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Environment as a factor in EV purchase Decision

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by mknox, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I find this statement particularly interesting. If I'm reading between the lines correctly, are you saying buyers should give Tesla a pass or cut them some slack because the car is environmentally friendly?

    I'm eagerly awaiting my Model S, but personally couldn't give a rat's ass about any real or perceived environmental benefits. For me, it's all about the features, performance, technology and (most importantly) the fuel cost savings I'll realize.

    I am probably an outlier, but wonder how many people are factoring environmental considerations into their purchasing decisions.
     
  2. GeekGirls

    GeekGirls Kid in Candy Store

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    I think it's less a matter of it being environmentally friendly, and more a matter of it being the first luxury + performance vehicle that is so uniquely environmentally friendly. If you're expecting a mature product with no issues, you shouldn't be buying a brand new model that is the first ground-up design the company has ever done. I expect issues. I also expect Tesla to take care of them in a timely fashion.

    See the "Would you buy the Model S if it was an ICE vehicle" thread (paraphrased, the title is similar.) I think the overwhelming sentiment is that the electric drivetrain was a critical part of most peoples' decision, though for a range of reasons. The environmental aspect was certainly a strong component of my interest.
     
  3. gsxrex

    gsxrex Member

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    I am in the same boat as you. My car payment and insurance costs are the same on a monthly basis, but the cost of gas creeps up every single year. When gas hit $5.00 a gallon last October, it was the same day I plunked my $5k deposit down for the MS.

    So for me, the MS was a cost play first, and an environmental play a distant second. It didn't hurt that I get access to the carpool lane for a few years either...
     
  4. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Nissan and NRG studies clearly show that while environmental concerns do initially draw people in to look at the Leaf, people that actually buy the car list environmental reasons dead last as to why they bought it. And while I haven't seen any Tesla-specific studies, my conversations with Leaf and Tesla owners sure leads me to believe that environmental concerns matter even less to the average Tesla owner. This is why extremist attacks on "green" EVs are so amusing - they erroneously assume environmental reasons are the ONLY reason to consider the cars.

    So no, mknox, even though your reasons for interest are very different than mine, I don't think you're an outlier at all. Few people are willing to makes sacrifices for everybody's benefit (which is there is such a thing as a tragedy of the commons), so BEVs have to be sold on their personal benefits rather than the societal benefits.

    One of the leading reasons people do buy the car is for the cutting-edge technology...and most people looking for that understand why it's called "cutting edge". If they weren't willing to put up with a few hiccups, they wouldn't be looking for it.
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Interesting...I think we are on the same wavelength. In my professional life, I deal with energy conservation programs which were put in place to deal with capacity issues, but we get the most traction when we play the "Green Card" to get people to participate, even though strictly speaking, we have a very "green" electricity system in my jurisdiction.
     
  6. Getting Amped So

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    I personally don't think saving money in fuel costs down the road is a huge motivator for the Early Adopters. IMO the current buyers are:

    1) Technophiles
    2) Environmentalists (or at least are concerned about the damage ICE's do)
    3) Aren't "Pack followers" (you might call this a desire for self-expression)
    4) Combinations of 1-3

    I'm about 50%-25%-25%. Admittedly, if the "fuel" cost more than an ICE I probably wouldn't have jumped in. However, for those of us who only plan to keep our S for three years or so, we'll never recover the cost delta we paid over what we would have purchased otherwise. I think #3 is often overlooked, but I bet it's part of the personality of many Model S owners!
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I can assure you that saving money on fuel costs is just as important for me as the techie aspects. I keep my cars a very long time whenever possible. Generally people that purchase these kind of cars can be described with at least two of these adjectives: cheap, green, techie.
     
  8. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    IMO, its people who:
    - Love new technology
    - Want to help the environment
    - Don't want to support OPEC
    - Are tired of paying for gas
    - Want access to the HOV lane
    Or some combination of the above. In my case, all of the above apply to varying degrees (I didn't list them in that order). Actually the HOV lane access is a big one. Esp if you have a longer commute. Volt sales jumped in CA once they became HOV lane eligible.
     
  9. kbeckley

    kbeckley Member

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    I've always explained early buyers similarly but in 3 buckets:
    1) Folks who want the tech and performance
    2) Folks who want to get away from fossil fuels
    3) Folks who want to stop "foreign wars/paying OPEC" (mostly US buyers)

    Those 3 buckets form a huge swath of political/philosophical viewpoints. The ONLY common denominator is affluence.

    I believe strongly in the electrification of the automobile an am fortunate enough be able to afford a sig. If was an easy decision and I am more than willing to give Tesla a pass on the early issues - simply they are expected and I don't care. It's not because it is environmentally friendly that I give them a pass but because the technology is new. My charge port solenoid died two weeks in and I was delighted to spend half a day with the Tesla ranger holding the light and ratchet set talking shop while he fixed it. Any other car and I would not have been so delighted. Did not think I cared about the performance (although having it now is unbelievably nice and thrilling) or really care about saving on gas because paying $100k to save on gas is simply silly.

    I suspect I'm like a few others in that there was never another $100K car that I would be interested in buying. I'll be interested to see what mknox thinks when he gets his car. Will the niggling issues override his love of the car. I suspect not because this car is like no other.

    I read this thread frequently to find out what issues I might expect but am never worried by what I read. Why? Because I have driven this car for 40 days know how good it is. The only way I can imagine you could be disappointed in this car is:
    1) Unaddressed continued breakdown of the car.
    2) You come from owning $100k+ performance cars that have had rock solid reliability, you are incredibly discerning, and you don't care about electrification or some of the gee-wiz gadgetry.
     
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I'd like to reply to mknox's branch topic, but I'll wait 'til the mods find a different thread home for it so that my post will be on-topic at the new digs.
     
  11. Zextraterrestrial

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    1) not a pack follower
    2) live in Humboldt
    3) Engineer (environmental resource engineering)
    4) Nothing touches the S as a useful vehicle in comparison + it's quick as hell

    5)Love to smile :biggrin: & have fun


    oh, and I prefer a cleaner environment ;>
    our chicken's were all eaten (by coons) but we're getting bees next month bzzzz....
     
  12. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    It's been mentioned and I'm sure it's not #1 for most but the stop supporting OPEC thing is #1 for me. The best American kids are dying and losing limbs to make this corrupted culture rich while they strap bombs to their children to kill us.
     
  13. Jouler

    Jouler Member

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    6. I'm sure most people probably agree, voting with $$$ can be vastly more effective than voting with a ballot.
     
  14. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I never really bought that whole argument that the wars were all about oil. In fact if you look at where the US gets its imported oil from, Canada supplies far more than Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries.

    Having said that, however, I do believe that there are huge benefits to being energy self-sufficient, and EVs can contribute significantly to that.
     
  15. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Because oil is a global market, the Middle East would be a strategic area for the US even if we imported nothing from the Middle East. A disruption in Arab Gulf supplies would drive up oil prices dramatically, repricing Canadian oil along with everything else.
     
  16. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Um yeah. So it's not #1 on your list regarding this thread. However, I buy it hook line and sinker, and it's #1 on MY list.

    Bingo!
     
  17. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Yep, it's a global market, but it doesn't have to be. Energy independence would be a good thing, and as I say, electrification of transportation is a key step along the way. (Living in Canada, I wonder how much of a "strategic area" the US considers Canada to be :eek:)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Fair enough. It's certainly not a bad reason!
     
  18. Laumb

    Laumb smrtass.

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    #1 reason to get the S would be the convenience if never having to look at the clock on a sunday evening, during winter, and think " ****! Its 9pm, car is almost out of gas and I need some extra to be able to drive to work tomorrow!" And then having to get dressed, walk out to cold car and go fill it up.

    Environment is not a reason at all - but I do realize they lured me into helping the environment without me really going for it. Guess thats the real way to make a change, make cars we Are OK to drive, despite and not because, they Are green.


    _____
    Tapatalkin' from iTalatut.
     
  19. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    As long as Canadian oil producers are allowed to export oil, you'll necessarily be integrated with the global market. Saudi Arabia is part of the global market, and they are more than energy independent.

    Natural gas, OTOH, is costly to transport. Liquefying, transport in special ships, and regasifying are all costly steps. Because North American gas and electricity prices are essentially yoked together now, the high cost barrier to exporting NG gives electricity an added advantage over oil.
     
  20. dashrb

    dashrb Member

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    I'm with Al Sherman on this. For me, the driving factors are:
    1. climate change
    2. the oil industry as an international political evil
    3. fun of driving

    I've been driving a Prius for 7 years, so it's obvious to me that fun of driving is no longer at the top of my priorities. But as an upper-middle-class citizen, it is my social responsibility to pay a premium price, and take extra risk as an early adopter, in order to advance society in general.

    I recognize that with my career, and my (lack of) charity work, I am barely contributing to the advancement of society. I am a "taker"; not financially as Paul Ryan has opined, but in terms of technological and cultural advancement, I'm not really helping the human race. So.... Spending money on this car is but a small way that I can contribute in a positive manner. It isn't as much as I could do, but it's better than nothing. When I apologize to my children for playing a part in ruining the planet that they will inherit, at least I can say that I did *something* to reduce the damage.
     

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