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Advice Needed: Convincing Husband to Go Tesla

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by ellienovember, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. ellienovember

    ellienovember Member

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    Short version: I need a new car. I want a Tesla, husband is afraid of the technology. Can I get some quick facts for him on how an EV works?

    Longer version: My current car is a 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Convertible at 165k miles with a leak in the gas tank that requires a part that has been discontinued. It leaks gas every time I fill the tank. So, I need a new car. Neither my husband nor I have ever bought a car new, always used. His car is a 1995 Toyota Hilux that is in pretty decent shape considering its age, and his previous vehicle was a 1995 Ford Ranger that barely runs but he still won't get rid of despite never driving it. He is a plumber, and grew up with his father being a mechanic, and is very comfortable tinkering with things and fixing things with his hands. But he is technologically inept.

    We test drove a Model 3 a few weeks ago and I loved it, and he did as well. I've been looking over our accounts and hunkering down my savings to prep for putting a good payment down and financing the rest for a new M3. I've always managed our finances and since paying off my student loans in January, the monthly payment would fit perfectly fine in my budget. Plus, I want a toy to celebrate that accomplishment. I've been spending a lot of time looking up the benefits of a Tesla, environmental impacts, advantages of EVs vs ICE, and asked a lot my specific questions to our Tesla Associate during the test drive about using the car and maneuvering on the road. I don't necessarily care about the finer details he is fixated on (much like I don't care how my current ICE runs, as long as it does in fact run.)

    His main concern: "I just don't understand how it….works." I've told him to do some research like I have, but he still can't seem to grasp what makes the wheels physically move, how there's no transmission or gears, things like that. He's hesitant putting money down on a piece of technology that he can't understand.

    Can I get some input on how to slap some sense into him? TIA.
     
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  2. M109Rider

    M109Rider Active Member

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    note: These stats are from what I recall. Don’t ask for links. :)

    1. Half a million of them sold by Tesla alone.
    So they are widely used.

    2. 90% plus, of new owners would never buy another gas car again.

    3. 90% plus of new owners find the car the best car they’ve ever owned. Bottom line they just love driving it. That doesn’t spell fear or regret to me.

    4. The driver can get as deep or as shallow into how much tech they use in the car.
    You can certainly just drive it if you have no interest in the tech.

    5. Sounds like a test drive would be a good final suggestion.

    Good luck
     
    • Like x 8
  3. MountainRatMat

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    Put it in a plumbers terms, it works the same as a garbage disposal.

    ...or a snake

    ...or a drill

    It is as simple as applying current to a motor that turns the wheels. Everything else is just a computer controlling it.
     
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  4. TrooperCA

    TrooperCA Member

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    You're buying tech on wheels. It's part of the fun.

    In terms of savings...it will take quite some time to actually see those savings when compared to buying a very efficient hybrid. If you both agree that the car is fun to drive and fits your lifestyle, then the purchase is well worth the investment.

    In terms of the mechanics, its quite simple. The motors/drive units are directly connected to the wheels, so there is no transmissions because there are no gears. That is why when you floor it, you don't feel the rocking movement from gear shifts. I'm no mechanic or engineer but gears are in place to improve top speed and acceleration. Since, EV have extremely high torque output, they are already fast off the line and in Tesla's case, gears aren't really needed. However as technology improves, you will see transmissions for EV because the technology is available ie.Porsche Taycan.

    The warranty on the battery and drive unit is 100k miles and 10 years. So in theory the car should run at least that...
     
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  5. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    Well, there's not much to it. He might be over-thinking it.

    It has a battery and an electric motor. The battery powers the motor, the motor spins. Motor is connected to the drive wheels, car goes forward.

    There are numerous devices that use a battery and an electric motor to spin something. Thus, the car works just like the following:
    • Battery-operated drill, circular saw, or numerous other tools
    • Starter motor in a regular gas-powered car
    • Golf cart
    The only real difference between any of these and the Tesla is that the Tesla's battery is a lot bigger, and the motor is a lot more powerful. Otherwise, it's nearly the same.

    Charge the battery, and you're golden until it needs a recharge, which happens after 250+ miles of driving (with the long range model).

    Everything else in the car is just some electronics, computer graphics, and modern conveniences like cruise control, A/C, etc. Most of those don't impact the drive systems directly.

    In the end, it's a LOT simpler than a gas-powered car. There's way less moving parts, and very few systems that involve liquids or pumps.
     
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  6. ftmaybe

    ftmaybe Member

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    My wife ordered a Model 3 in Nov 2019 and I was against it. We have two paid off, reliable Ford PHEVs and i felt a new car expense was unnecessary. She also has worked hard the last few years to get a good job and make more money, and wanted to get the Tesla as some kind of reward for her work (we really don't spend money otherwise).

    What won me over may not matter to your husband (based on what you have stated): the simplicity. I have never liked how complicated ICE cars are and how many random fiddly bits and gizmos can go bad. I have never liked having to trust my mechanic or dealer when they tell me I need to spend $1400 replacing a turbo manifold or something. Cars I have tried to keep for as long as possible ended up not only with repeated, maybe dubious repairs but also regular smog testing which was annoying and also was a roulette wheel of emissions repairs. Tesla and the Model 3 in particular, is such a super simple design I felt like that was worth giving a shot to be free of these things.

    I love the "skateboard" chassis with just the battery pack and drive unit. Its so minimalist. The drive unit itself is just a single spinning part mated to what, a single speed fixed gearbox? I just can't help but feel that with so few moving parts these major components will last forever. The spartan interior also wins me over, her Model 3 is so much easier to clean on the interior because there is only the screen, steering wheel and a wide flat dash. A few simple wipes while cleaning and you're done. Our Fords on the other hand, have huge numbers of buttons and knobs collecting dirt and dust, and numerous folds and variations of the dash that are not that easy to clean. Hell, most of those buttons don't even really get used but every once in a great while. They are just there collecting dirt. Everything about the Model 3, IMO, is a significant step forward in making a car extremely simple and reliable.


    After owning the car now for two months and putting several thousand miles on it personally, I do not regret her buying it at all. In fact, beyond what I wrote above, I could go on and on about the 100 other reasons why the car is great and better than any car I've ever owned. I now have a Model Y on order for myself.

    I used to be into cars and have owned my share of expensive ones, mostly german. But I gave up on cars almost a decade ago, and I can still say I do not care about them at all - I would not spend money on any car but a Tesla. Which sounds like being a fanboy, but I don't think it really is. When I look at other EVs, most of them don't seem to be building one from the ground up like Tesla has, and almost all of them are still clinging to the decades old same chassis and interior layouts. It just seems like they really aren't embracing the potential here like Tesla is. So, for me, if it wasn't Tesla I'd just keep driving my Ford.
     
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  7. Jim R

    Jim R Member

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    You could also list the things Tesla doesn't have. I'd say something like: FREE replacement of the following components for life:
    Mufflers, tailpipes, drive shafts, radiators, water pumps emission control equipment, oil changes, spark plug replacements, oil filters, engine air filters, etc etc. Also, brakes last about twice as long. The service interval for a Tesla is 2 years.
    PS, don't promise he can drive it whenever he wants - you'll never drive it yourself!

    Good luck.
     
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  8. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    A couple of points come to mind:

    -Without getting into the details of how it works, the fact is that it works via far, far fewer moving parts. Reliability should be better than with a gasoline-powered vehicle.
    -You appear to be in New Jersey, which just recently became the most EV-friendly (from a tax perspective) state. No sales tax *and* a $5k credit.

    All I can say is that my wife was in a similar position to your husband initially--I was all gung-ho for an EV, and she was on board but not necessarily that into it. Now in addition to my Model 3, she drives an X. It's very difficult to explain just how much better the EV experience (and the Tesla experience specifically) is vs a gas car until you're actually living it on a day-to-day basis.

    Now, the caveats:

    -Tesla's still growing at a crazy rate, and service can be hit or miss due to this. If like me you're near a service location, no worries. If you're 150 miles away from the nearest location, make sure you're OK with the implications of this should you ever need a repair that mobile service can't handle.
    -Do you have a garage or at least a driveway where you can install a 240V charging outlet or plug? Without knowing your commute, it's impossible to say whether this is a very important or just a nice-to-have piece, but a part of the joy of owning an EV is just not having to worry about fuel at all, and just coming out to a full 'tank' each day.

    Good luck whatever you decide. From where I'm standing sitting, though, it seems like you're definitely going to take the plunge. You both liked the car, and those incentives mean that a Model 3 will torch any 'comparable' car on total cost of ownership.
     
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  9. ellienovember

    ellienovember Member

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    Thank you everyone for the replies so quickly.

    This is perfect.
     
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  10. facedown

    facedown Member

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    Just to clarify, the car does have a fixed-gear "transmission" whose function is to gear down the motors. It is like the difference between a 10-speed bike (10 gears) and the first Schwinn bike you had as a kid with "no gears" (in reality, 1 gear). The Tesla is mechanically so simple relative to a car with an engine and a transmission that you can practically feel the simplicity when you drive it. Everything is so smooth that it makes you question why we have been driving overly complex machines for so long.

    You'll love it.
     
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  11. ellienovember

    ellienovember Member

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    The no sales tax and the $5k incentives are my no-brainers for an EV. He's more open to other EV's as his sister bought a Volt a few years ago.
    We live 10 minutes from a service center :)
    We have a driveway and should be no problem installing a 240 charger if need be. My daily commute to/from work is about 12 miles per day, with working 1 day at home. I drive a lot more on the weekends but to give you an idea of my usage, I put less than 40k on my current car in 6 years.
     
  12. ellienovember

    ellienovember Member

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    That seems to be the wall he can't seem to breakthrough - that it's so technologically advanced that it's actually really simple.
     
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  13. 21miDay

    21miDay Member

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    I explained it to a neighbor by comparing it to a ceiling fan. The motor turns the wheels like the fan's motor turns the blades. The ceiling fan can be reversed and so can the motor that runs the car. This comparison would work with the drill forward/reverse function.
     
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  14. JasonR67

    JasonR67 Member

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    Has he ever used a battery powered RC car? The "what makes it go" is exactly like that..

    Battery -> Motor(s) -> Wheels.
    Motor spins -> wheel spins.
    9 : 1 ratio. No transmission.

    Charging:
    Home: Plug it into a Clothes Dryer plug every night. Wake up with 250+mi range every morning. I doubt most owners ever think about charge on a daily basis. I think about charge much less than I would think about fuel.
    Traveling: Every highway / city in America has a supercharger. You will charge for less than 30 minutes and have 250 mi range. which will let you get to the next super charger (usually passing 1-3 others). A lot of them are at restaurants / convenience stores / Malls.
    it has way more storage than it seems.

    Short term maintenance Items: Tires (some owners burn through tires very very quickly, they are fun to drive), Cabin Air filter, check the brakes in 2 Years.

    Opinion things:
    FSD Is over stated / over rated. I like the Cruise Control, and I like the Lane following but it needs constant supervision.
    The Model 3 isn't for everyone. It is NOT a $50k luxury car (although it doesn't sound like you expect that).
    It's missing backup cross traffic alerts. Mirror lane change warnings.
    Don't read every thread on the forums. Just like every car there are lemons out there and there are disgruntled owners. If someone has a problem they come to the forums and complain and look for co-misery and support (heck it's what I would do).
    Tesla is concentrating on profits and moving units. They are not concentrating on customer support and hand holding (they don't need to). Check the car over at delivery and if you have any issues (Most people don't). Document them or refuse delivery or return it in 7 days. if it's major and not addressed in 7 days, lean towards returning.

    I bought mine to celebrate/signify a significant life event as "My Car". My wife was supportive but not excited about it. Previously we drove my wife's 2017 Subaru for all family traveling before I bought my 3 and expected to continue that. The outback is a great car. Now? We now wouldn't think about using the Subaru unless we just needed to move something that needed the extra opening / SUV style caring capacity. Road trip? Model 3. Out to dinner? Model 3. My wife asks about getting a Model Y weekly.
     
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  15. ellienovember

    ellienovember Member

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    Thank you for this testimony! You and your wife sound very similar to my husband and I, roles reversed. Especially with how complicated getting my ICE vehicle fixed has been. I just had to drop $1500 on a new catalytic converter (parts, labor, and a few rust issues fixed) last month in order to pass the emissions test for my state's inspection, only for the check engine light to remain on due to the minor gas leak. Over the past few years I've also replaced the alternator, brake pads, spark plugs, some sort of belt, battery, a few tires, and regular oil changes. I'm done funneling money into this car.

    I know he'll love it eventually. I'm just so excited to talk about it and counting down the days until I place my order, and he doesn't seem to share the same enthusiasm right now.
     
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  16. Fresnel

    Fresnel Member

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    Show him the graphic on this page.
    Tesla is working on new battery that lasts 1 million miles to come out next year, says Elon Musk - Electrek

    The wheels have motors that spin them instead of having an engine in the front or back of the car. But this motor isn't as repairable as a normal ICE engine so don't let his dad think he can repair it.

    Tell him its like using a drill. A battery powers the motor to spin the drill bit.. you push a trigger and the motor goes fast. You push it harder and it goes faster. It's kinda like that but more complicated.

    There is a ton to learn about owning a Tesla and as much research as you do there's still more that you'll learn once you get it but that's part of the fun. It's a bit of an adventure.

    Congrats on paying off the student loan. That's a great step to your financial freedom.
     
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  17. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you're in good shape, then.

    My only comment on the Model 3 vs another EV, speaking as someone who used to own a Leaf and has a friend with a Bolt: there's no comparison. Nothing against those cars--they'd be great cars in a world where the Model 3 didn't exist. But it does...
     
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  18. ellienovember

    ellienovember Member

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    I will definitely use the RC car analogy. He also loves those flying drone toys.

    And I'm sure we're not alone in the "oh sh*t, I have to get gas" realization when we hop into the car ready to be somewhere on time, only to have to stop for gas first. That alone is a huge seller for me, and hopefully will be for him once he gets used to it.

    We definitely don't expect a luxury car. As mentioned above, our cars our old. We have no touch screens, no extra features, no heated seats or any of the other standard advancements most new cars have over the past 5-10 years. Just a cool look when my top is down. So, to us, this would be a luxury car with all the features we aren't used to having, without having to spend $60k+.

    I'll try not to over-read the forums, but I guess the excitement and anticipation of getting a new car in general, combined with the features, going BEV, and the realization we can afford a Tesla product, kind of keeps me from thinking about anything else haha,
     
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  19. trm2

    trm2 Member

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    It is 100k / 8 years on the SR+ and 120k / 8 years on LR or P versions.
     
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  20. cmghoughton

    cmghoughton Member

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    Not to throw a wrench out there but no one discussed charging.

    Depending on how far you drive daily you'll most likely want to charge at home. I drive about 150 miles a day and I installed just the basic 14-50 (RV Outlet) at my house and I'm charging and gaining about 30 miles an hour as I'm charging. After about 5-8 hours I'm topped off and ready to go. I get home from work and plug in, the scheduled charging knows that I leave at 5 in the morning and starts charging to make sure it's ready. This is also nice for me since NY has a variable rate schedule for EVs, saves me even more money. I didn't need to spend that extra 500 dollar for the Tesla charger at home, just the $35 dollar attachment for the mobile charger that came with the car.

    My only issues with my Model 3 that I can complain about....
    I'm not a car guy so I don't like being low to the ground, not really a fair complaint..and it's still so much fun to drive.

    Super charging can take a little extra time vs the pump. But my first long distance road trip worked out really well and I was impressed. Stopped to charge, plugged in when we got there and started to clean out the car for a few minutes. Went into the store and went to the bathroom, fought with the wife over what snacks and drinks we should get. Back out to the car in about 25 minutes, really taking our time but the car was already 3/4 the way charged. Around 200+ miles in like a 30 minute stop.

    I don't like to stand out and the "Tesla" really stands out.

    I love the car and the resale is one of the best out there so if you try it for a few months and just don't take to it you'll be able to trade it in very easily. Tesla Model 3 leads industry in value retention, barely loses any value after a year - Electrek

    Go for it......
     
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