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How did you find out about Tesla?

How did you find out about Tesla?

I'm not sure if this has been discussed but its interesting that I spoke with a few guys including my co-pilot at the DC Get Amped event about how I found out about Tesla. I shared with them how just by coincidence while watching an episode of Suits with my wife, Harvey goes to a Tesla showroom to get a Roadster. I immediately Googled Tesla and here I am. Any similar experience?

Brian H | 14. Juli 2012

Racking (and wracking) my brains, but nothing emerges from the fog of ancient history. I think Martin Eberhard was still in charge at the time, though.

Timo | 14. Juli 2012

Same here. Well before first Roadster was build. Can't remember how I found this site.

TheAustin | 14. Juli 2012

March 29th, 2010...I was watching an episode of Chuck, and I saw one of the characters driving the coolest sports car I had ever seen...A quick Google revealed that it was a Tesla Roadster. I then found the Tesla website and not only started drooling over the Roadster, but also learned of the forthcoming Model S sedan. By June of that year I had made my deposit. That seemed like it was years ago (probably because it was!)...And now, as P2009 (85KwH Performance), I'll finally be getting my hands on my Model S in about three months. It will be well-worth the wait :)

bsimoes | 14. Juli 2012

A number of years ago, I was searching electric cars or energy efficient cars, and finally stumbled across Tesla. I remember coming across some pretty bizarre finds. There was one that looked like a rubber ball, and of course, a "Smart car." I didn't want a car that looked like a toy. It needed to have room to haul things like bags of mulch or pieces of furniture. Model S was just a concept car at that point, but it grabbed my attention and hasn't let go. It's been years!

ViewAskew | 14. Juli 2012

I was watching AOTS (Attack of the Show) and they ran a quick special on the Roadster. Gushing over the EV aspect and raving about the speed I was interested. (until I heard the price) Detroit Auto Show comes and there's a Roadster right in front of me. My wife loved it but it simply wasn't realistic with a family and kids. Maybe a year later we started talking about getting a new car. I wanted speed she wanted something that seats 4 comfortably. We knew it would be an ECO friendly vehicle. So I started looking into the Volt since I was sure I'd only buy American. During my search for various types of EV's I ran accross the Tesla site. Ran screaming like a little kid to my wife (true story).... and the rest is history.

It's been a LONG wait but I can't see myself making any other choice now.

Timo | 14. Juli 2012

@ViewAskew LOL. [thumbs up]

MandL | 14. Juli 2012

+1 Brian H. I've been following Tesla since BE (before Elon).

Never even tried to sit in a Roadster (I'm 6'3" and 300#). I had a Leaf reservation the day they became available, but found myself living in a building where I couldn't install a charger when the day came to finalize my order so passed on it. Then I just bided my time until the Model S beta came to DC last Thanksgiving so I could sit in it. Dropped my $40K that day and have been waiting breathlessly ever since. My friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and any random stranger who has the misfortune of sitting next to me are all getting rather impatient as well. Say a little prayer for whomever sits by me on the ferry ride and airplane home today.

BryanW | 14. Juli 2012

I first read about the Tesla Roadster in an auto magazine sometime before it was released, but I don't remember the exact magazine or how far ahead or the release it was. I immediately thought it was the coolest car in the world, and I still do (though I'm willing to give the Model S a chance to claim that title once it arrives). :)

I started following Tesla more closely after watching "Who Killed the Electric Car" in 2009. I made my Model S reservation in the summer of 2009 with a vow to never purchase another ICE vehicle.

Mark2131@CA-US | 14. Juli 2012

Years ago I seriously considered doing an "EV conversion" to an existing car. Internet research led to "conversion kits", which led to message boards which led to rumors about this company called "Tesla" and their plans to build a roadster! I eagerly followed the creation of the Roadster, briefly considering it, but I just couldn't justify the cost. When the success of the Roadster led to the Model S, I confirmed my reservation almost immediately. (P153). It's been a long wait!

stephen.pace | 14. Juli 2012

@Toto: I also got hooked on Suits and loved that scene with the Roadster.

As for me, I tend to keep my cars for a while (10 years or so), but before the car starts having issues, I start looking for one that really grabs me. However, this time, nothing did. I drive a Lexus IS now, and I thought I'd probably graduate to the GS, but I just couldn't get excited. Then two things happened around 2008:

1) I read a LOT of technology news. Maybe not the first story I read, but I recall that Jason Calacanis bought a Roadster and loved it, and from then on I saw a steady stream of Tesla related news.
2) I was on a business trip and ran into a guy that claimed to have the first US order for a Fisker Karma.

Is is just me or are all the interesting new cars electrified? When Tesla started talking about Model S and the first photos came out, I was hooked. I finally put money down for P3331, and after the original factory tour, I upgraded to Sig.

Like MandL, I've bored many a folk with Tesla information, sold a few along the way, and annoyed my SO to the point where she forbids me to mention the word Tesla anymore. (To be fair, she is also annoyed about the price.)

Sudre_ | 14. Juli 2012

Similar to Mark2131. I was going to purchase an EV1 but in the usual wanting something to fail fashion all the car manufactures decided to go small and only lease them in California. We all now how that story ended. I figured in a few years they would have a better one out... that never happened either. Around 2003 I was looking to convert my ICE and found Telsa.... I think I saw a video of a motorcycle they converted to electric.

After looking over the product I figured the company would succeed so I start saving for the 2nd or third generation even tho I don't like sports cars. When they announced the Model S I was ready to buy but I had heard so many promises from other car makers that I wanted to wait a little. Once I saw all the other car makers were way behind in the field I reserved my Model S. On the bright side with the long wait it means I have enough to purchase.

roseland67 | 14. Juli 2012

Had recently finished reading "Empire of Light",
(Edison, Westinghouse and Tesla), did a google search
for Tesla and stumbled onto the site.
Starting reading & occasionally contributing to the engineering blogs, been a daily reader since.

Schlermie | 14. Juli 2012

In the Silicon Valley area, Tesla has been in the news constantly, long before the first Roadster was even available.

mal42north | 14. Juli 2012

Its difficult to remember, but I'm pretty sure I learned about Tesla from Wired, whose coverage goes back to 2006 or earlier.
I've been looking for a replacement for my 2001 Prius since about 2009, but just could not see anything compelling on the market. I didn't want to go back to a pure ICE. I was initially thinking of the plugin or Prius, but it was delayed by about 4 years over the initially promised release date, by which time the model S plans had become pretty compelling. The fact that Tesla released enough technical information to allow me to see that they were really thinking through the engineering trades was the deal clincher.
I was also going to look at the Volt, but for some reason the way the door base does not line up with the undercarriage liner really put me off. It seems like a meaningless aesthetic detail, but does it reflect on the rest of the design?

jerry3 | 14. Juli 2012

I first heard about Tesla years ago when they previewed the Roadster and a number of magazines had stories about it. I had no interest then because it was so far out of my price range that it wasn't even worth considering. I started looking at it again when I saw RotEC. I was impressed by Elon's part in it.

stevenmaifert | 14. Juli 2012

From my Solar City consultant in June 2010.

jbunn | 14. Juli 2012

Hmmm... I don't recall, but I've been paying attention for 3 years. I think it was around the time they opened their Seattle service center. Heard about the S a bit under two years ago, started saving over a year and a half ago, and put my deposit down in the winter of '11. Read everything I can, visited three stores, rode twice, went to the factory event, own stock.

Been pretty impressed. If you look on the Tesla site you'll see the "Secret Plan", an article by Elon. It's 6 years old now, but what's interesting is the plan hasn't changed, and he's hitting the targets on budget he set out for the S that far back, and laid out the master plan for the Roadster, S Class, and the Gen III.

Frankly, the more I learn, the more I like.

rd2 | 14. Juli 2012

Similar to others, I noticed the Roadster on the roads of Palo Alto, but really paid attention when I saw one on Chuck, oddly enough. I looked into the company, thinking a 200+ mile range was amazing. Then I saw they were planning a sedan, all electric, 300 miles, 5+2 seating. I kept an eye on press releases, and as soon as I saw the outline of the prototype, I knew I might be getting one. I delayed my reservation until the June 2011, and now I'm P4157. This car will save me over $3200 on gas costs every year. It was a no brainer.

I bought stock at the IPO. I think I was perhaps the LAST person invited to the Fremont test drive, and I am so happy I got that chance. Can't wait.

David70 | 14. Juli 2012

I'm sure it's been at least 5 years ago. It was either the first time they interviewed Elon or showed his Roadster on 60 minute (or PBS) or before that.

BYT | 14. Juli 2012

I learned about Tesla about 7 or 8 years ago when I worked at a VC and TM was doing it's rounds looking for funding. I kept a close eye on them ever since!

I also installed a VoIP phone system there at that VC and the installer was a gal who ended up quitting to work in IT for Tesla Motors as well. I wonder if she's still there??

weustis | 14. Juli 2012

I had seen the Roadster over the years, but it was too expensive and small (we have 3 kids). When I started looking for a new car in early 2011, I wanted something fuel efficient, cool, practical and American-made. I checked out the Tesla website on a whim and found out about the Model S. I put down my deposit in March 2011 and can't wait to get my car. I was hoping the price would end up closer to the $50K price, but the more I learn about the car, the more I think it's worth the money.

I live in Charlotte, so I haven't made it to any stores or events, but I've been keeping up with the posts and have a test drive scheduled for tomorrow morning in Gaithersburg, MD.

ElectricFarmBoy | 14. Juli 2012

Been convinced rechargeable is the way to go for many years now -- have rechargeable lawn mower, weed whacker, vacuum cleaner, etc. Learned of Tesla from Wired years ago, then at Autodesk University in 2010 saw Model S presented during the keynote and nearly got run over by it during tradeshow take-down (darn those electric cars are quiet). When my friend said "Look at that Model S-Car-Go", I knew I had to have one. Reserved in April, 2011 -- Cdn S-111. Managed to get to the factory event in October, hold Cdn P-5 on Model X as well for my wife, happened to be in the area for the Santana Row Model X/S-betas showing, and its only been one week since a great test drive in Seattle . And it turns out my sister & bro-in-law attended Queens nearly the same time as Musk, and I just read last night that Musk has a Pennsylvania-Dutch background, same as me! So I'm sure we enjoy the same types of desserts! Met George B a couple of times now and am thrilled to be a customer of the kind of organization he runs. So yes, I have turned into a bit of a Tesla-holic now. Even my parents are talking about buying TSLA stock...

The one downside of actually having driven the S last weekend is that the waiting is now way tougher. It's really hard not to be distracted while driving as my mind wanders to how my route will feel in the S...

bshortell | 14. Juli 2012

When the EV1 came out, I was immediately interested as I spent many hours in the lines for gas in the 70's oil embargo. Leasing never works for me with the amount of miles I rack up in a year. Something smelled fishy when they wouldn't sell them. When they got taken back, it was a very sad day. Then I heard about the Tesla Roadster, way out of my range, but kept interested since my customer owned number 19. I was one of the first adopters of the Aptera all electric two-seater that was supposed to be around $30K. After a couple of years, the price jumped to over $50K and things weren't looking good. I then saw the first press release about the Tesla Model S. Watched for a while, then cancelled my Aptera reservation and switched to Tesla production in November 2010, upgraded to Sig December 2011. Can't wait for delivery this October.

HH | 14. Juli 2012

Before the roadster came out I was totally excited... but didn't have the money at the time. I was investing all my time and money into my businesses and sort of lost track of what Tesla was up to. Last year we were on vacation in my hometown (Carmel, Ca which is an hour or two south of Fremont and Silicon Valley) where a big classic car show -- the concours d'elegance -- is held in pebble beach. So on Carmel's main street they do a mini concourse where they line up all kinds of sports cars, classic cars, etc. I couldn't help notice 4 or 5 roadsters parked in a row. As my wife, kids and I were standing there gawking and talking about how I always wanted one, we were approached by a woman in a Tesla shirt standing near a little table that held a bunch of Model S pamphlets. As soon as we found out it could seat 5 adults and 2 kids AND it had a 300 mile range we were completely sold. I walked home, got on the internet and put my reservation in.

Brian H | 14. Juli 2012

Slight memory recovery update: I think it was a profile/article on Martin that twigged me to Tesla. The first "hard data" I saw was something about the hookup with Lotus.

@MandL; how did you resolve the charging issue, wrt Model S? Are you in a different building now?

Leofingal | 14. Juli 2012

I was aware of the company since very early (think a friend of a friend in college told me about his uncle working for AC Propulsion in the 90s), but as a college student there was nothing conceivable about the Roadster. As time has gone by, I started paying more and more attention. When I heard about the Model S (around the reveal of the prototype), I started following it. I was concerned that the pricepoint would slip, but when JB announced the pricepoint would hold - sometime early 2011 - I finally made my deposit (P 3283).

Once I made my deposit, I've been following very closely, and impatiently.

brianman | 14. Juli 2012

Not sure when I first became aware of Tesla, but I definitely considered the Roadster. At the time, my city wasn't a "charter city" (or whatever they called it) which meant (IIRC) a $6k premium. That put it at $104K (98+6). [Tesla veterns can probably ballpark the timing from that number.]

Anyway, I couldn't justify jumping to 6 digits for a two seater no matter what it offered. At the time, and for years following, I muttered, "They really need to make the EV equivalent of a Taurus. Any every man sedan that is decent looking (not flashy), practical, and reliable. If they can do that for a sane price, they'll take off."

In late 2011, I was nudged back to Tesla with "hey they have this S thing you should check out" by a family member. It took about two weeks for me to put down a Sig deposit from that day.

brianman | 14. Juli 2012

Quick point of clarification: Bluestar aligns with my "Taurus" description, but I'm not willing to wait for it. ;)

EcLectric | 14. Juli 2012

I was led to Tesla from many directions:

I live in San Carlos Ca where Tesla was first headquartered
A friend at work lived next door to a Tesla employee and started a business relationship
Our company made their employee badges for a while
I met Martin Eberhard in the elevator there shortly before he got his roadster - he was looking forward to it as much as any of us are about Model S
I'm an electrical engineer and have always been interested in electric cars
Someone I know got me to watch "who killed the electric car"
I like to autocross, but getting the power of a Turbocharged 4-banger to the wheels - it leads you straight to an electric car! Which would you like to smell burning? The clutch or the tires?

MandL | 15. Juli 2012

@BrianH - Have a garage now, though it's going to be a tight fit for that huge car. And there is a charging station at work now too.

Ohms.Law | 15. Juli 2012

I heard about the fact that a new startup was going to build a crazy fast sports car several years ago. When I learned that this company was calling itself Tesla I knew right then and there that these people were smart, since I knew who Tesla was and his contribution to electrical induction.

BTW is it obviousl to everyone that the Tesla T is really a stator and rotor?

Etographer | 15. Juli 2012

I have been following the company since I found out about the AC150...when that was...who knows. The only way you could buy a power source was to pay 25K and to have some way of proving it was for R&D for auto development.

I searched my mailbox and this is what I came up with from 5/31/06 from Tom Gage

The website info is stillaccurate. We will be updating it soon. thanks
for your interest and support.

Tom Gage

>
> From: "Eric Olson"
> To: info@acpropulsion.com
> Subject: AC 150
> Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 01:50:32 -0700
>
> My name is Eric Olson. I am extremely interested in your AC 150 Gen
> 2. I have noticed that your website is a little out of date (Approx)
> 1 year. Is it still $25,000? Is that price going to go down anytime
> soon? How do I get involved in this. It sounds better than anything
> out there. I read about licensing, can you tell me more? You
> mentioned a discount for multiple units, what is the discount
> schedule? I live in Oregon, I would love to build an electric
> vehicle. As a small businessman, I can't help wonder what your
> company is capable of if you can get the price points down. Please let
> me know how I can get involved.
> Thanks,
>
> Eric Olson

Brian H | 16. Juli 2012

Ohms';
Duh! Now that you mention it, itz zobvious!

Larry Chanin | 16. Juli 2012

I’ve always thought that internal combustion engines weren’t a good idea and often complained that we would all have been better off if Henry Ford had decided to make an electric Model T. I have never owned a foreign car and in today’s economic climate I particularly wanted to stick with domestic manufacturers. At the time, from my then limited perspective, it seemed that my choices were limited to a Lincoln hybrid or a Chevy Volt. I liked the idea that the Volt was a pluggable and figured with my limited daily driving distances I might rarely need gasoline. When I learned that the Chevy Volt received the Car of the Year award I went ahead and ordered one. However, Florida wasn’t one of the markets where the car had been released yet so I remained on a waiting list before my order was released to the factory.

During this wait I started looking for more information and reviews of the Volt. That led me to an electric car website that listed all the variants of electric vehicles available or coming to market. That’s when I discovered that there really was a stylish yet practical American battery electric vehicle, the Tesla Model S sedan. As I weighed the pros and cons of the two vehicles it occurred to me that if I truly believed that my daily driving distances all but precluded running on gasoline on the Volt, then it would be silly to drag along an idle internal combustion engine and a tank of gas.

The more I saw photos and videos and read about the Model S, the more I fell in love with the car. A few weeks later when Tesla brought a prototype to Sarasota I went to see it and made a reservation on the spot.

Larry

BYT | 16. Juli 2012

It does feel like the Model S and the electric car is finally here and in a no compromise way. That is why I am super excited as you are Larry and glad you found Tesla. I think you are a great advocate for the EV and appreciate your efforts. :)

Brian H | 16. Juli 2012

Larry;
Henry F. made a concerted and prolonged effort to make electric the default, but lead-acid and the charging network (electric grid etc. in general) weren't up to it. So gasoline was second choice even for him.

Vawlkus | 17. Juli 2012

I don't remember when I tumbled onto Tesla either, or even when really. I think I was researching EV conversions because I was tired of gas powered cars, and just clicked a random link. I do know it was years before the Roadster made its debut though, because I remember being disapointed with the lack of press it got (I'm in Canada).

Still a little disapointed that I couldn't get hired by Tesla after I picked up my electronics ticket, but I'll settle for owning a Model S after my current vehicle (Ford Mustang GT :P)

digitaltim | 17. Juli 2012

Definitely Wired magazine for me - no clue on the year...

In 2008, I attended a Roadster test drive event in MD, but didn't follow through with an order due to the near bankruptcy of my company.

Moved on in my career, finally followed through with a Model S Sig reservation and cannot wait for the delivery!!!

Roblab | 17. Juli 2012

Was aware of EV1, owned RAV4EV, watched evolution of AC Propulsion's Tzero to lithium ion, to their eBox (Scion xB), followed about 30 electric vehicles' proceedings around the world, posted pictures every week at my office, comings and goings of Aptera, Phoenix in the US. Tesla showed business sense and promise and stayed in the game. Used Friends and Family ties to get into the SSL line the day they opened the doors for non roadster owners, over 3 years ago (March 2009). We've come a long way, baby.

Roblab | 17. Juli 2012

Was aware of EV1, owned RAV4EV, watched evolution of AC Propulsion's Tzero to lithium ion, to their eBox (Scion xB), followed about 30 electric vehicles' proceedings around the world, posted pictures every week at my office, comings and goings of Aptera, Phoenix in the US. Tesla showed business sense and promise and stayed in the game. Used Friends and Family ties to get into the SSL line the day they opened the doors for non roadster owners, over 3 years ago (March 2009). We've come a long way, baby.