My justification story for buying a Model S...

My justification story for buying a Model S...

I have been reading great deal of post here lately on justification for buying a Tesla Model S, and I thought I would share my justification story...

When I first saw a Tesla Roaster on the road, I was so envious, it was in the HOV lane blazing past me, as I sat in my gas guzzling luxury sedan in miserable gridlock traffic. After figuring out what it was, and read about it, I was astonished! Then I went to a dealer, sat in it, and quickly came to the realization it just was't practical for me (Never mind, I could hardly get out of it, as I am 6'1" tall, and nearly had to fall out of it, just to get out). Thus needless to say, when I first read about the Tesla Model S, I was extremely excited!  

I commute a long distance for my work, however, I'm a performance-car enthusiast, and don't feel comfortable driving cheap 'economical' ICE vehicles, much less anything that makes me feel like I am worth less than I have worked so long and hard to create for myself.

Call it what you want, however, I grew up my entire childhood dreaming of owning fast, technologically advanced, luxury cars (many of my toys growing up were toy exotic Matchbox, etc cars). 
Unfortunately,  I also grew up dreaming of owning a home close to the ocean, in a safe neighborhood, where most people around the country could only dream of living.

With that said, the only way for me to afford my childhood dreams was to commute 125 miles round trip, in worst traffic on the planet. I have been making the long commute for well over 3/4 of my life, and it only gets harder to deal with every year, as traffic gets worse, and gas gets more expensive. 

Thus for my needs and dreams, the Tesla Model S Performance is a Godsend of a vehical! Not only do I get to drive a semi-exotic, super fast, high-peformance, technologically advanced, luxury sport-car / sedan (that I would have only dreamed about as a child), it saves me serious money, time, and trouble with my long commuting lifestyle! Plus I get to feel and look good doing it (which no other vehicle on Earth can do currently).

It's going to be like my own version of... 'my cake, and eat it to'! | July 29, 2012

TikiMan-Seems to me that "Living the Dream" requires no justification. Good for you. Good for the environment. Good for Tesla. It's ALL good.

cablechewer | July 29, 2012

I have been having a hard time with articulating this. Among my family and close friends nobody has ever spent the equivalent of $40,000 (with HST!) on a car (scale that back to lower numbers through the years for inflation). They all shake their heads in disbelief that I have a Signature reservation.

However I have been chasing this since I first heard about the EV1. GM rebuffed my inquiries and I never saw one in person - just TV and internet information that came out of the US.

I have also been bitterly disappointed by the vehicles of the past 15 years. Until the latest generation of the Prius shipped there was nothing on the road in Canada that could consistently beat my VW Golf TDI's fuel economy without hypermiling.

I am very much an A->Ber and I have never had anything more luxurious than my old Golf. However, I like nice things. I want to lead by example and I have only been advocating greater fuel efficiency since I had to pay for my first tank of gas in my parents' car (and no - we aren't discussing what year that was :) ).

This car is everything I have been wanting (range, performance, comfort, and freedom from gas) and is gorgeous to boot. Hopefully Tesla gets the quality right! Once I start sitting the doubters around me in the car for some demo rides I want all their doubts to evaporate as they did for me when I test drove a Roadster in 2009!!

TikiMan | July 29, 2012


You are correct, there should be no justification, however, it always nice to share with others our reasoning. I am by no means wealthy enough to afford a $100k ICE car that only gets 15-20 MPG (well, not that I couldn't afford it, but it goes against my values of being a penny-wise person).

Brian H | July 30, 2012

Your opening phrase mislead me. "When I first saw a Tesla Roaster on the road" I was toast. That's what I expected! Unless it was a plump chicken?

pbrulott | July 30, 2012

@ tikiman and cablechewer

Same reasoning for me, i don't think I would have purchased any ICE above $45-50K but when I saw the specs of the S, i couldn't help jumping in the bandwagon.

I just wish Telsa fixes the small things (call it noise) around interior finition (rear lights, miror lights, stereo, front cupholders, rear cup holders, inside storage space) if even real issues. I did't drive the car yet...

MarkV | August 7, 2012

Here is my two cents worth: We (my wife and I) have always tried to purchase more efficient vehicles with a Prius being our most recent. Well before the Prius we signed up for and EV1 but like Cablechewer were rejected because of our 90 mile (round trip) commute with a 1500 ft climb in the middle. When the roadster came on the market we were very tempted but the roadster just does not fit our needs and/or lifestyle so we reluctantly deferred. Along came the Model S and we made the “leap of faith”. We committed to a vehicle more expensive than the sum of all the vehicles we have previously purchased and we did it sight unseen. Most of our friends thought (and still think) we were/are crazy. Those opinions, I am confident, are about to change. Will that make my/our friends future owners? Not very likely because our friends like ourselves are not people of means. What separates my wife and I is our ability to handle our limited monies wisely. I guess I could be called a “tight wad”, or worse, but I prefer frugal. One of the other forum threads was/is about people’s top ten reasons for purchasing a Model S. I could not stop at ten but have pared my list back down to eleven that fairly well describe our feelings toward and motivation for purchasing a truly revolutionary vehicle; the TESLA Model S:
1. Being a Leader
2. Being Independent (we will use solar power to charge the car)
3. Efficiency
4. Form following function (cup holders are secondary)
5. Elegance
6. Zero Emissions
7. Safety
8. Exhilarating acceleration (everyone must have some fun every now and then)
9. Long term economics (we will keep our car long enough to pay off the higher capital cost)
10. Pride in doing what is right regardless of cost (see 6 above)
11. Knowing that you can out run virtually all others at a light (walk softly and carry a big stick)

Brian H | August 7, 2012

You lie like a rug! Like other hairless monkeys, you mainly want special status, and admiration from your fellow primates. ;)

That makes 12.


MarkV | August 8, 2012

@Brian H Remember I pared the list back down to only 11. Reasons like "Having something in common with Jay Leno's garage (David Letterman eat your heart out)" did not make the cut. I think we are all very very proud of our choices so I guess I am "guilty as charged".

Brian H | August 8, 2012

Deny it all you want. As the Slate Priuses are for Losers article said, "I prefer not to think of myself as the sort of person who would harbor feelings of superiority on the basis of a material possession. But it is extremely hard, as drivers in their BMWs and Lexuses crane for a glimpse of my ninja-quiet ride, to keep from thinking one thing: Suckers!"



Peak Oil bruin | August 8, 2012

I'm somewhat reluctant to step up to the Tesla from the Prius, and lost much of my hubris when I traded in an S430 in 2006. However, my older daughter may soon need a car for work/school. I looked at a 2012 Prius, but I'm not a fan of the new Prius cockpit console.
My younger daughter would love for me to get an A6, but as a staunch eco-buff I'm not going the gas guzzler route ever again

jerry3 | August 8, 2012


I hear you. Each revision of the Prius seems to degrade the interior of the car. The 2004 has far worse interior materials than the 2001, and the 2010+ is gimmicky.

However, not going to the Toyota dealer is worth at least $15,000 in stress relief--maybe $20,000.

Volker.Berlin | August 8, 2012

Peak Oil bruin, tell your daughter the A6 is a boring car. It really is. In fact it is so boring that I wonder what particularly caught your daughter's attention about it. Maybe her new boy friend's dad has one, or something like that?

Don't get me wrong. It is a very solid car, spacious, comfortable, reliable and practical. But boring throughout.

MikeUpa | August 8, 2012

I am getting it for #12.

Brian H | August 8, 2012

To heighten your pleasure, make a small placard on a handle, saying, "Sucker!", and hold it up as you pass Lexi, Prii, and the like. ;)

mitrabbit | August 9, 2012

My wife educated me when we first looked at solar for our home: a matter of national security! Never mind just how great the S is as a car. It represents one small step in oil independence. I don't want young people giving their lives so I can drive a car. I want our tax dollars moved to more productive ends in place of wars.
And after driving an S I am totally in love with it. So hopefully I get to satisfy both my love of great cars and my desire to do something positive for life on this planet. It's the only home we have.

Cindy.holland | August 9, 2012

I am a real estate agent and I think this will be the perfect car for me! Before becoming an agent, I drove sporty two door cars with a clutch. Had to give all that up in order to have room for clients. Now I can have my cake and eat it too since this is a beautiful large car that drives like a sports sedan; has plenty of cargo room when I have to take staging items to my listings; has enough battery power for all of my short trips around town; plus the regen braking makes it feel somewhat like driving with a clutch. All of this and I will no longer have to buy all of that gas. I am installing solar panels on my house to go as green as possible. Can't wait!

BYT | August 9, 2012

@Cindy, and you can pull up an MLS listing on that monster 17" screen too!!

Cindy.holland | August 9, 2012

BYT - I hadn't even thought about that. My clients will be so wowed.

Bubba2000 | August 9, 2012

The Model S has impressive specs and functionality. However, this is version 1.0, so it is an early adopter product. I imagine that over time, they will add features like tracking cruise control, collision avoidance, proximity sensors to help with parking. The interior like seats, trays, cup holders, etc will be refined, since management is aware of the comments. After all, Elon drives a high end Audi and knows what a refined interior looks like. Takes resource and time.

The battery characteristics need to improve. Their hi end 85 KWhr battery pack has an initial steep decline in capacity that stabilizes. I got to have 300+ miles range because supercharging reduces capacity further. In my area there are hardly any public chargers.

For $100,000 I want a refined product with minimal practical limitations. I haver production reservation due in April 2013. Tesla had offered a Signature option recently that I declined. I want to see how the initial cars perform. I figure they will have the kinks out by then. I appreciate the early adopters for the pioneering efforts. It took conviction for the early adopters of the Roadster.

Brian H | August 10, 2012

mitrabbit | August 9, 2012
My wife educated me when we first looked at solar for our home: a matter of national security! Never mind just how great the S is as a car. It represents one small step in oil independence.

Actually, that's really no longer a concern. The GAO has concluded that recoverable light sweet (top grade) oil in the (mostly) federal Green River formation (think east slope Rocky Mountain states) is about 1½ trillion bbl, equivalent to proven reserves for the rest of the world combined. The US is a de facto Oil Empire, now!

Brian H | August 10, 2012

As for electricity production, frac gas is so cheap and plentiful that (easily built, low-cost) gas turbine generators are driving every other alternative off the market; even coal can't compete. The US domestic price is about ¼ that for the rest of the world. Steel and aluminum plants in Ohio and elsewhere are refurbishing and re-opening: it's too expensive to use foreign coal-powered (e.g.) locations.

As for "de-carbonization", don't sweat it. The actual atmosphere and world have shown zero temperature sensitivity to CO2 increases, despite all the over-cooked model predictions. In technical terms, those models show "no skill" on any time scale. Meanwhile, agriculture and forests love the stuff. Plants had eaten themselves into near-famine levels, and would prefer to get back to 1,000 to 2,000 ppm, if only it were possible.


Brian H | August 10, 2012

So your conclusion is 180° wrong. The only thing that matters is how great a car the Model S is!

Electric motors are inherently superior to ICE engines, and permit far greater control and performance, at far lower cost in far smaller space, etc., etc. Just better! The storage/recharge problems are resolving fast, and the dam is breaking on nanotech improvements, on a really significant scale.

One of the areas of said improvements is the ability to take recharge very fast without much heat or damage. By the time you replace your battery, it will no longer be an issue. And so on.

MandL | August 10, 2012

Brian H - methinks you need to turn off the Faux News for a change.

Vawlkus | August 10, 2012

Funny, I was about to tell YOU the same thing

brianman | August 10, 2012

@MandL and apparently @Vawlkus...

Your use of "Faux News" weakens your argument because you're taking using a childish tactic to bolster what is apparently a weak argument on its own merits. That said...

I'm confused. So Fox News has argued that "Electric motors are inherently superior to ICE engines"? Interesting, I didn't realize that.

Sudre_ | August 10, 2012

Hey, Brian H must be right. Look how dirt cheap gas is (sarcasm). Either way I don't care honestly. The BEV will bring competition to the gas companies forcing them to get competitive (lower gas prices) or fade away.

Mel. | August 10, 2012

Sundre, all I read was that electric motors wer superior, where are you getting gas is cheap..?this thread is about why we are buying a model s, fox news in this discussion......well you know

Mel. | August 10, 2012

Electric motors are superior. Sorry | August 10, 2012

Back on thread--

Justification!?! We don't need no stinkin justification!!!

(reference Treasure of Sierra Madre)

Tomas | August 10, 2012

You drive a tesla, because it's the right thing to do (period)
Particularly if you charge it with solar power as I do (now with the roadster) and will (with Model S next month).

Sudre_ | August 10, 2012

Sorry Brian H and everyone else. Reading to many subjects at once I guess. I am completely off with my comment.

Brian H | August 12, 2012

Actually, since you accuse me of relying on Foxnews for ideas, I should inform you that I read all of the info that goes through the worlds #1 (voted 3 yrs running) science blog,, casually known as WUWT. It's a firehose of research and comments, with a following of people so heavy with hard science and engineering degrees that I feel very under-educated reading it. I get almost none of my information from TV, and by now could probably hand most TV "analysts" aces and spaces in a discussion of the subject, and still wipe the mat with them.

It has had, mostly since 2008/9, something over 100 million page views. No other (mainly climate) science blog competes remotely. It is owned and financed by a meteorologist, from his own pocket and site donations. He has recently published a peer-reviewed study of weather station quality, and trend by station quality rating, of climate changes. The lowest quality stations report the most 'warming', the best report the least, with almost an order of magnitude difference, over all available time scales.

Brian H | August 12, 2012

typo: aces and spades

ndt | August 12, 2012

Brian -

(Way off topic and this may need to be junked or moved elsewhere)

You forget to mention that the Watts' "donations" are largely from the Heartland Institute. Watts is a crank with an axe to grind that shows in every post. He also has never taken a position that disagrees with his sponsors. Unfortunately it is pretty easy to produce propaganda that looks like science and deceive a reasonable number of people with STEM backgrounds who are operating out of their fields. Reading WUWT may feel educational but it is mental junk food. It's a thin veneer of technobabble covering what appears to be a political agenda sponsored by a few powerful interests.

Believe me when I say that I wish that Watts was correct and there was not a problem to be dealt with. I've spent the last 15 years learning indirectly about this field through my spouse who does research in the field. I have more STEM education than most people and I would say that 15 years of supplementary effort is not enough to actually reason about any modern field (my wife doesn't understand my work either). I think you have to participate on the frontier and none of us have the time to do that in more than one place.

So, I can't see Watt's portrayal of the science as being good faith. It would be nice if there was a conspiracy of dunces in academia trying to create problems where there are none in order to protect their grant money, but I see no plausible way this could be the case. I say that after 15 years of bringing various climate denier arguments to the dinner table (OK, maybe just 2 years - they repeat pretty frequently). I say this after sitting at the bar and listening to scientists talk passionately about their work and ask why they bother producing reports for policy makers that are systematically ignored. And I say that after having put in some part-time effort of my own.

Realclimate has better scientific content from people working within their field. It's not perfect, but at least the authors generally only post on subject matter they are involved with (and the contributor list is correspondingly deep). I still don't think it is something that people out of the field can reason about, but at least the contributors seem mostly honest.

I say all this realizing that this is an "us vs them" topic and I will never change your tribal affiliation. Another unfortunate fact of modern life.

On-topic: EVs and Tesla might be a small part of the solution to AGW and is way low on the bang-per-buck scale. But if you have some money to spare and want to drive a fast car, it seems more responsible than buying an M5.

If I go through with my reservation, AGW will be one reason among many. Liquid fuel scarcity and national security loom larger. I like to support technology that reduces and/or centralizes pollution. I like supporting technology and design jobs in the USA. And it sounds like fun.

EdG | August 12, 2012

I,too, do not want to extend this thread on such a contentious and undecidable issue. For what it's worth, I'm on the fence about this. But you make it sound like it's a done deal except for lunatics. I'm sorry, but there's a little more to it.

On one side, scientists who learn climate science see real change. On the other side, scientists who look at climate science fundamentals and know its limitations, I repeat: fundamental limitations, know that things can change abruptly toward global cooling. It's in the math, and this stuff is chaotic (see: at best, totally unknowable at worst.

If a flea on the beach sees the water level rising, is it a splash, the result of an earthquake depression that will permanently engulf the area, or is it just the tide coming in and out? It can take all the local measurements it wants; the flea has no way to know.

Brian H | August 12, 2012

"You forget to mention that the Watts' "donations" are largely from the Heartland Institute. Watts is a crank with an axe to grind that shows in every post. He also has never taken a position that disagrees with his sponsors."

What a load!! I know the actual details, and that's pure Horse Pucky. Anthony conceived an $80,000 project (costs, not personal billing) to establish free and user-friendly access and analysis to a public data base, legally already mandated but never implemented, which he initiated. His own time was unpaid, but a professional coder was needed to help. The other half was for dedicated servers. HI offered to consider covering some or all of the cost on a one-time basis, if it could itself attract sponsorship. In the end, after all the BS thrown about by such as yourself, only half was contributed by HI, and Anthony is still scrambling to cover the rest.

That's it. HI's only funding of WUWT or Anthony. Before or after.

As for the garbage pit RealClimate, is was founded and is richly funded by Fenton, the PR firm, for the explicit purpose of suppressing dissent. Many of its primary contributors and editors are full-time government employees, at GISS and elsewhere, doing RC work on government time. Yet its traffic is a mere tiny sliver of WUWT's, because it ruthlessly censors and abuses any who disagree with the "Consensus line". Examine the self-portraits of "denizens" of WUWT or Climate Etc., Judith Curry's blog, or Tallbloke's Talkshop (best EU science blog 2011). Many and many document how they were driven to serious doubts about the AGW consensus by the arrogant and petulant, trivial narrowness of the material and moderation at RC. It is its own worst enemy.

Here's a wee sample:
Guest post submitted by Ian Rons
Further Down the Bore-Hole*
Regular readers will doubtless be familiar, either at first- or second-hand, with the enthusiasm with which moderators at seem to reject comments from AGW sceptics. Ecotretas’ recent story on Realclimate censorship piqued my interest ...

*RC's sub-site where it dismisses, usually without notice or reason, unwelcome queries and comments.

Brian H | August 12, 2012

typo: "As for the garbage pit RealClimate, it was founded and is richly funded by Fenton,..."

Actually it is still owned by Fenton, through 'Environmental Media Services', its huge media arm. These are big boys, playing with hundreds of millions of dollars per annum, and heavily involved in political campaigning for (exclusively) leftist causes nationally and world-wide.

HI's total annual budget is ~$5 million, most of which goes on projects and activities which have nothing to do with climate. It would barely make for a rounding error on Fenton's income statements.

Mel. | August 12, 2012

EdG , I like to hear different takes on any issue. I know that I do not know the answer. .

Brian H, thanks for the info. WUWT. Is interesting.

Net. How about some facts, I thought I was leaning your way. But you are sending me the other way

Brian H | August 12, 2012

edit: Tallbloke's Talkshop (best EU science blog 2012) | August 12, 2012

Brian H - if you follow the money back through WUWT to the Heartland Institute you get to financing from contributors such as Koch Industries & Exxon-Mobil. The Heartland Institute has an interesting history also (opposing the link between smoking & cancer).

That said I am now going back to Model S obsessive waiting and hoping.

Mel. | August 12, 2012

KJR4235, sounds like you are watching a lot of tv, Any facts?.. | August 12, 2012

Not much TV. If you start with the WUWT website you don't find much (no real "about us" information). Then do a Google search on the primary blogger, Watt. Then read Wikipedia for where his seed money came from. Then Google Heartland Institute. & I stopped there.

Brian H | August 12, 2012

Wiki is edited aggressively by William Connolly on such subjects. He's a co-founder of RealClimate, the AGW whitewash site. You're just following a story line laid out carefully for you.

About WUWT, no real "About" page? Misstate mendaciously, much?
Far more thorough than most sites.

As far as the Google hits on HI, it drives leftists nuts, because despite being outspent by orders of magnitude, it still helps hold back the AGW scamsters, amongst others. Enjoy The Narrative™ you're being fed. While it lasts. The public is turning against all the deception.

Timo | August 12, 2012

If you want real science, forget blogs. Those are full of BS in both ways and biased for whatever reasons. Read the actual researches. Earth is warming up, there is no doubt about that in any paper, only thing questionable is is human contribution to that significant or not.

jbunn | August 12, 2012

+1 Timo.

Any idiot with wordpress and a 15 dollar domain can be a blog author. Go read Nature, or Sci Am for a better use of your time. Go down to Scripps in La Jolla, or talk to oyster farmers in Washington state. Marine bioliogists and commercial interests are convinced, as are 95% of the reasearchers currently working in the field. There is no"other side" of the discussion to hear from.

Brian H | August 13, 2012

Heh. Both those are now owned by Georg von Holzbrinck, a German environmental activist. Quality and standards have dropped through the floor, as has circulation.
When his tendentious political editorializing got to be too much, people who had subscribed for decades began dropping them. I'm one.

Timo | August 13, 2012

Brian H is environmental denialist and religious defender of "nothing is changing in environment" suffering from very bad confirmation bias. Any contradictory evidence is being dismissed by default and any supporting evidence is accepted without question.

No need to continue this any further, he has made his mind and there is nothing we can do about that, so please just ignore him so that we can get back to topic.

brianman | August 13, 2012

WTB on-topic.

Mel. | August 13, 2012

KJR4234 , I read the blogs, and I wish I did that before I opened my fat mouth, sorry for that, you are more knowledgable on this than I. I have a problem believing many blogs as most appear purely political. . So many of my friends blame the Koch brothers for just about everything so I jumped the gun with no research

mitrabbit | August 13, 2012

Brian H

Thanks for your good humor. I think I'll stay with my "justification". Not sure why we actually need any justifications.

Glad to hear we are an Oil Empire. One less concern for me to worry about. Must mean the gasoline producers are raking it in with such an abundant oil supply and the high cost of gasoline.

By the way, remember these are MY justifications and what matters to me. Glad you love the S. Me to.

Got another ride yesterday in the back seat-not quite as much fun as driving, but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

I was told in the next 4 or so weeks the showrooms in the SF Bay area will have test cars to drive. That's a mile from my home-I may just want another drive! or two!