Why DID you buy a Tesla?

Why DID you buy a Tesla?

It's obvious from the price of one, that saving money by not buying gasoline isn't the answer.

Was it to be first on the block?

You like the sound of an electric motor? (fyi, I like the sound of the regenerative brakes on my hybrid, so I can certainly identify with that! :) )

Was it because you like the idea of being a bit more "green" by owning an electric car?



robert | October 8, 2013

To show the stupid Swedish politicians (as opposed to Norwegian colleagues) with mouth diarrhoea and completely paraplegic when it comes to actions, that if THEY don't want anything to do with helping the planet, there are privates who do.


dramingly | October 8, 2013

More green, primarily.
Was going to wait for Cadillac ELR, but after seeing specs and pricing, it seemed totally worth the extra money to go 100% electric and have a much nicer car.

dramingly | October 8, 2013

Should amend what I said above. To be more green, but still be able to drive the family around safely and have enough performance to make it through my daily commute.

EVMD | October 8, 2013

1) Amazing car
2) Made USA
3) I believe is time to move from oil
4) I can drive as I wish with out think about gas consumption
5) Republicans/Tea Party hates it
6) I love gadgets

tomkist | October 8, 2013

Carpool sticker
enough range and space to make it to the airport to pick up relatives with 4+ suitcases

Jamon | October 8, 2013

I was sold when I realized the simplicity of the drivetrain, ease of maintenance, and efficiency of energy usage. Ability to fit 3 kids in booster seats was essential. Everything else was just gravy (beautiful styling, unbelievable performance, designed for safety, cutting edge technology, ability to skip gas stations & leave every morning with full charge, made in USA, ability to run on clean energy, HOV access, etc, etc, etc)

bryanjaf | October 8, 2013

I spent the past three years thinking about replacing my 10 year old SUV. My needs were space (two dogs, a kid on the way), 5-star safety (wife's requirement), and it needed to be luxury (I've spent a lifetime driving average cars). I'm also environmentally conscious, so my goal was to find a hybrid vehicle. After researching all the options, the only car that stood out to me was the Audi Q5 hybrid. However, the car did not have the space I wanted and the hybrid engine does not deliver all the much benefit. Otherwise I thought it was a great car and I was prepared to compromise on a few things. However, I decided to think outside the box and drove the Tesla. It delivered on really all of my needs. I would have preferred a front wheel or all wheel drive but other performance features got me past that. I'm lucky enough to be at a point in my life where I can finance a personal statement. Running the numbers (car + fuel + maintenance cost - tax credit) made me realize the excess cost of that statement was manageable. Now I wait for delivery.

J.T. | October 8, 2013

I wanted access to the private threads. Worth every penny.

TikiMan | October 8, 2013

1) I’m sick and tired of supporting a dying industry (oil) that is destroying our planet, causes global wars, extreme terrorism, and cost the US federal government billions of tax dollars (putting America further and further in debt)!

2) A few years ago at a car show, I saw a 1930 Ford Model A that got get 50 MPG, and then looked at a 2011 Mercedes Benz that only got 22 MPG (other than a few ascetics, I realized we were regressing in vehicle technology). Then I saw the concept for the Tesla Model S, and realized there was hope.

The rest is just icing on the cake! I personally would rather be a part of the solution, than continue to be a part of the problem (I sleep MUCH better at night now :-)

christurbeville | October 8, 2013

Performance, appearance, coolness, and functionality. Oh and it might be better for the planet...and +1 on first US car I'd even consider buying.

billreeves | October 8, 2013

1. Carpool lane sticker in California to make my commute slightly more tolerable.

2. Free charging at work. The car is just sitting there all day, why not fill it up while it's there?

Brit.l.T | October 8, 2013

Because I'm the worst ICE owner in the world. I hate taking it in for repairs and oil changes. I also kill batteries often because I can be gone for up to two weeks at a time (MB always failed me with the batteries).

I also hate gas stations.I can afford the gas, but in MN it can be torture to get out and stand next to your car in sleet. To never have to do that again... Well, what other reasons do you need?

It's easier to say why I shouldn't buy a Tesla (Lack of AWD and charging options as of now). My list of PROs is too long.

jcaspar1 | October 8, 2013

1: Made in the USA
2: Cool technology
3: Performance
4: Good looks
5: Unusual car
6: Liberals hate it (too expensive)

cantwaitforthefuture | October 8, 2013

Thanks everyone! that was very interesting. the ONLY comment that was out of line IMO, was the one about Republicans. (I suppose to be fair I must also mention the one about liberals hating it, but as a conservative I grinned when I saw that one. :) )

cantwaitforthefuture | October 8, 2013

Do sub-zero temperatures seriously impact the battery longevity as well as range (notwithstanding the obvious mileage-robbing impact of heating up the interior while driving in cold weather)? I'm asking more about how the batteries fare when sitting for many hours or days in below zero weather. These cars can't all be garaged during the winter, now can they?

gibbs | October 8, 2013

I have two young boys. I want them to grow up not knowing was a gas station is.

brandtlings | October 8, 2013

Yeah, republicans hate it, liberals hate it... don't you just love it!

Iconoclasts for the win!

cfOH | October 8, 2013

Here's what I posted over on G+ back in August. I still find it totally accurate.

Why Did I Buy a Tesla Model S?

I've been asked by several people why I decided to get a +Tesla Motors Model S and I noticed I was inconsistently offering up any of several different answers. So, I decided to put all my reasons into a single list.

This isn't meant to be an exhaustive list of reasons why anyone would buy a Model S, nor is it meant to be generalizable to all electric vehicles. Also, the ordering of reasons isn't necessarily based on their importance to me, as I honestly don't know which of these was most or least influential, but they all contributed to my decision.

To put it simply, the Model S is a blast to drive. The quickness (0-60 mph happens in about 4 seconds) and instant acceleration provided by the electric motor's always-ready torque makes for a somewhat surreal driving experience. The Plus suspension package makes the car handle like a much lighter, sportier car than what it actually is: a 4,700-lb fastback sedan. But, as is the case with many superlative cars, the performance is just part of the overall thrill of piloting the Model S. The airy, futuristically styled cabin, the giant, panoramic sunroof, and the huge touchscreen, among other features, combine to make it thoroughly enjoyable even when not being driven hard.

I don't have the garage space for a third "just for fun" car, so the Model S has to serve all my needs as a daily driver. My previous car, a 2005 Subaru WRX STI, was getting a bit snug in the back seat for my two growing kids, so a car with more room was needed. The Model S is quite comfortable, especially given the completely flat floor throughout the cabin. All my previous cars had manual transmissions that required the clutch pedal to be pressed all the way to the floor. As my wife is shorter than average, she wasn't able to do that, so she could never drive my car. Since the Model S has no transmission at all, my wife's able to drive it. So, for the first time in our marriage, both of us can drive both our vehicles. It's handy for when I occasionally need to borrow her SUV for hauling stuff. Every year, we drive from Cincinnati to Chicago and back since we have family there. Because of the voluminous cargo space in the Model S, we'll be able to use it to drive the 330 miles there once Tesla's Lafayette, IN Supercharger Station comes online. Given the big rear cargo area, even the dog can come. And perhaps the most practical advantage of the Model S is its expected reliability and longevity. The lower maintenance and simpler drivetrain should let me drive the car dependably every day for a long time without incurring regular maintenance hassles or major repair expenses.

As an engineer and technologist, and also as an academic researcher, I thoroughly enjoy learning about and experiencing new technologies. I am, for lack of a better term, a habitual early adopter. The Model S, with its ground-breaking battery technology, novel drivetrain, and touchscreen-based controls is as innovative as it is impressively engineered. By purchasing the Model S, I've found a reason to learn more about power and electrical engineering concepts, energy conservation techniques, robotics-based manufacturing, and a host of other high-tech topics. The opportunities for innovation within an EV platform are vast compared to the relatively well-researched parameters available to those engineering internal-combustion engine cars.

In a perfect world, transportation, like all aspects of life, would be powered completely by clean, safe, renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. As such, the vast majority of transportation options consume vast quantities of fossil fuels. The two most common for personal transportation are, of course, gasoline and diesel -- two energy sources that contribute to pollution, climate change, and environmental destruction through the dirty process of exploring for, extracting, refining, and transporting petroleum. All the cleanest forms of energy -- hydro, solar, and wind -- generate electricity, so an electric car is going to be better for the environment than any car that burns gasoline or diesel. And, unlike a petro-powered car, as the electrical grid gets cleaner, so does every EV that relies on it. As a result, driving a car that contributes far less to pollution and carbon emissions feels good. But, more generally, I want to support Elon Musk's vision of a world reliant primarily, if not exclusively, on sustainable energy sources. That seems to make a lot of sense. Besides, petroleum is really useful for lots of non-fuel uses. It seems like a good idea to avoid arriving at the point where we have to decide between either making something out of plastic or burning petroleum for transportation because our oil supply won't permit us to do both. A final aspect of electric cars that makes them socially responsible is their relative silence. Traffic noise is undesirable -- just look at how much less valuable homes are right next to busy streets or highways than are those a few blocks away -- and quieter vehicles make for more livable communities.

Ultimately, the Tesla Model S is fun, practical, interesting, and environmentally responsible. Is it the best electric car available? For my needs and priorities, yes, but the answer may be different for other people. I truly hope that the success of the Model S motivates other car companies to invest significantly into developing better electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, like BMW is doing with its i3 and i8 cars. In the end, consumers win when we are given choices. When those choices also create positive social benefits, everyone is better off. And that's a revolution I can wholeheartedly support.

cantwaitforthefuture | October 8, 2013

cfoh, thanks for that post! As a hybrid owner that frequents the appropriate forum, I see the same sort of enthusiasm over hybrid technology. With Tesla being fully electric, of course, the enthusiasm level is much greater, but the idea is much the same. I'm fairly certain I'll never be purchasing a gas-only vehicle in the future.

I'm afraid to drive a Tesla, as I'd be hooked for sure, and I don't want to deplete my 401 to the extent it would take to buy one. I like paying cash for things, even if interest rates are reasonable. It was nice to drive our Hyrid off the lot, having paid for it from the checking account. I can't swing that with a Tesla, darn it!

blue_tesla | October 8, 2013
Code4Ever | October 8, 2013

1. Made in USA
2. I don't have to give money to people that want to blow us up. I know that will sound harsh
3. Safety for Family
4. Super interested in writing apps for the car
5. Storage
7. Time savings
8. Don't have to repair the car as much
9. Customer Service of Tesla is awesome

kk7p | October 8, 2013

Automobile manufacturers appear to view electric cars as a propulsion option, or a product, or a political need to be filled.

Tesla is not making electric cars; they are striving to create a sustainable personable transportation system that addresses the needs of the individual: a safe, well performing vehicle; accessible infrastructure (charging stations); and time (range, SuperCharger and battery swap technologies).

The result?

I find myself spending an outrageous amount of money I do not have, to purchase an automobile I do not need, to support a vision I believe in.

cantwaitforthefuture | October 8, 2013

Code4Ever, re item #8. You must not be referring to Toyotas, as my first Sienna, MADE IN INDIANA, had just two MINOR repairs (rear side window curtain retractor stuck, and passenger door lock actuator failed) in 8 years, my second and current Sienna (2007)has only needed one repair (w/s washer motor, which I replaced), and my year old Camry Hybrid has had no repairs. That's a total of 15 years of Toyota ownership with just a couple hundred dollars of repairs. I don't think vehicles can get much more reliable than that. Contrast those comments with my problems with my first new car--a Chevy Malibu, which had so many problems (as did my Olds 88) that I won't bother to list them all. So, "as much" needs to be referenced to some other vehicle brand or model in particular. :)

cantwaitforthefuture | October 8, 2013

kk, if you don't really have the money, just how did you obtain your Tesla, pray tell? Rob a bank? Use your good looks?

tes-s | October 8, 2013

electric with range

eking | October 8, 2013

Great question. Well, I am a bit of a car snob, sadly. I say "sadly" b/c we all know that cars have never been an investment. They depreciate immediately after buying. But I love nice cars. My last car was a Range Rover and it was lovely but it started to really bother me that I was polluting the air with filthy emissions. My husband owns a renewable energy company and I believe very strongly in alternative energy. So I felt like a huge hypocrite driving a big truck-SUV but considering myself an advocate for green energy. I have a wind turbine sticker on the back of my car. It was hilarious (in an ironic way)getting into my SUV every day with a wind turbine on the back windshield. My conundrum was that I didn't like the hybrid cars that were out there and truthfully I wanted something that felt sophisticated and beautiful, not "practical".--Did I mention that I love cars? ;)) This Spring I found out about the Tesla doing research on something totally unrelated to cars. I saw my first one in July, fell completely in love. By August I had convinced my DH that I "needed" to get one, and the rest is history. I love the car. It is the most beautiful car I have ever owned and I never want to give it up. Plus, now my wind turbine sticker doesn't look out of place on the back windshield of my Zero Emissions EV. :)

LuvTesla | October 8, 2013

Actually, against its against what you thought was obvious.
My primary motivator was not having to go to the pump again. I work in SolarCity and our charging is free. If this was an equivalent priced gas car, i wouldn't be able to afford it. So i guess its the best i can buy with my budget in the long run.

rick | October 8, 2013

Quite honestly, I am a Republican (a very BIG one) and I love the car. I have wanted one for the longest time. I love the looks on peoples faces when they find out the car uses NO gas. But when I took a test drive in Denver and came back to the garage and figured out what the car could do for me that the little blue pill could not, I purchased one on the spot. Maxed out P85, no options not purchased.

jeffsstuff | October 8, 2013

@EVMD - you stole my list!

ecarfan | October 8, 2013

EMVD posted, in part:
1) Amazing car
2) Made USA
3) I believe is time to move from oil
4) I can drive as I wish with out think about gas consumption

+1 to those, and also:

5) it's clearly the future of personal transportation
6) the "tank" is always full in the morning
7) the Supercharger network means long distance all electric driving is easy
8) when I install PV panels on my roof charging at home costs me almost nothing
9) the touchscreen interface is f$&@#ing brilliant
10) the aesthetics are stunning

I could go on....

AirForce462 | October 8, 2013

Now now, lets not spread broad generalizations. I am a conservative, a Veteran, a MS owner, and I am African American. I cringed with the liberals when Romney spoke ill of Tesla during the Campaign, I was a Tesla employee at the Fremont factory and he compared us to Solyndra. I bought mine because of the pride I felt in having a hand in building the batteries for the vehicle and my work building the Superchargers. It was also a financial decision, I replaced a diesel truck, my BMW motorcycle, and a trailer; now I spend less each month (cumulative fuel and payments) for the best vehicle I have ever owned (MS85 Loaded).

After all we should be able to cross party lines for this historical vehicle. I will not cast dispersions or call out any hypocrisy, this time ;)

skymaster | October 8, 2013

I bought two Model S's simply because... Tesla somehow let me test drive one. Once you drive a Model S, you are hooked!

Leeo | October 8, 2013

I drive a 2013 Volt. This is the next logical step. Everything EMVD said. I always try to support this country by buying Made in the USA. Tesla is the most USA made car. And it is powered by electricity that is generated in the USA. Why give a foreign country our money to drive a car? My MS hasn't gone into production yet. Confirmed on 9/2 (chicago area). Can't wait!!

Captain_Zap | October 8, 2013

Congrats mrrjm!

MS-P519-OH | October 8, 2013

This is my first comment and I have been here every day listening. A lot of people just like to here them self talk and have nothing to say. There are lot of serious people out there that know what they are talking about. Well, for me I had been following Tesla from the roadster days back in Dec 2007

"Thank you for your interest in Tesla Motors. We have received your request to join the mailing list for the monthly Tesla Motors newsletter. Please click on the URL below (or cut and paste it into your browser) in order to confirm your request. Your request will not be processed until you have confirmed."

I was almost ready to commit but never sent in my money. Talk of the Model S a ground up design was what I wanted to commit too. On 3-27-09 I got this eMail

"Model S is here! Just moments ago, we took the wraps off the Model S, an all electric family sedan that carries seven people and travels 300 miles per charge. We also launched a web site and began taking orders for this historic vehicle, which will likely be world's first mass-produced, highway-capable EV."

When the Model S reservation website came up I was ready. Two weeks after I got this eMail I committed. I was 319th reservation to get submitted. Now for me I am just a very hard working average man and I did it for the point of it. Someone has to get the ball rolling and support things that you believe in. Yes, I could buy a lot of gas and not even come close to the price I paid for my Model S but I did it! I hear a lot about people "I have a M5 or other high price cars" and I did not even know what they were. There is a lot of money out there and a lot of you boys with a lot of high price toys but that is not me! I have been very "GREEN" before there was even a term for it from way back in the 70's.
I had no idea how I was going to pay for it but it was going to happen. So from that day I said Yes I started saving and saving hard. I worked side jobs and saved every penny. For me it was good that it took four years to get it rolled out and I paid cash for my Model S. But again I do not talk but work hard for what I believe in and I drive my Model S as the proof.

I live in Northern Ohio and when my Model S arrived the news paper came down and did a story on me and my Model S. I was also called by a local radio station that asked me if I could come in for an interview which I did and I also had to take everyone for a ride. There was one guy that was going to a doctor appointment and was listening to the radio station and came just to see the Tesla and he got a ride also.

So anyway you guys lighten up on me since I am your elder and some respect should be there.


rfriess | October 8, 2013

My MC Red is about 2 months old and I love the car. It is certainly the best car that I have ever had.

But there may be a problem.

I'm a Republican.
I watch some Fox News
I know some folks that are members of the TeaParty and they seem like pretty nice people.

Does all that mean that I have to give back my Tesla?

jcaspar1 | October 8, 2013

I guess I should have been more specific on my answer. First off, it is an American made car by an American company. Most important.

The other is, I have a 1997 Dodge Viper, which I absolutely love. Better looking than the Tesla, faster and more exotic. I also have a 93 Chevy K2500 pickup which I have had since new and is absolutely reliable but suffering the ravages of 20 years parked in the Northern California sun. Neither of the cars can I take out another couple in to a nice dinner or take my two daughters out for joy ride. Both I am slightly embarrassed to be seen driving by my patients. I am also 13 years older then when I bought my Viper and probably looking for a more practical car now that I am nearly 50. There are a lot more exotic and faster cars for the price but it meets all my criteria that I wanted: American car (would break this rule for a ferrari or lambo), somewhat exotic, somewhat luxurious, great performance and seats 5. I don't think there was another option for me....

Kaboom | October 8, 2013

This vehicle just seems to give you the best of all worlds( except the price ;)

- outstanding performance
- NO fuel
- Green
- Incredible amounts of storage space, in fact more than my current compact SUV
- Utilitarian
- Self improving
- Government give us here $9500 total rebate
- Sports car performance
- Aestetics

Oh yeah, and I dont contribute to the monthly flow of billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations, who still opress 50% of their own population (women). If the US didnt rely so much on their oil, sanctions would have been in place long ago, but they have to play along and then watch those oil barons buy up ownership into tons of american companies with that money.

jbunn | October 8, 2013

Too cheap to buy gas for the next 10 years, I support American cars, and I've always wanted to live in the future. Just not happy to get there at the speed of one second per second.

cfOH | October 8, 2013

I'm just happy to see conservatives and progressives here agreeing on something. ;-D If only we could do that more often.

cb9 | October 8, 2013

DGR you got me all misty-eyed! Congratulations on following your ideals!

As for me, it was time for me to get rid of the lemon 530 and I couldn't see spending 70k on a car I didn't love. Drove the MS, fell in love with the car and the company, didn't care what it cost, couldn't resist driving the funnest, fastest, safest, most inspiring piece of history this millennium has seen.

Ralph_G | October 8, 2013

1) I hate oil companies
2) I hate gas stations
3) I hate oil companies
4) I hate gas stations (other than to wash my car)
5) I hate oil companies
6) Did I mention I hate gas stations?
7) Elon Musk
8) I hate gas stations
9) The car is wicked
10) I hate oil companies

Seriously, Tesla cars have drive between 80-100 million miles, taking an average of 25 mpg (I'm being generous) and using 90 million miles that's 3.6 million gallons of gas not burnt and polluting our planet. Has anybody noticed how much heat an IceAge vehicle generates? Tell me that's not a problem for global warming with the countless number of vehicles operating every day on the planet. No heat from my MS.

Hmmmm, I wonder if the oil companies are a little concerned that the EV revolution might have an impact on their bottom line, $15-16 million of potential lost revenue in one year and it's just starting. Of course, that's just fuel, there's also a substantial lose from impulse buying at gas stations, drinks, candy etc. Did I mention that I hate oil companies? Have a Tesla day.

Jesse K | October 8, 2013

Loved the idea of 100% electric. Consumer reports said it was the best car they ever tested. I test drove one and thought to myself "That is probably the best car I ever tested." 5 Minutes later I was a reservation holder because I like to spend my money on the best...

Jdpilot | October 8, 2013

For my grand kids.
My small way of making the world a better place for them and I get a really cool car.

reitmanr | October 8, 2013

Pretty much all of the above, and I wanted to be part of an effort that might help stop us sending young men and women to far away countries, getting their heads blown off because of our need for oil. Thanks Elon and your amazing team! And thanks to all of you making a difference and having a great ride to boot!

Dramsey | October 8, 2013

Driving dynamics. I like performance cars, and am a retired computer programmer, so it appeals to both the computer and car geeks in me.

Plus, I can sneer at my liberal friends who own Priuses. "A Prius is OK", I'll sniff, "if you're willing to compromise."

(My "AGW is BS" license plate frame has not arrived yet, dammit.)

Brian H | October 8, 2013

The only people who get called "privates" are the lowest ranked members of the military. Otherwise, the word refers only to genitals. ;P

Private citizens is likely what you meant.

inverts | October 8, 2013

1) >100 mi/gal.
2) can do 150 mile commute on one fill.
3) cargo space at least as big as regular Prius.

Well, currently there is only one car that fits those parameters: the MS.

Fortunately don't have to worry about price sticker. So got MS85/19 with most options. Don't need acceleration so no P/P+.
4) tech geek supports other tech geeks.

The fact that the front end is built for safety with no compromises due to ICE was a good selling point, way before the 5* rating came out.

models60 | October 8, 2013

Simple stated, the best car on the market today and nothing even comes close it.

On more details notes:

1) Driving experience, what an amazing car!
2) Awesome buying and service experience. Was sick of the car dealers.
3) Elon & Tesla's vision, totally bought into it.
4) Green, Carpool privilege (till 2019 in CA now) and no more trips to gas stations.
5) Made in USA & specially Fremont
6) Superchargers and free road-trips :-)

For the same reasons, Model X reservation holder too.

GeirT | October 9, 2013

1) Design
2) Technology
3) Mileage