The beginning of my journey was not exactly unique. Someone at work has mentioned a startup company named after one of the genius minds of the 19th century, Nikola Tesla. I would have probably dismissed it quickly if not for one small detail. The Roadster, while based on Lotus Elise’s body design, was capable of travelling 200+ miles on a single charge while maintaining the performance (and looks!) of the respectful sport car. There was nothing like this on the market at that time, not even close. For a start, there were very few electric vehicles available at that time. They all had very limited range (60-80 miles at best) and somewhat hideous looking. Uninspiring at best, as if the potential buyer should be moved with pity when committing to a purchase, rather than being filled with joy and excitement. Needless to say, Tesla Roadster has gotten my attention albeit I knew that it was completely out of my league due to a price.
Enter 2012. By that time I was well aware of who Elon Musk is, as well as of his bold master plan. With official introduction of Model S as a premium sedan I was really hooked. Here comes a beautifully designed car that can travel up to 265 miles (85 kWh model) on a charge, loaded with state-of-the-art technology, offering comfort, performance and safety. Accolades and praises quickly followed: named Green Car of the Year in 2013 and Car of the Year by multiple magazines in the same year, top scored car by Consumer Reports, top safety rating, to be finally called Car of the Century in 2015 by Car and Driver magazine. The hype was on. It felt like not a single day has passed without news about Model S. Rightfully so, as the car truly deserved all the attention. It was still outside of my price range at that time, being often positioned as a rival of Mercedes Benz S Class or BMW 7 series. One can always dream, isn’t it?
Fast forward to 2016 – Model 3 has been officially announced, bearing an affordable price tag of 35 thousand dollars while maintaining the same impressive range of at least 200 miles per charge. Sign me up please! Sign up I did. Like many others, on the day of the official reveal I dutifully put down my 1000 dollars deposit. No risk involved, as it is fully refundable. Plus, I knew that realistically it will be at least couple of years before the car is really available for the masses and at least a year before the final production design is shown. No hurry. I do want to be a part of the mission set by Mr. Musk, so this was my way of saying that I am committed (just like 400,000 others).
How did I end up buying Model S then? There’s many angles to this story, but here are a few deciding factors that helped me to jump the fence. First of, I am a big car enthusiast and am always looking for what’s out there in terms of new design, innovation and technology that comes in the package. Being an IT guy and a geek, technology is as important for me as any other aspect when buying a new car. That’s why I always seem to favor the cars that are well equipped (tech package, upgraded sound etc.). The car is more than means of transportation for me. I like driving and I enjoy road trips with my family, so all the “extras” play a part when configuring the new car. When I compare the integrated 17″ screen in Model S to 15″ in Model 3 (somewhat awkwardly protruding from the center of the dash) I think Model S is a clear winner here for me. I am also not (yet) sold on the idea that Model 3 won’t have a dedicated instrument cluster or HUD in front of the driver, but I digress…
I also started looking for CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) cars available. Surprisingly, most of the well-equipped second-hand cars hold their value rather well. So much so that they either come close to equally well-equipped Model 3 (I know that I would not settle for just the base configuration) or come very close to a discounted showroom Model S with similar features. I was also debating whether I should stick with 1st generation Auto Pilot hardware or go for the 2nd one. Hmm…
You know, one should listen when they warn you that you should not step into a Tesla Showroom unless you are ready to buy a car. They are absolutely right! Jokes aside, by the time I was ready for a test drive the number crunching was complete and budget analysis done with. Plus, having been following Tesla company all this while I knew everything there was to know about the car by the time I visited the store. I just needed to experience the actual drive to make the final decision. With some input from my girls (my wife and daughter) we managed to pinpoint the exact car we were interested in and on June 30th of 2017 our family became the proud owners of Model S. 🙂
So, why this blog, one might ask? If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a huge supporter of Tesla’s mission to provide zero-emission vehicles that will help to curb the pollution and give the future generations a chance to live in habitable environment. Climate change is real, regardless if it is caused by human activity or natural cycles. We can continue wasting time debating this over and over again, or we can do something to minimize our impact. Elon Musk, in his own genius, helped to lay down foundations and despite all the criticism and no-saying is already proving that sustainable alternative to ICE (internal combustion engine) powered vehicle is possible. I am well aware that there’s a premium to be paid when you are an early adopter and pioneer, but I am blessed to be able to contribute and support this mission today. I hope to share my experience with others, so hopefully more people will realize that Electric Vehicle IS the future and one doesn’t have to be afraid of it.
6 thoughts on “Why Tesla?”
Well writen introduction into, I hope, a story about how to enjoy passion while beeing green and cool at the same time 😉
Musk started revoluton and his Tesla Motor Company, in my opinion, is currently world’s most modern car in the world. All companies try to follow their way by saying “until 2025 we will produce 5 electric powered models”… In 2025 your Tesla S would be Youngtimer 😉 But what a Youngtimer it will be!
Thanks! It is truly amazing where a startup like this can disrupt the whole car industry. It is hard not to compare this to Kodak’s history: they had a professional DSLR before anyone else, yet they ditched it (or didn’t see potential in digital photography). Today’s Kodak = all “traditional” car manufacturers…
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