The Tesla Psychosis

The Tesla Psychosis

My MS is ordered, due for European delivery in September. On the face of it, now it’s just a matter of waiting. But there’s something weird going on here. I’m addicted to reading everything I can find on the MS. I’ve already had enough solar panels put on the house roof to offset my entire annual driving. I’m busy getting a charge point installed. My wife’s expecting to find me checking out carpet and curtains for the garage. I got into my trusty Jag XKR this morning, started it and thought how primitive it felt. (I mean, who “starts” a car any more?). Late at night I close my eyes and head off into Teslaland. And, to be honest, this is all based on an all-too-short morning driving a friend’s MS a few months ago.

Frankly it must be some kind of madness, I must be going crazy. After all it’s just a car, damn it. It’s just a method of traveling from A-B. So how on earth can I possibly be enslaved to the idea of a mere product? Am I a victim of brilliant marketing or is it something more?

On the other hand… I love the idea of being off the grid, driving on sunlight. And then there’s that ride, that’s stayed with me all these months. And there’s the quiet. And the acceleration. And the idea that this is how a car really SHOULD be… I guess I'm buying more than a car here, I'm buying into an entire philosophy.

But something else struck me after I ordered my MS: one of my kids died a few years ago and life has been nothing but grim since. Losing her took all of joy out of living, all the colour out of life. Ordering the MS has woken in me a sense of excitement that I’d forgotten existed. So I’m indulging my obsession. I’m allowing myself to read every word written here and head off to Teslaland at night. It may be some kind of psychosis, but my view is BRING IT ON.

And keep writing the interesting stuff, guys.

GeekEV | 21 mai 2013

Yep, that's about right. We all have it... And it doesn't stop after getting the car either.

shs | 21 mai 2013

GeekEV, You are certainly right about that. I think both my wife and I thought that I would spend less time on the forums and obsessing about Tesla after we got the car, but no, doesn't work that way it seems. One you really start driving one it is almost impossible to not become an evangelist and even more obsessed.

Captain_Zap | 21 mai 2013

I'm getting misty.

It is nice to have something to look forward to again.

May there be many Tesla grins on your horizon.

MarkV | 21 mai 2013


Not to worry, you are in the same boat as nearly everyone on this forum. Everything TESLA surely is an addiction and 10,000 miles later the "fever" is as intense as ever. Running the car off of the sun gives a sense of freedom that is unparalleled. The entire calculation of mpg equivalent goes off the chart. I get paid about $0.026/kWh for what I sell into the grid so if I charge myself that, I am averaging about 424 mpg equivalent (based on $3.50/gal). The pure joy of driving gets you up in the morning and makes the morning commute an entirely different experience.

Rest assured the psychosis will get worse before getting "better". Actually I believe we just get accustomed to the TESLA fever being the new normal.

Mark K | 21 mai 2013

rch - how poignant and beautiful. Thank you for writing this.

Your personal story of life after loss distills and expresses why we are all so emotionally invested here.

Tesla, is about hope.

We all instinctively feel it. A new and better time is beginning.

shs | 21 mai 2013

Mark K, well said.

rch, thanks for sharing this very personal story.

PorfirioR | 21 mai 2013

Oh my goodness rch1708! I get tears in my eyes just thinking about my own daughter and all she did was get married and moved away. I cannot even comprehend the depth of your loss and, as a father, I am so deeply touched by your story. My sympathies and many blessings to you and your family.

I too cannot stop devouring every word written about this company and what they are doing. And I too am not sure why. If I allow myself to get philosophical, I could say that maybe I feel that there is a little bit of freedom and hope included with every car, for those of us who choose to see things that way.

Perhaps because I am a father, to me the value of any bit of freedom and hope that me and my generation can contribute, even if materialized in a car, or a rocket, or a solar panel, means that I have done something good to leave my children a better planet. That is plenty of reason to be joyful.

rch1708 | 21 mai 2013

Guys, you're welcome.

But I'm now concerned that my addiction is going to get worse... Gee, scary thought. :-)

Brian H | 21 mai 2013

I think it's more than the philosophy and sensual pleasure. I suspect there's something actively therapeutic and inspiring about using/driving an MS, capped by the knowledge that it's available to experience at will. I think you're right, rch, it's "abnormal". But in a good way.

skymaster | 21 mai 2013


I am touched by your story. We have two young girls (7&8) and I could not imagine losing them. They both love our Tesla Model S and they will never have to pump gas. This car is absolutely a life changing event. I have never felt anything for any auto that I have owned, until the Tesla. The Model S is the best therapy that money can buy. I remember driving on our first 400 mile road trip that I was so happy I wanted to cry. (And give Elon a big hug) GO TESLA

Dr. Bob Reinke | 21 mai 2013


After driving the Model S for a time, you may have to consider surgery to get that silly smile off your face.

Cattledog | 21 mai 2013


Thank you for sharing your story. And you made me think.

We all know the car doesn't replace human connections, but somehow it has gripped us all. I have been trying to place it in perspective and I thank you for your writing for now I have a few postulates:

1. It is a story about birth. For those who have had children, or animals, or anything really where you've been there when it was created, you're overwhelmed by this sense of...hope. Awe. Restoration of a sense of wonder for the world, how it was created, why are we in it. Well, we're at the birth of Tesla, the Model S, the shift in transportation technology. Wow! What an endless road of possibilities, and an initial hero (the Model S) that shows us so many possibilities. Simply awe inspiring.

2. And it is a story about humans. Sure, the Model S is a car, but behind it, Elon's vision and leadership, JB's amazing engineering, Franz' incredible designs, George's super stores, Gilbert's robotic masterpieces - all human stories, all linked, all inspirational. It's like five consecutive home runs. We all aspire to be part of something like that. At least in the realm of design, engineering, and manufacturing, it's just about the best we can be as humans.

3. And it's a story about goodness and greatness (re: Oz: The Great and Powerful). By pursuing a higher ideal (goodness), expansion of sustainable transport, the Tesla team determined the best way to adoption was through making the best car bar none (greatness). In a world that seems to focus always on greatness, it's nice to see the path to it can be through goodness.

Sorry for the sappiness, but thanks rch1708 for making me think.

noel.smyth | 21 mai 2013

I too have solar panels and was obsessed to get an EV and ended up with the best car in the world. It is about hope for a better future, for our children. I never imagined spending this much on a car. but this is more than a car, its hope. This car, this company and its vision means alot to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this too.. @Rch -- so sorry for your loss and glad you are able to get some happiness from this world changing car.

Adam S | 21 mai 2013

rch1708 -

My 6-year old daughter is almost as obsessed with Tesla as I am, and she's almost as excited about picking it up in 3 days. I can certainly appreciate your story, and I can't begin to express condolences. The worst thing that can happen to a parent is losing a child. I hope your MS can bring you some kind of relief.

JohnnyMac | 21 mai 2013

Rch1708 - thank you for putting it all in perspective for us! I am certain that your story in some way resonates with everyone on this forum. My oldest child, now 16, and yes driving, barely made it through the hospital delivery and spent a month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. While I cannot imagine what you have been through, I can certainly empathize. God bless you and the happiness you deserve which sounds like it has been restored or at least rekindled by The Model S. Treasure your memories and enjoy every mile!!!

trydesky | 21 mai 2013


I too thank you for your post.

In there, you stated "it's just a car". And while I get what you're saying, there are other posts on why it's more than a car, and on "why did you buy your MS?". While most car forums asking the same questions would be answered with things like speed, looks, cost, mileage, etc, those things were rarely mentioned for the MS (although any of them could easily be used). We're part of a revolution in the automobile industry.

+1 Mark K

Tesla, is about hope.

Hills | 21 mai 2013


My condolence on losing a child. No object can replace.... But when a car can provide joy, it is priceless. Indulge away! Thank you for sharing.

riceuguy | 21 mai 2013

@Rch, you'll be pleased to know that 3 weeks after receiving the car, my wife called me today to say that driving the car makes her feel "special." She says she's never actually enjoyed driving until now, but that driving the Tesla just feels different, like how driving should feel. I had incredibly high expectations, even after two test drives, and the car has exceeded them in almost every way (once it goes to 4G instead of 3G, it will have exceeded them all!). Enjoy the joy it will most certainly bring to you!

Amped | 21 mai 2013

Teslaland, I love it
as a father I was also touched.

GeekEV | 21 mai 2013

What I like is that this car lets you truly enjoy driving *and* you can do so guilt free. More-so if you're solar powered! Sometimes I have to actively fight the urge to get in the car and "just drive"...

ajamison | 21 mai 2013

I think I got it and I can not even afford the car currently (saving like mad to make a down payment) I find myself searching youtube daily for new Elon Musk Interviews or Tesla news and then find myself fast forwarding interviews to the Tesla part.

GeekEV | 21 mai 2013

@ajamison - If you haven't yet seen National Geographic's Megafactories episode on the Tesla factory, it's well worth watching. You should be able to find it on YouTube...

ajamison | 21 mai 2013

GeekEV I watched it but thanks for the heads up, I even watched the documentary revenge of the Electric Car for the Tesla coverage.

I just love how for once in my short 34 years of life that I can get excited about an American Made car and hold on to that excitement even though I will likely need to wait till Gen 3 to afford a Tesla

rch1708 | 21 mai 2013

Well, if this is indeed a psychosis, at least I can take some consolation from the fact that it's a mass psychosis.

I struggle from day to day not to bore the living daylights out of anyone who stops to give me the time of day on the subject of the MS. As CEO of a small company. i have to resist the urge to blab on round the coffee machine about the irrelevance of range anxiety or smugly hold forth over lunch on the importance offsetting one's EV power consumption with solar panels. I have to pretend that I'm checking my iPhone for important emails when actually I'm checking how many KwHrs our panels have produced during the day. I find myself quickly switching away from the Picassa web photos of multi coat red when my wife walks into the room. If I really need cheering up I playback some of the Gopro video I shot when I test drove my friend's MS.

And you guys are telling that this is going to get worse when the car arrives? I hope it comes with a prescription for a years worth of Valium.

Life is indeed hard.

Captain_Zap | 21 mai 2013

By the end of August you are going to be climbing the walls.
You will feel like a kid waiting for Santa Claus.

I thought that I would abandon the forums after delivery but the Model S is a gift that keeps giving. You end up wanting to share the joy and re-live the thrill through others.

Welcome to our crazy family.

jd3tm | 21 mai 2013

Yes, Welcome to the CRAZY Tesla Family...

Now that you have ordered, the wait will get LONGER each day!
You will surf the forums, blogs, videos, news items with a greater ferocity than you did before you placed your order!

And, once you get your Model gets worse!

You will have to check for the latest released SW, unreleased SW, rumored features in the new, unreleased SW...

You will want to know the best way to clean and detail your car and will get caught up in the touchless vs. gentletouch arguments. To the point that you will decide that the only way to do it right is to do it yourself...EVERY WEEKEND!!!

You will scour the Tesla store for new things...hey, wasn't I supposed to get that as standard??!! Maybe I need different wheels, tires, mats, consols, cupholders, arghhhhh!

You will join in on conversations with complete strangers as if they were your best friends as you discuss the superiority of the Model S against any and all comers! Even the mistakes (cupholders, vanity mirrors, fog lights...) will become obsessive topics of conversation....

And, worst of all, you will WANT to "take a drive", anywhere, anytime! Because it is just awesome and an absolute pleasure every time you approach the car (the doors open for you); take your seat behind the wheel (and the car is started and ready to go with the radio already on your favorite station); and, select transmission shifting, engine noise, exhaust smell, or hesitance. You just naturally take off with that "Tesla Grin"!!!

Welcome to the psychosis that is the Tesla Model S!!!

Sig 692
Model S Perf received on 2 Nov 2012 and I haven't stopped grinning since!!!

George with SacEV | 22 mai 2013

As a psychologist, an EV advocate (took delivery in January 2011 of a Chevy Volt and February 2011 of a Nissan Leaf, organized the first Sacramento area National Plug-In Car day, 2011, and am on the executive board of SacEV), and now have confirmed that our Model S (85kW standard) will get delivered in the first week of June, I would further support your Tesla passion as an example of a "Positive Addition" as described in a volume by that title.

And in a larger sense, I also rationalize my own purchase of the Model S, which will replace the Nissan Leaf for us, as an example of a "positive experience not to be delayed or put off." My own epiphany on this perspective came about 30 years ago when my closest running buddy, a guy who I did all my early marathon training runs with, was killed by a drunk driver in the middle of the afternoon while on a training run in San Diego. The message for me from that not ever put off doing what you want to do, what is rewarding, for some much later time...we never really know, never, how much time we have for these promising experiences.

Heck, our Tesla is getting delivered to our personally "vacant" house, since we are in Warsaw, Poland until the first week in July as I am a Fulbright Scholar lecturing at a university here. It will be savored by our trusted neighbor, and it will be there for our pleasure when we arrive back at the house.

And the custom fitted floor mats will be waiting to be installed. | 22 mai 2013

The Tesla Psychosis
rch1708 | May 21, 2013


This is beautiful writing ---- the best I've seen yet in an attempt to convey how Tesla Motors transcends the automobile industry, clean energy, environmentalism, freedom of the road.

rch1708 --- beautiful

My heart is right there with you.

Brian H | 22 mai 2013

While the Tesla is undoubtedly an 'Positive Addition', I suspect you meant 'Positive Addiction'. See? 'c'. Si!

Brian H | 22 mai 2013

typo: a an 'Positive Addition' ...

Brian H | 22 mai 2013

Muphry's Law strikes again.

DTsea | 22 mai 2013

I got a new musical instrument this week and after enjoying it yesterday I told my wife 'I have a Tesla Grin while playing.' A new unit of surprise and delight.

Anthony H | 22 mai 2013

@jd3tm, very well written. My thoughts exactly, but you are more articulate than I.

@rch1708, I live from a similar perspective. The comments posted in this thread, are real and true. Looking forward is essential, and I don't know of a better way to look forward.

Our Model S arriving over 3-years after we placed our reservation began a new chapter, and more.

This is hopeful.

Not a replacement...

But I believe hope is essential.


HenryT2 | 22 mai 2013


First, I am so sorry for your loss. I'm a new father and can't even imagine the pain. I'm glad you've finally found something that can bring you some joy back.

Second, you've both encouraged and discouraged me with your post. First, I'll be getting my car finally in 37.5 hours. I've been waiting about a year and 3 months. My excitement is building to a fever pitch. Your post and the replies have encouraged me that I have not actually lost my mind. However, I am discouraged to hear that this manic feeling might not go away. I love the anticipation and the excitement, but checking for new stories and developments everyday is going to get REALLY tiring. I hope that MY psychosis diminishes to a slightly less manic pitch.

And, best wishes to you. September is a long time away.

rch1708 | 23 mai 2013

@ HenryT2 and all, thanks for your kind thoughts. Before losing my daughter I was never quite sure of the value of such words. Now I appreciate every one. But this is not the place to be morbid.

Having glimpsed the extent of everyone else's mania, it struck me that the TM and TMC forums must be a marketing student's goldmine. There must be enough material here to feed a couple of PhD theses. How on earth did Tesla manage to whip us all up into such a state? Hanging on EM's every tweet (I've never really found a use for Twitter before). Feverishly scouring the net for snippets of news. Castigating anti-Tesla sentiment. Debating the merits of wax, the fit of floor mats. It's completely brilliant marketing.

I've generally always ascribed to Groucho Marx's view of "I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER". But actually I'm rather happy to be a member of this community, bunch of crazies as it may be.

Brian H | 23 mai 2013

It's a techno-medical trick. The MS is tuned to stimulate endorphin an oxytocin release, producing euphoria and addiction. Yer doomed, I tells ya.

Brian H | 23 mai 2013

You can recognize fellow addiction victims by their glazed eyes and goofy grins. It's a national crisis! Pot dealers are losing business and customers to the new kid on the block.

Brian H | 23 mai 2013

typo: endorphin and oxytocin

(A potent combo: pleasure and fixation!)

Vevans2 | 23 mai 2013

I have to say that after having the car for a day it is getting worse. The car is truely remarkable.

akikiki | 23 mai 2013

I am a better than average driver. But as I reflect on my driving, I got lazy, less attentive and lost the excitement in driving.
I'm a car guy. When I was growing up, we had a saying, "my Chevy can out run a Ford, I just can't out run a Motorola". But I lost interest with the high cost of gas and death of the muscle cars through the '80s and '90s.

For the last few years I got up, drove a short distance (10 miles) to work, worked hard until end of the day and drove home. I'm nearing retirement. I opened the piggy bank and found enough to buy my MS.

Ohhh Myyy Gooodnnnness, the WOW is back!

I drive in early; there's no cars on the road at this time. So, I often drive 15 mph below the Interstate and four-lanes' speed limit to make the drive/ride take longer. I felt silly almost guilty driving the longer way to work. I made up excuses to drive
the long way. I advanced to the point I ran out of excuses and had to make some up.

A few times just before I turned in the office parking lot, I thought to myself, hmm, did I leave the bathroom light turned on?
Let me go back and check, so I drove home, pulled into the garage, but could not bring myself to get out of the MS to check the light. "I'm sure its off." So, I back out and drive all the way to work this time. Now I am past that too, and I just drive. (All this in the first week of having the car.)

I get to the office and just sit in the empty parking lot in the MS and admire her. I hate to get out and go inside. During the day, I get to walk past windows and look out at her in the parking lot. She beckons me "come on, let's go, take me for a ride".
With the help of the app, I can stand there and flash her lights and honk her horn. She calling to me, "let's go". It's all I can do to get through the day and back into the seat to go-go-go.

Co-worker get a laugh at my reaction when they point out "its raining on your car". My Gear should market an umbrella large enough to cover the car in a rush.

When I drive in afternoon traffic, I am more considerate and careful (I don't take the chances of letting other drivers to get to close). I've slowed down. Once in a while, I punch it, but when there's plenty of room and virtually no risk of hurting her or others (heck, who can resist all the time, huh)? But thanks to my MS, my thanks to TM and my thanks to Elon, I am a better driver on the road today than I was before my MS.

GeekEV is right, doesn't stop after getting the car...
shs is also right is almost impossible to not become an evangelist and even more obsessed.
skymaster is oh so right, This car is a ...a life changing event.
Thank you rch for being so open and honest. He said it best with ...driving on sunlight. I'm buying into an entire philosophy. (Those are great words.)

My hobby has become my MS. I pamper her. My PV system allows me to drive on sunlight that rch shares with me. Life is good. There must be something legal about having this much fun. I hope to live to be 100, still driving my MS, until they can dig a hole, roll me and Tessie into the pit, and push the dirt in on top of us both.

rch, I hope you can relate that others share your madness, we are all going crazy, but it's good crazy and you are not alone.

One comment in an April thread says it all. I can't forget it.
Velo1 said. "My wife also commented that I am most eager to run errands for her. Just last week she said we need bread and milk for tomorrow. I volunteered to go to the store. I returned with the milk, and then went back to buy the bread. what fun!"

akikiki | 23 mai 2013

There must be something ILLEGAL about having this much fun.

rch1708 | 23 mai 2013

@ akikiki: LOL! Oh dear me. I'm in tears of laughter. My eldest daughter is giving me that "freeky parent" teenage look and I can't explain.

Cheers (says he swallowing a mouthful of Rose)!

Joshua Burstyn | 23 mai 2013

I usually settle down about new toys fairly quickly but this car is something else. I am still giving people at my work test drives and discussing it with the wife. I usually do a quick scan of Tesla-related news each morning. I don't search in the same way about Intel, AMD, Cisco or Microsoft/Linux in the same way, but in a way those are more relevant to my job and personal life. I think that says something.

The recent Tesla Model S review by Consumer Reports confirmed my suspicions that this is truly a groundbreaking vehicle.

jnb | 23 mai 2013

Test "drives" or test "rides"? i don't have my car yet, but have a hard time believing that i will be letting co-workers drive the car. if you are, they are lucky folk, and you are a better man than me.

dirk.saenen | 23 mai 2013


I'm sure outsiders look at us as being a sect.

never mind !

shs | 23 mai 2013

I almost aways offer someone taking a test ride a chance to drive and about half accept. All guests who have driven our car so far, do so very cautiously. No problem. I think that driving is the best way to experience how both smooth and responsive the car really is.

alcassfast | 23 mai 2013

Van Morrison might call this, "A Beautiful Obsession".

Raixie | 23 mai 2013

(Sorry for my english.)
I may seem crude but in my book, BigOil (with the Banksters) rule the world since 1910.
So this frenzy, this hope that I share with you is really about a very big change in history. A mean to end most of the pollution that is killing us all and the slavery we endure from the oil cartel.

This car is the first that is not a fake to make believe that car companies do make efforts to go green... But they dont, they are the right arm of BigOil and protect their markets of inefficient but lucrative ICE cars.

Elon Musk is a genius, a visionnaire and a cunning businessman.
The Tesla S is his first masterpiece. But if any big car company decided to make a good EV to fight back, it could do so easily.

This Tesla psychosis that I got bad a while ago even if I can't afford the marvel, is for me about nothing less than a foolish hope to start the real revolution, not only in the car industry, but in the whole energy sector. With sun or wind driven cars, we don't need oil anymore. With solar panels and windmills spreading, we soon will not need coal or nuclear plants. The era of free, clean and independant energy may be just at the corner...

Lastly, I wish to point out that Tesla is alone to fight Goliath. Elon Musk seem tired. I don't know how but we, the former hippies, the nature conscious and the warriors dads and moms to give our children a better future should go to the front to end the destruction of our nature and climat.

I am very afraid that Elon Musk may have "an accident". If I was in command of the world fossil fuel empire, it would be an easy solution...

tylerhen | 23 mai 2013

@jnb, While I still love getting into my MS every day(had it for about 4 weeks now), what is almost more fun is letting other people drive it and get the Tesla grin immediately. Sure they get a little of it just as passengers, but they get the full grin when they get behind the wheel. Sure there is some risk involved with letting other people drive it, but it is so much fun, I would feel guilty not sharing it.