LS460 with only 37,000 miles on it and really didn't need a new car.
My next step was to stop at the Tesla showroom in the Houston Galleria, where I was able to test drive one of the cars from the parking garage. I took it to a nearby street that had no cross-traffic for a few blocks. The Tesla rep asked me to stop the car, look to be sure the coast was clear, then floor it! And I did. The acceleration was so fierce I don't think I was brave enough to hold the accelerator down for more than a second or two. Those two seconds made up my mind. I then drove the car for another fifteen minutes, taking corners, hitting the accelerator at various speeds, etc., all of which increased my resolve to place an order immediately.
My only delay was figuring out what options to select for the car. I finally decided to leave off the jump seats, the executive back seats, the spoiler, and add every other option including metal flake black Obsidian paint. I opted against 21″ in favor of 19″ silver turbine wheels because Houston potholes look and feel like bomb craters. I ordered it in mid-April and it arrived May 28, 2015. I've put 15,000 miles on it (May 2018) and it still looks and feels like a new car-with better acceleration, in fact, because I had the Ludicrous speed upgrade applied when it became available.
Any other reasons? Oh, I forgot to mention the planet! My Model S is good for the planet.
Of course we need to stop generating carbon dioxide and vanquish climate change. Even more we need to quit putting out Nitrogen Oxides, which gets us photochemical smog in Houston and other cities, especially Los Angeles. All this is important to me in the abstract. But what really got my checkbook out and increased my pulse rate was power, acceleration, handling, beauty, style, and feeling like I'm at the controls of a stealth jet fighter.
Now I'm trying to get my wife prepped to abandon her Prius and buy her a Model 3 when a dual motor performance model comes out. Now that will be a car to beat all for a woman who prefers her cars to be smaller than a Model S.
I'd love to say it was about the environment but the truth is I was looking to buy a new car, and energy efficiency or emissions were pretty far down my list of criteria. Nonetheless, I felt that all other things being equal I would also look at fuel efficiency and relative CO2 levels. At the same time I was interested in performance, comfort, features, safety and practicality. My son laughed at me. The idea of looking at performance cars and then asking about their gas mileage and CO2 emissions seemed ridiculous but he did suggest that maybe I should look at the Tesla model S. I had never heard of this car so when I found out it was 100% electric, I definitely had some concerns. In fact it was a huge mental barrier. Despite all of the great things I read about the car, I spent at least another six months to really get serious about buying one. Essentially I loved the look of the car, the performance (even in 2013 the acceleration exceptional and took my breath away), it was comfortable, I loved the minimalist interior (not everyone does), it had a crazy amount of room for passengers and luggage, excellent safety (though at that point the full extent of their safety rating wasn't yet visible) and a unique approach to instrumentation, features and software delivery. All model Ss at that time were rear wheel drive so I spent a fair amount of time learning about winter performance for our brutal winters too. With education, the "range anxiety" factor became a non-issue as I realized that the car had more range than any other electric car at that time and there was no way I would even need to charge other than at home for all my normal driving. We still had a gas car at that point so we figured we could use that car for highway driving if necessary but Tesla was already planning superchargers in our neck of the woods and I learned that this would effectively render charging time as a non-issue. It was the most expensive car I had ever bought and it was the best auto purchase I have ever made to that point. I have since upgraded to a newer all wheel drive model S and in 2016 we bought a model X to replace our neglected gas SUV when its lease expired. I guess the bottom line is that I did a truckload of research on the car and found that it excelled in every way that was important to me. Even looking at price, if I compared it to other gas cars with similar specs it was very competitive.
I bought a Tesla for the ease of use. I don't change oil, there are no timing belts to replace, no transmission to go out, and my fuel source is in my garage available when I need it for roughly 1/3 the cost. It was simply the path of least resistance for me.
The final decision was made when a vehicle I owned and had bought brand new needed a new timing belt ( the old one hadn't broken, this was just the manufacturer ‘s suggestion at 60k miles). This along with a routine maintenance was going to cost me over $2800 USD. I realized that Not only was this a ridiculous racket that the automakers had created, but that I was helping to perpetuate it by continuing to partition their little game. I resolved to try to break the ridiculous cycle of gas, ICE engine/maintenance and needless environmental impact by doing something different that still fit within the parameters of my lifestyle, so I bought a Tesla.
There are a lot of reasons that I bought my Tesla. First of all it's the most fun car I've ever driven, and I'm a 60-year-old man and I've owned and driven a lot of cars.
For me, however, the major drive to buy a Tesla (it an EV in general) was the fact that I actually despise what my generation has done to this world. I have a 20-year-old daughter and we are going to leave her a world which is substantially worse than it was when I was born. My generation had a chance to address climate change in a meaningful way back in the late 70s/early 80s. Yet we did nothing. So now, I drive a Tesla, and after the carbon footprint the car created for its manufacturing, I drive completely carbon free now because I live in a state where all the electricity in my area is generated through Hydro power.
I have looked at other electric vehicles and even test drove a few, but there was nothing like the Tesla. Of course it helps that I have the financial resources to purchase $115,000 car. Not everyone is that lucky, and I'm thrilled that Tesla has now started serious production on the model three and hopefully the price will start coming down soon, so the thrill of driving an electric car can be shared by many many more people. And who knows, maybe will make a tiny little dent in the warming of our wonderful planet. It is cleared of government is not interested in addressing this problem, as a matter fact, quite the contrary.
Nissan Leaf 2011 just "worked" except for the range. Tires and firmware over 50k, but the battery is fading, it's ugly and now dented (tough to aim/no feel). 7 years later, 400+K line for the Model 3, but I was able to pick up a used/off lease S85 from Tesla in the Silver with Tan interior and sunroof. Done! The problem is now, I can't go back to anything lesser...