Relatives who refuse to even sit in my Model S

Relatives who refuse to even sit in my Model S

Okay, this is hardly urgent but has been bugging me for the 2+ years I've had my Model S. My sister and brother-in-law refuse to even sit in my car - far less let me take them for a ride. When I first got the car, I tried to show them about it but they refused. Then I had a possible medical emergency and needed someone to drive my car from the doctor's office to my home. They still refused. So I got Tesla friends and neighbors to help out. But I wanted my sister to drive my car while I was a passenger because I didn't want her to panic if she had to suddenly drive it by herself ... because, think about it do you turn on a Tesla if someone hasn't already told/shown you? How do you turn off a Tesla? Isn't the regenerative braking a funny (even scary) feeling the first time you experience it?

At this point, I don't want them to drive my car but I just think it's so silly that they are still being so obstinate. Whenever we have get-togethers, they insist on coming to pick me up in their ICE - rather than us meeting somewhere ... or heaven forbid, letting me actually drive them somewhere! Has anyone else experienced this? If you were successful in getting an ICE owner to accept your car, how did you do it? It's not something I lose any sleep over but it just has me puzzled. Some people resist change. I get that. But to be so negative about it ... I just don't understand.

SamO | 02/06/2018

Start asking questions . . . don't try and force them.

1. What have you heard about Tesla? This question will elicit the fear, uncertainty and doubt they've been programmed with. Then slowly deconstruct the lies. Have some links to familiar news sources. Sounds like they'd trust Fox/Sinclair/Koch news networks, but you can find reputable sources.

2. What's your biggest fear about electric cars? This makes them defensive about being "fearful" which helps move them toward proving their bravery. Don't defend EV's generally . . . this is a waste of time because there are many limited-use EVs being passed off as replacements for ICE.

3. Talk up the non-green benefits of EVs. It's really cheap to fill up. $5 where I live, at night. Or $10 for one of the 10,000 Supercharger stalls, worldwide, to fast-charge. How long? About 30 minutes every 3-4 hours, on long trips. But you are "full" when I leave the house every day. Takes as long as plugging in your phone.

4. Show them the app. Everyone "connects" with their phone and it is a familiar touchpoint that allows us to warm up the car, unlock or charge,

5. Stay positive.

NoMoPetrol | 02/06/2018

@SamO +1

Also, politely decline to be picked up by them and insist that you prefer to transport yourself in the comfort of your own car.

BTW, you don't have a history of really bad driving habits that could be influencing their reluctance to hop in your car, do you?

lilbean | 02/06/2018

My dad refuses also. My brother did too but he got over it. People are just weird.

bchoward123 | 02/06/2018

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback. I've tried all the selling/education suggestions. I am a senior with no accidents or tickets. I think my relatives may see me as a "rebel" for getting a Prius and then a plugin hybrid (Ford Fusion) before the Tesla. It probably doesn't help that we are on opposite sides of the political equation, but they are good people who would (and have) come to my assistance when needed. I think lilbean's last sentence says it best.

MitchP85D | 02/06/2018

Tell them a right-wing radical like me owns a Tesla!

I never have experienced anything like what you have bchoward123. All of my friends and family love my Model-S. However, a couple of my conservative motorcycle-ridin' friends have expressed their disdain over the favorable tax treatment BEVs get. That is the only opposition I've ever encountered here in Texas. They told me that I'm enabling the greenie-weenie movement by buying a Tesla. I replied that Tesla is a GREAT car, and if I could get a $7500 tax credit during the Obama era, then so much the better!

MitchP85D | 02/06/2018

By the bchoward123, I call lilbean "The Kick-Ass Gal!"

David N | 02/06/2018

Oh my. I’m curious, what’s their reasoning for not even seating in it or going for a ride in it?
I would think most would jump at the chance, just for curiosity.
Do they feel the same way toward a Leaf or a Prius?

Earl and Nagin ... | 02/06/2018

The $7500 tax credit was put in place by President George W Bush -- a Texan.

Earl and Nagin ... | 02/06/2018

The $7500 tax credit was put in place by President George W Bush -- a Texan.

SamO | 02/06/2018

Don't bother Mitch with pesky things like facts. Welfare queen faux-libertarians love to "get one over on the government" and their fellow citizens.


I'm curious also. What reasons have they given for NOT wanting to ride? Fiery death-wagon. . . destroyer of Detroit . . .Elon admitted he was an alien?

sosmerc | 02/06/2018

Hey, different strokes for different folks.....they just don't get it.

Mike83 | 02/06/2018

Some people like having fun, while others......

bchoward123 | 02/06/2018

David N, they won't even give me a reason. They just say "Not interested." And yes, I think I would get the same response if I had a Leaf. My brother-in-law hated my Prius.

joemar10 | 02/06/2018

Don't bother. In ten years, when you can't buy an ICE vehicle, they'll come around.

Earl and Nagin ... | 02/06/2018

You could always challenge them to meet you at the track for a couple of laps or a drag race instead of offering them a ride.
A good friend of mine came from a very conservative family. She had $100K down on a Signature 100 Roadster for over 2 years. Every year, her uncle would ask her if she'd lost her money yet. Then, in 2008, she got her car right before Thanksgiving. She met her cousin at a light on her way to the family dinner. He was in his Porsche, she in her roadster. It was all over in 3.9 seconds. There was a different topic of discussion at the table that day!
Have faith, your vindication will happen, its only a matter of time.
Focus. This is a Tesla Forum. He's on our side and needs the best ammunition we can give him to work with those with whom he hangs out.

JayInJapan | 02/06/2018

I’ve never heard of anyone refusing to ride in a Tesla. Everyone I know wants to ride in mine.

Perhaps you should start with finding out what their issues are. If you can’t find out, don’t worry about it. @lilbean already covered that part.

ragtopday | 02/06/2018

Sorry but I have no idea, but your relatives remind me of a Steppenwolf song from the 1960s

"Tighten Up Your Wig"

Your mind is too narrow, and it's no surprise
If you fell on a pin, well, you'd be blind in both eyes

I have owned a Volt and now I own a Honda Clarity (by the way the Honda is rated at 47 pure electric miles but I normally get between 58 and 62 miles on a single charge ) and all my friends have been excited to drive them'

Is it a jealousy issue, fear of electricity, or are they just irrationally obstinate. Without know the reason for their behavior it is impossibly to figure what their reason is.

If I were in the same situation I would decide how important it is to maintain a relationship with them. I have some relatives I haven't talked to in years. if they can't provide a reason for their actions I Would not bother with them because your can't have a discussion or debate with irrational people.

A few years ago I drove to Atlanta from S Carolina which is a few hours round trip just to take a test drive. I fell in love with the model S which was the only model available at the time. I instantly fell in love with the "S" but there are a few reasons why I can't own one right now. By the way I have driven over 1,000 in my Honda in the past 3 weeks and haven't used a drop of gas. The fact that a Tesla isn't a good choice for me right now does not make me jealous of Tesla owners. The fact is I admire their good taste in cars

Now on a slightly off topic, a lot of people mention the Leaf as an alternate choice. As far as I am concerned the Leaf is the worst electric car ever made because Nissan never addressed the problem of batteries degrading due to the fact that it was designed without a means of controlling battery temperature . From what I understand the Leaf now uses the cool air in the cabin (If you have the A/C turned on) but that does not help if your Leaf is parked and plugged in and you are in AZ where the temps are in the triple digits in the summer

MitchP85D | 02/06/2018

Earl and Nagin, looks like the tax credit will soon be phased out. You are correct about Bush signing it into law. Remember, he had a democrat Congress back then. Obama wanted to push it to 10K.

ragtopday | 02/06/2018

One of the comments made on this topic reminded me of something. My mother was in a care facility with old timers (Alzheimer's) is S Carolina. He drove his mother from Connecticut ti SC so that his mother could visit her sister. Prior to this visit I gave him directions to my house and he happened to mention (It sounded a bit like bragging) about the great milage his Prius got. He didm't know I had a Volt at the time. All three of us rode in the Volt to visit my mother, on the way I mentioned that the Volt was able to make the round trip without using any gas at all. I guess with all the bragging about the Prius (plug in Prius's were not available at that time) getting great milage (40? 50? MPG) he was not interested in hearing about a car that didn't use any gas. When I offered to let him drive the Volt he refused. The only reason I could think of is jealously because he already owned a non plug in electric hybrid so it could not have anything to do with electric vehicles in general what other reason could he possibly have for refusing to drive the Volt? I don't buy things to impress other people but maybe he felt that he was in some kind of competition as to who had a better car, what other reason could there be for him being so strongly against driving my car? My mother died shortly after that visit and I haven't spoken with him since then. Relative or not I refuse to associate with petty jealous people

jerrykham | 03/06/2018

I find the concept of people being either afraid to go for a ride in a Tesla or being somehow "against" EVs in general as really odd. Everyone in my family has wanted a ride. All of them loved it, especially the instant acceleration. All of my friends at work wanted to ride in it, and I even let one of them drive it. No negative reactions at all. It was more excitement than anything else. BTW, I work for a large oil company - so if there was going to be resentment it should have been there at work. But none at all. Maybe the difference is that I live in the SF Bay Area of CA?

David N | 03/06/2018

Do your relatives ever play golf? If so, do they use a cart?
Tell um your Tesla is just a glorified golf cart.

Tesla2018 | 03/06/2018

I can see where people might feel uncomfortable driving other peoples cars, but not with going for a ride in it. My friend kept his Ferrari in my garage for a month until he got a place to store it and I wasnt used to paddle shifters and I didnt want to risk hitting something if I had to back it out of the garage. My uncle got a new Jaguar Convertible in the 1970's and I refused to drive it since at the time I was 18 and couldnt afford to fix it if I crashed it. If someone gets a new car, you dont want to risk wrecking it on them the first month they have it.

My brother had a Chevy pick up that had a lift kit and giant tires. My mom refused to ride in it since it eas too hard for her to get in and out of. I always had 2 door sports cars and l hated the way the truck handled and steered with the big tires. Mu other brother had a FordExplorer when they first came out and everyone refused to ride in it since the suspension wasnt like a cars and it felt more like a U haul truck. My mom used to go in my MG when she was young, but hated my Lotus and my brothers Corvette since she had trouble getting out of them when she was older.His wife refuses to drive with him on the highway since she says its too scary. I refuse to go for rides on motorcycles since I am afraid of falling off.
Maybe the OPs relatives have seen videos of people being taken for test drives when Ludicrous mode has been engaged and are afraid..

Tropopause | 03/06/2018

Assuming OP and relatives live in the USA, ask them if they prefer supporting American companies and their products? Do they prefer buying foreign oil, sending our US dollars to those who, in-turn, do harm to our country and citizens?

The ultimate red-blooded American should not support foreign-made goods OR goods from foreign companies. Tell them your Tesla is a US company, made in a US factory and uses 100% electricity (fuel) made in the USA.

If they can't match this standard, accuse them of being terrorist supporters. ;)

Orthopod | 03/06/2018

It's the David Letterman electrocution scenario that provoked that

johnyi | 03/06/2018

Maybe it's like the Detroit fanbois who refuse to step foot into an Asian or Euro brand car? Maybe it's some sense of you being a traitor for not buying whatever the rest of the family owns. Heck I've even seen this with Ford vs. Chevy!

Tesla2018 | 03/06/2018

I once met a guy who was a WW2 Veteran and he HATED Japanese car makers since the Japanese army killed a lot of his friends. A lot of Holocaust survivors dont buy BMWs since the descendants of Goebels are the main shareholders.

finman100 | 04/06/2018

Leaf Version 2.0 still just a box o batteries. NO cooling whatsoever. just saying.

People will be weird for no reason at all, so don't sweat it. if you enjoy the car, that's what really matters. Do your family members rely on income from one of the MANY disrupted industries that Tesla is affecting?

And I would bet all the FUD put out there does affect a portion of the population that will believe anything.

Rocky_H | 04/06/2018

@bchoward123, I don’t see any indication in your original message about WHY they don’t want to ride in it.

Most of the people I know don’t drive very nice cars—usually older and used—so sometimes there is this fear that they will break or mess something up on my “expensive car”. But it doesn’t sound like that is what you are dealing with.

I do wonder if they have heard the fear mongering about how they spontaneously explode because of those “dangerous” batteries, so some irrational fear for their lives?

Or it could be the political thing, where they think any kind of environmental concern with hybrid or electric cars is some kind of disgusting evil. (The hatred and insults for lower energy light bulbs here in my state was astounding.)

@Tropopause, +1 Yeah, my father-in-law who worked for Ford for 30 years got some grief buying his Prius, but he kept saying if he could use less gasoline, that’s less bullets for people trying to kill us.

So hard to say how to respond unless you have some idea what their resistance is about.

SamO | 04/06/2018

1. Get new family or

2. Find a Tesla club to join in your neighborhood and you'll have car shows where people can come, sit and ride in your car and to share your unbridled enthusiasm with and for all things Tesla.


SO | 04/06/2018

@MitchP85D - Bush still could have vetoed it.

SO | 04/06/2018

I haven’t had anyone refuse but I do have one uncle who thought I was nuts for buying it and just wrinkled up his nose when he first saw my MS. But when gas went over $3 per gallon, he started singing a different tune.

ragtopday | 04/06/2018

@ finman100

I may be mistaken but I thing that the new version of the Leaf does cool the battery, but the method used is ridiculous. When you are driving with the AC on the Leaf uses the cool air in the cabin and diverts some of it to the battery. It doesn't do the battery much good if you at work and have your car sitting in a hot parking lot for 8 hours.

jerrykham | 04/06/2018

@Rocky_H - from what I recall (and still go through with my Mom who hoards incandescent lights) the hatred for the original CFL bulbs stemmed from four things in descending order of importance - they were 15 times more expensive than incandescent, they claimed to last 15 years but usually lasted 1 to 3, they had awful harsh light, and they were ugly shapes especially in nice fixtures. Oh, and most didn't work with dimmers. Now they have the LEDs that fixed the harsh light, the dimmer issue, and the price has come down to where they are only about 5 times more expensive. They aren't as ugly either. So most of the hate (except from my Mom!) has died down. They still don't last as long as they claim though.

Sam_S | 04/06/2018

Bet they voted for Trump. Amiright?

Rocky_H | 04/06/2018

@jerrykham, Hmm, some real criticism there. I thought the light was fine. They did not last as long as I was expecting, and I was little miffed about that. Heh, I don't remember if the CFL ones flickered, but the LED ones still flicker badly for intermittent periods of time in my dimmer sockets.

MitchP85D | 05/06/2018

Hey SOSO, most conservatives are supportive of any kind of a tax cut. But we generally favor the ones that are across the board for everybody. Not the kind that requires a certain type of "behavior" to "qualify" for a tax cut like you liberals prefer. I'm sure the $7500 tax credit that Bush signed into law was attached to an appropriations bill that funded a whole bunch of other stuff in government.

finman100 | 05/06/2018

the shrub...not the worst president ever, now. yay!??

Yodrak. | 05/06/2018

" I'm sure the $7500 tax credit that Bush signed into law was attached to an appropriations bill that funded a whole bunch of other stuff in government."


The tax credit for EVs was part of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, which also extended existing tax credits for renewable energy initiatives, including cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel development, and wind, solar, geothermal and hydro-electric power.

The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 was one of three parts of Public Law 110-343. The other two parts were:
- The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, aka the bank bailout.
- Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008, which provided various tax breaks and credits to businesses and the middle class.

SO | 05/06/2018

@MitchP85D ah.... gotta love the excuses.

@Yodrak - thanks for the info!

Mel. | 05/06/2018

Yodrak +1
This was the only good thing that Bush did as President

ron.feliciano | 06/06/2018

You haven't mentioned exactly what reason they're saying they don't want to sit in your car.

carlgo2 | 06/06/2018

Simply divorce bad-weird people, including actual family members. They just suck the life out of you, which is how they control others and get their way. Think about those you know who are nuts and think about how they manipulate others. My wife turned me on to this as she divorced most of her nasty wing nut family. Why spend your time with those who do not actually like you unless you bend to their way of thinking? In any case, I see this as a controlling thing, an attempt to make you believe what they believe. There is comfort in that for them.

sp_tesla | 06/06/2018

carlgo2 | June 6, 2018
" In any case, I see this as a controlling thing, an attempt to make you believe what they believe. There is comfort in that for them."

Is @ Carlk one of those relatives?

Xerogas | 06/06/2018

@ron.feliciano: "You haven't mentioned exactly what reason they're saying they don't want to sit in your car."
That was OP’s point: they wouldn’t say why, and just shrugged and said “not interested”. In family dynamics, this is classic “stonewalling”, and usually represents a lot of unexpressed anger. When the person doesn’t give a reason, their brain is going a mile a minute with a inner monologue about some big issue, but they’re afraid to say it out loud. This behavior leads to many breakups.

vp09 | 06/06/2018

Maybe they are like my friend Roy. The wife and I drove from L.A. to Dallas in July 2016 in our new S90D without buying any gasoline. I was bragging on and on about Tesla but Roy claimed that it was all because taxpayers supported Tesla, on and on about government welfare. So your family might be coming from that (mis)direction.

johnyi | 06/06/2018

I hear that from some conservative coworkers. That either Elon or Tesla in general is a leach existing on taxpayer handouts. But I never get the details, just the emotion, they get so worked up about it. I’m sure talk radio / TV is the source. “Don’t get me started” is all they say. Though they probably can’t point to what handouts he gets.

Kind of like my 90 year old mom, who fell for the “crooked Hillary” thing. But she can’t remember exactly what it was Hillary did wrong. And now regrets voting for Trump.

vp09 | 06/06/2018

Right johnyi. I would have hit Roy with the government welfare the gasoline delivery infrastructure receives in the form of U.S. Military presence in the MIddle East, but he served as a combat Navy pilot, so I let it go.