The Tesla for the masses.

The Tesla for the masses.

I realize that high tech and video screens are as much a part of the everyday experience now as breathing, but I believe that there would be a huge market for a Tesla without the silly computer screen and gadgetry that comes along with owning a Tesla. I still like to just get in my car, turn the key and drive, and would not even want to own a car with a video screen blazing in front of my eyes. I believe that Tesla could build a much more simplistic, (and cheaper) car that has just the regular old features we are all used to; key, shifter, go pedal, brake pedal and Nada Mas....the car for the Non-tech headed amongst us...the car for the guys, (and gals) that just love simplicity, great economy and just want to drive their car without having playing with a computer all the time...a car that could be a transition to electric for all us old motor heads that still love the simplicity of the autos of the 1960's. knock another ten grand off the price and build a car that can be repaired in the driveway by anyone with a bit of patience and can read a shop manual. Thanks, Wil

damonmath | 8 aprile 2016

Tesla has no key and no ignition. The Autopilot and tech features are what sets it apart. What you just describe is called a golf cart.

yongliangzhu68 | 8 aprile 2016

So you are saying there is NOT a huge market for the M3 because of the screen? :)

Tropopause | 8 aprile 2016

One screen is more simple than most competitor interiors. IMHO

Basically a room with a computer screen and five seats.

jordanrichard | 8 aprile 2016

Have you driven/been in a Tesla? If not, then perhaps you should before you comment on what you don't know.

We don't "play" with the screens all the time while we are driving. Also how much simpler is it than sit down, press the brake, put the selector in D and drive. You have the additional step of putting a key in the ignition and turning it, wait for the engine to settle down and then put it in drive.

Also any car made in the last 20 years can not be simply repaired in one's driveway. Sure, brakes, oil changes, but not the stuff that deals with computers which BTW all cars have them, you just don't see them.

One of the reason I got my car was because I recognized the fact that any car made in the last 10-15 years is so computer laden that I wouldn't be able to fix it myself. The things that will drive you nuts are the electrical glitches involving mass airflow sensors, fuel pump modules, etc.

Tesla has none of that. The entire "drivetrain" has 6 moving parts and that includes the half axles.

I am a wrench turner, working on my '83 911, old Mercedes and Volvo. So I know what I am talking about and recognizing.

MarlonBrown | 8 aprile 2016

My advice to you: go for a test drive now. Your perception is not what most people have experienced.

KP in NPT | 8 aprile 2016

If you want a car you can repair in the driveway, a Tesla is not for you.

mos6507 | 8 aprile 2016

My advice is...Tesla is just not for you. It can't be all things to all people.

Tropopause | 8 aprile 2016

Jordan, do you rotate the tires on your MS? This is the first car I have owned where I've hung up my DIY hat and enjoy its simple elegance! :)

I like the way Roamer@AZ USA put it in his Model X interview:

"I have to admit when I pulled the first Model S in the garage, I excitedly opened the frunk, and I looked, and there's one service thing. I can service the windshield wiper. That's it. That's all that's visible. I looked over the whole car and I had an extremely sad moment when I went, "There's nothing to do on this car. There's no belts to check the tension, there's no 12-volt terminal to make sure they're clean," all the normal things, if you're a car person you're used to dealing with. Transmission fluid, power steering fluid.

You open the frunk and there's the one little blue cap and that's it. Put air in the tires and put a little windshield washer fluid in once in a while, and I've come to really enjoy that over the years, it's just effortless. You can just spend your time driving it and enjoying it. You don't have to constantly deal with a maintenance issue or service issue. Oil changes, my daughter's Lexus, at 5,000 miles it had to go in, spend the day, get the oil change and all the service done. With these, I take them in once a year."

PhillyGal | 8 aprile 2016

Don't forget - in order to spur the adoption of EVs, Tesla has to make a car that is BETTER than a comparable gas car. They did it with Model S and will certainly do it with Model 3. If all goes well, in 10 years they may be able to churn out a $20k economy car that bests a Civic.

jordanrichard | 8 aprile 2016

No, I don't rotate my own tires and hell, I haven't added windshield fluid. It gets topped off when I have it in for service/tire rotations. I have never needed to add air to the tires. All I do is drive it and clean/wax it.

Keep in mind that the floor jack I have is not strong enough to handle the weight of the MS. Also, I don't know how I would equally lift the whole side of the car to rotate the tires, With my Mercedes, I use my floor jack and the car's tire jack.

When I do open the hood to my Mercedes and I just go, "what a mess".

damonmath | 8 aprile 2016

@jordanrichard +1 What a mess is right. Have you tried to change a head light bulb? You gotta be a contortionist. lol

Tropopause | 8 aprile 2016


hcwhy | 8 aprile 2016

I was happy to see that the M3 had no pop out door handles or falcon wing doors. However, the screen is fantastic for how clean and simple it makes the interior and how easy it is to use.The S is gloriously simple to drive.

I see a market for a very basic car like the OP describes, but this is probably not a market Tesla will pursue. Think of the google car....perfect for autonomous on demand urban vehicles.

PhillyGuy | 8 aprile 2016

In my opinion, I don't think Tesla will make a vehicle with a starting price lower than the 3's $35k price tag. Who are Tesla's competitors? Most would say Mercedes, BMW, and Audi, which are all higher end manufacturers. Each of them have recently introduced lower models with starting prices in the $30k range. Tesla and these other manufacturers won't rely upon volume. The focus is to make high quality, high margin vehicles.

Like PhillyGal said, Tesla needed to make vehicles that are better than comparable ICEs to spur EV interest. The 17 inch screen in the S and X is a signature feature and discriminator for Tesla. I would be shocked if the large screen was not a constant in future models.

Sit back and enjoy just driving. We have almost put on 25k miles on our S, and not 1 cent has gone into maintenance yet.

PhillyGuy | 8 aprile 2016

@jordanrichard: We haven't put air in the tires either. I thought it was weird, but glad to hear we aren't the only ones.

Red Sage ca us | 8 aprile 2016

wcharrison111: Hmmm... Sounds like you want Tesla Motors to build a more capable version of the Ford Focus Electric.

www ford com/cars/focus/trim/electric/

kaffine | 8 aprile 2016

I do all the work on my cars no Tesla yet though. Granted I don't have anything with a carb that I would have to send out (or convert to fuel injection). DIY repairs on the electronics is not difficult just requires having the right tools. My car has never been to the dealer service department since the day I bought it. The few issues I had with it during the warranty period were not worth the hassle taking it in for the dealer to work on it I just bought the part and fixed it myself. I have an aftermarket scan tool and factory service manuals. The only things I don't do myself are tires and alignment. I have done tires myself in the past but I then have to take them in to be balanced as I don't have a tire balancer (yet) and I don't have an alignment machine (yet).