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Advice: How to get tech-averse wife to embrace Model 3

OK team,
Need advice. Our Model 3 should arrive late in March. We do not own a Tesla, and have owned a LEAF for the past 6.25 years (my daily driver...wife drives it sporadically...range anxiety). I already know that I will love Model 3; my concern is how best to ensure that my wife embraces driving Model 3 as well. This is a critical issue, presumably a battle that is won or lost in the first days of ownership, and so I would love advice from those who've had a spouse with similar hesitation as mine when it comes to embracing tech. We are 46.

Thus far, my only thought is to try to have her view the new car as an extension of her iPhone (which is, already, an extension of her right hand).

Wondering who else has already been down this path, and what has worked (or failed to work) for you.

If I succeed, then we will be ending our ICE era within a few months. If I fail, our ICE use will continue until there's a more 'conventional' long range EV produced by somebody (years away!). So, no pressure.
 

TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
3,030
The Americas
Could consider a CPO AP1 Model S for less money than the current Model 3. She'd have a more familiar UI and the benefit of included supercharging (one less running cost going forward). Plenty of Model Ses coming off lease with lower mileage and that CPO warranty to 100K miles. Plenty for 3 more years of driving while the whole FSD thing shakes itself out.

And then maybe she'd be more okay with a Model 3.

Good luck!
 
Similar situation coming into this. My wife is now first time Tesla owner with her Model 3 and very much tech geekiness adverse.

The chasm between my insistence on bleeding edge tech has resulted in many sessions of “entertainment” as my push for new technology: Windows smartphone, Phillips pronto remote, replayTV, etc became technologies she loved to hate, then loved the concept - until each one required tech support (me) and I was not available....this required a level of redundancy in the systems until technology hit the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor). The great news is the Model 3 has a very high WAF - she absolutely loves it.

The tricks for me was just being there the first few days - through delivery and initial bumps which often occur - and redundancy (we can just sell it if you don’t like it). Giving her the time to get used to it, with a safety net of current driver, was key.
 
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thimel

Member
Feb 27, 2015
621
497
You are going to hate this suggestion. At least for a few months make the Model 3 her daily driver. If she only uses it occasionally, she won’t get used to the UI and could be frustrated each time she drives it. She needs to use often so she gets familiar with it. Of course, this probably leaves you stuck driving the LEAF, which will make you frustrated.
 
You are going to hate this suggestion. At least for a few months make the Model 3 her daily driver. If she only uses it occasionally, she won’t get used to the UI and could be frustrated each time she drives it. She needs to use often so she gets familiar with it. Of course, this probably leaves you stuck driving the LEAF, which will make you frustrated.
Yeah, at 6+ years old and cloth seats, let's just say the LEAF has a "lived-in look" that helps her to hate it, and will thus improve the odds of her adopting Model 3 as her DD since we're handing down her 2011 Lexus RX 450h to our son when he graduates in May and moves to Houston. Her primary objective with ICE vehicles is to "be up high" which means I will be begging time from her in Model 3 until Y comes along. Crossing fingers that Model Y is our end-state. In the end, we don't need Model 3 (I need to get another 30k miles put on the LEAF before it will have been a totally free vehicle for us...a goal) so if she's too averse to it, we can just sell it and await Y. Meanwhile, our son continues his search for a 2012/13 S85 for $35k, in which case wife retains her "be up high" Lexus and the LEAF exits the family prematurely. This family motor pool management is its own part-time job!
 

VT_EE

Active Member
Apr 22, 2017
2,378
3,295
Maryland
You are going to hate this suggestion. At least for a few months make the Model 3 her daily driver. If she only uses it occasionally, she won’t get used to the UI and could be frustrated each time she drives it. She needs to use often so she gets familiar with it. Of course, this probably leaves you stuck driving the LEAF, which will make you frustrated.
I totally agree with this. Also make sure she is present and is an active participant when the delivery specialist shows the car. The less she has to figure out herself, the better.
 
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Yeah, at 6+ years old and cloth seats, let's just say the LEAF has a "lived-in look" that helps her to hate it, and will thus improve the odds of her adopting Model 3 as her DD since we're handing down her 2011 Lexus RX 450h to our son when he graduates in May and moves to Houston. Her primary objective with ICE vehicles is to "be up high" which means I will be begging time from her in Model 3 until Y comes along. Crossing fingers that Model Y is our end-state. In the end, we don't need Model 3 (I need to get another 30k miles put on the LEAF before it will have been a totally free vehicle for us...a goal) so if she's too averse to it, we can just sell it and await Y. Meanwhile, our son continues his search for a 2012/13 S85 for $35k, in which case wife retains her "be up high" Lexus and the LEAF exits the family prematurely. This family motor pool management is its own part-time job!
My wife still has her original highlander hybrid, hated the concept of going from high-up SUV to regular sedan though the X didn’t work for her as it was too big and she really couldn’t live with the rattles, trim, panel, etc, never mind the FWD.

The 3 is smaller, more nimble and fun and she got it in a bright red color which she loves. The adaptive cruise removes most of the need to see more from being higher up and she absolutely loves that now in regular traffic, though rush hour commute she finds too jerky to use, due to the jerks cutting across lanes
 
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Jason S

Model S Sig Perf (P85)
Apr 20, 2012
1,590
213
Rocklin, CA
Most of the 'tech' is really just rarely used interfaces. It has a drive control stalk, a blinker and a cruise control mechanism. The basics are all there just like any other car.

But it drives really nice. Super nice.

The rest of it can be learned slowly and later. How does the lane keeping cruise control work? How does the self parking work? How do I navigate the radio? Etc..

Get her comfortable with the baseline and mention the rest. The rest doesn't need to be used right away.
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,583
5,227
Central Valley
My wife is more tech averse than I. She hates cell phones and computers, although she loves her Kindle.

She loves the 3. She loves to drive it. She loves to plug it in each night.

She does not fiddle with the touchscreen much. She tried once and messed up the mirror alignment. She cannot operate the air vent controls (but then, neither can I.) She has used the windshield wipers. She does not care about the rest of the stuff.

She only uses the car key to lock, start, and unlock the car. The phone connection has not worked consistently for her (or for me for that matter.) Fool her once is fine. Fool her twice, not so much.

So, my wife does not want to sell the 3 (Hurrah!) She just avoids the tech gadgets and gizmos. (We do not have autopilot anyway.)
 

aronth5

Long Time Follower
Supporting Member
May 8, 2010
3,584
3,453
Boston Suburb
I am going to follow this thread to see if there are any tips that prove helpful. My wife has shown less than zero interest in the Model 3 I just configured. By that I mean she has never even seen a picture of the model 3 and I've offered. Doubt she will ever drive it but I will certainly offer. Hopefully she will come with me when I pick up the Model 3 but suspect she will decline and I'll have my son or daughter come with me. She has never asked what color I ordered and so will find that out when I get home:) Of course it is likely the first Model 3 I see will be mine so hope I like the color!
 
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FlyinLow

Enjoy the journey
Feb 5, 2018
335
330
29036
The key is to act like you don’t really want to share it with her. That’s sure to make her interested.

Exactly. I bought a MS 85 w/AP1. My wife is tech savvy but didn’t think electric cars were practical. One month later I’m driving the ICE and now she’s eyeing a brand new X. LOL. Not fair!
 

T34ME

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
2,262
3,872
Inland Empire
my concern is how best to ensure that my wife embraces driving Model 3 as well. This is a critical issue, presumably a battle that is won or lost in the first days of ownership, and so I would love advice from those who've had a spouse with similar hesitation as mine when it comes to embracing tech.
Okay, this is what I am going to do. I will drive the car home - IMPORTANT. Put the car in the garage or a nice shady place. Pour each of you a glass of wine (or beverage of your choice) and walk around the exterior of the car going "ohhhhh and ahhhhhh." Casually point some of the exterior features - camera locations, purpose of front grill, psychedelic color roof glass, how door handles work both left and right. Next have her sit in the driver's seat and you in the passenger seat. Show her how to open the frunk and glove box from the UI. Demonstrate the sound system by voice command, "play Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel" (or whatever she might like). Show her how to open the interior car doors and where the emergency releases are and they should be used in only real emergencies. Show her how to adjust sound and playlist with scroll wheels. Get out of the car and show her how to close the frunk properly and how to open the trunk and the hidden compartment below. Show her how to plug the car in and how to unplug. Get back in the car and YOU set all of her driver profile preferences seat, outside mirrors, steering wheel position, etc. The wine glass should be empty by now. Assess whether she is ready for more or needs a break. When she is ready, take her out and let her drive. Show her how to energize the car at startup. Demonstrate the various steering options and let her decide which she likes best. YOU set the air vents and temperature to her preferences. Explain what regenerative breaking is and how one pedal driving works, but it is okay to use the brakes too. DO NOT GET INTO EAP AND TACC AT THIS TIME, SAVE IT FOR LATER IN A MORE ADVANCED LESSON when it is fully calibrated! Explain how the turn signal lever is different than what she is used to. Drive for as long as she feels comfortable. Tell her you participate on TMC and she is catching on faster than a lot of the Neanderthals on that forum and you are impressed with her abilities.

Now the rest is up to you. Without her present, go into the UI and preset all the options to "auto" like wipers, headlights, audio sound, etc. You want to make it as simple as possible for her. In the beginning she should rarely need to touch the UI. She should be able to get in and everything is preset for her - seat position, auto functions, etc. These can all be changed later as she becomes more comfortable in what she will start calling "my car." You want her to be able to just climb in and drive off without a second thought. She should not need to touch the UI at all in the beginning. In the future give her more detailed instructions on how to use the UI, WHEN SHE ASKS FOR HELP AND NOT BEFORE.

Patience, slow and easy wins the race! ;)
 
Okay, this is what I am going to do. I will drive the car home - IMPORTANT. Put the car in the garage or a nice shady place. Pour each of you a glass of wine (or beverage of your choice) and walk around the exterior of the car going "ohhhhh and ahhhhhh." Casually point some of the exterior features - camera locations, purpose of front grill, psychedelic color roof glass, how door handles work both left and right. Next have her sit in the driver's seat and you in the passenger seat. Show her how to open the frunk and glove box from the UI. Demonstrate the sound system by voice command, "play Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel" (or whatever she might like). Show her how to open the interior car doors and where the emergency releases are and they should be used in only real emergencies. Show her how to adjust sound and playlist with scroll wheels. Get out of the car and show her how to close the frunk properly and how to open the trunk and the hidden compartment below. Show her how to plug the car in and how to unplug. Get back in the car and YOU set all of her driver profile preferences seat, outside mirrors, steering wheel position, etc. The wine glass should be empty by now. Assess whether she is ready for more or needs a break. When she is ready, take her out and let her drive. Show her how to energize the car at startup. Demonstrate the various steering options and let her decide which she likes best. YOU set the air vents and temperature to her preferences. Explain what regenerative breaking is and how one pedal driving works, but it is okay to use the brakes too. DO NOT GET INTO EAP AND TACC AT THIS TIME, SAVE IT FOR LATER IN A MORE ADVANCED LESSON when it is fully calibrated! Explain how the turn signal lever is different than what she is used to. Drive for as long as she feels comfortable. Tell her you participate on TMC and she is catching on faster than a lot of the Neanderthals on that forum and you are impressed with her abilities.

Now the rest is up to you. Without her present, go into the UI and preset all the options to "auto" like wipers, headlights, audio sound, etc. You want to make it as simple as possible for her. In the beginning she should rarely need to touch the UI. She should be able to get in and everything is preset for her - seat position, auto functions, etc. These can all be changed later as she becomes more comfortable in what she will start calling "my car." You want her to be able to just climb in and drive off without a second thought. She should not need to touch the UI at all in the beginning. In the future give her more detailed instructions on how to use the UI, WHEN SHE ASKS FOR HELP AND NOT BEFORE.

Patience, slow and easy wins the race! ;)
Thanks very much, particularly for your points about what's needed to "just get in and drive" vs the other stuff that can wait.

I hope we make it THIS far...to sitting inside with a glass of wine. I watched a Ben Sullins video today on battery longevity and subtly at its start he goes to open his Model 3 door in the rain and it doesn't open. He then holds the card key up to the pillar to open the door. The very first time bluetooth lets down my wife, she'll (reasonably) say "I can't count on this car. Why'd they fix what wasn't broken to start with?" And she won't be wrong. This stuff has to be flawless, fast...more OTA updates please! I'm considering not even having the Tesla app available for my wife until she's bought into the car...just have her be a card key user from the start. I'm also going to pass the time waiting for delivery by getting to the Apple Store to replace our phone batteries/etc so there's less likelihood of the Tesla app not speaking flawlessly to the phone and the phone speaking flawlessly to the Model 3.

The other new thought I'm having is that she is more likely to buy in if our son (23, former Tesla intern) gives her the intro. She will want to succeed with it because it is something he is excited about and moms don't like to let down their sons. (Not to mention I can overhear the session and learn a ton from it as well!)
 

T34ME

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
2,262
3,872
Inland Empire
Thanks very much, particularly for your points about what's needed to "just get in and drive" vs the other stuff that can wait.
Yes, if she is a non-techy person, KEEP HER OUT OF THAT UI except for just the very simple basic stuff for the time being. The UI will improve quickly, this year, with voice commands, more intuitive design, simpler menus, etc. This why I am so grateful to the beta testers who already have their cars. Give feedback to Tesla on how they can make this easier. I am certain they will listen to every suggestion, maybe not agree, but listen.

My SIL and I have talked about starting a model 3 school here in SoCal for non-techy persons. (Apple runs a school for their various devices and it is always sold out with a waiting list in our local area) However, I think the school would become unnecessary very soon with improvements to the UI by Tesla. That UI has to become a 'no-brainer' if Tesla wants wide spread acceptance of the car. Fortunately, that will be easy for Tesla to do with OTA tweaks to the system. And of course, I feel that FSD is just around the corner, at least at some level, and everything will be by voice command.

I watched a Ben Sullins video today on battery longevity and subtly at its start he goes to open his Model 3 door in the rain and it doesn't open. He then holds the card key up to the pillar to open the door. The very first time bluetooth lets down my wife, she'll (reasonably) say "I can't count on this car. Why'd they fix what wasn't broken to start with?" And she won't be wrong. This stuff has to be flawless, fast...more OTA updates please! I'm considering not even having the Tesla app available for my wife until she's bought into the car...just have her be a card key user from the start.
I hear you loud and clear and agree. In my opinion, the glitchy operation of the smartphone interface is a huge problem for Tesla. I say the following in sincere seriousness. You may want to defer your configuration until the phone interface is 100% reliable, as I am going to do. The other alternative is not even introduce the phone interface to your wife, just have her use the key card exclusively until there are more more reliable solutions. I honestly think that either Tesla or aftermarket will introduce a simple key fob very soon.

The other new thought I'm having is that she is more likely to buy in if our son (23, former Tesla intern) gives her the intro. She will want to succeed with it because it is something he is excited about and moms don't like to let down their sons. (Not to mention I can overhear the session and learn a ton from it as well!)
Excellent strategy! I love it when my two daughters school me on the newest things in life. They are very patient with me and I am proud of them.
 
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You guys are missing the point here. For the Ladies it is not about the tech, it is about the romance. For the guys it is about the tech. So, forget the tech and focus on the Romance.

Tell your wife that the best part of taking a road trip in a Tesla is that every hour or two you get to park, with nothing else to do but "make out". Surely you guys have not forgotten what it was like when your were dating your wife (before the wedding) and you were looking for any excuse you could find to park! Now a Tesla on a road trip has that built in!!!

Sure you can find a restroom, maybe get something to eat, but then back to the romance.

Just a thought. My wife enjoys our road trips.
 
You guys are missing the point here. For the Ladies it is not about the tech, it is about the romance. For the guys it is about the tech. So, forget the tech and focus on the Romance.

Tell your wife that the best part of taking a road trip in a Tesla is that every hour or two you get to park, with nothing else to do but "make out". Surely you guys have not forgotten what it was like when your were dating your wife (before the wedding) and you were looking for any excuse you could find to park! Now a Tesla on a road trip has that built in!!!

Sure you can find a restroom, maybe get something to eat, but then back to the romance.

Just a thought. My wife enjoys our road trips.
Perfect. I'll lead with "camper mode."
 

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