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Ever "sold" or convinced a non-Tesla geek to buy a Model S?

JMG

Member
Feb 26, 2015
386
263
NE Texas
I got my MS back in May, and of course, love it.

My Mom is widowed, lives alone, but in her early 60's. She's always been fairly financially conservative. In fact, when she found out I was buying a Tesla...I thought I was going to walk into a room someday and have a bunch of family members around for a "financial intervention", :biggrin:. She was worried about me spending that much money on a car, about appearing to show off money to others, etc. That was until, she rode in it for the first time....:wink:

She was blown away, and surprisingly one of my favorite test rides. I thought she would be mildly amused, but she really enjoyed it and wanted me to take it around her neighborhood to show some of her friends.

Anyway, for the past 7-10 years she's driven Infiniti sedans (I35, M35) and really loved them. In 2013 she decided she needed more cargo space and so she got a Lexus RX350, but she's never been in love with it. She misses the "get up and go" of her previous Infinitis...and just overall has been underwhelmed. This weekend she told me she was considering trading it in for another Infiniti (another SUV). I jokingly said, "Tesla is coming out with the Model X!". Then, as we got to talking, I started thinking more and more that it might be a good option for her (a Model S, I don't think she needs a Model X...plus she likes sedans more anyway). She missed how fun those Infinitis were to drive and just how boring the RX350 is. We took another "test drive" and she really really loved it. But she was a little worried about the whole charging issue. I thought she would completely dismiss the Tesla as a realistic possibility, but I was surprised that she's seriously considering it.

Before this, I thought there was no way it would be good for my Mom to have a Tesla at this point. We're in East Texas, so not a lot of charging options for us. She's the one that I need to come over everynow and then to fix her TV, ceiling fan, bluetooth problem, etc. I don't picture her having the forethought (or patience) to plan ahead for destination charging. In other words, if she's going on a long trip that doesn't have a supercharger on the route, there's no way I see her hauling around a huge extension cord, 14-50 adapter, pulling out a dryer and plugging in. She needs something far more traditional.

However, we sat and talked for a long while about all the places she might go. We decided that 95-98% of her driving would be very doable with a 90kwh battery. This means trips to and from the farthest parts of Dallas (200-240 rated miles round trip). She goes to Houston ever few months to see her parents, which is super easy to do with three superchargers along the route. She goes to Tyler fairly often which is super easy (100 rated miles round trip). The only questionable trips are the ones that might be spontaneous and somewhere a little more off the beaten path. A good example is she recently went with a couple of girlfriends to Granbury TX (southeast of Ft Worth). This is about 300 miles round trip with no Superchargers anywhere along the route. So I explained to her that in this situation, she would either have to find a charge at the destination (plug at the hotel, Plugshare, destination charger which there is one) or she'd need to stop at a Chademo charger on the way home for about 15-30 minutes. I would have some anxiety trying to see her wrestle the chademo adapter around (she has fairly weak hands/grip). She acknowledged that she just might have to tell her friends that she can't drive that trip.

Or, a friend of hers lives in Little Rock, AR. That is a complete no-go right now. However, the 2016 map (I know I know, Tesla time) shows that route being fully covered.

So all of that to say, have you convinced someone who isn't the typical Tesla buyer (technologically above average) to buy. And if so, how has the result been? Did they adjust to the charging requirements? Did they surprise you or was it an epic fail? I really think that it will be fine and she'll absolutely love the car. But I have this fear that she'll be too stressed out about planning charging and not understanding how it all works, etc.

I know that in the end, it will ultimately be just a decision that we have to make if it will be practical or not...but just curious for some other input of those in similar situations. Thanks!
 

yo mama

Supporting Member
Jul 22, 2015
463
164
san jose, CA
My mom wants one but now feels weird, like she'd be "copying me." I told her to quit being silly and get one... just in a different color.

Otherwise, no. Everyone I talk to loves the car but cost seems to be the mental barrier.
 

JMG

Member
Feb 26, 2015
386
263
NE Texas
Yeah, financially it's not a problem for her. Its just the convenience, etc. She also said she was worried about servicing it as well, as driving in Dallas traffic makes her a little nervous. However, I think she'd qualify for the $100 ranger fee (if that hasnt' changed already) and I've only had one minor problem with mine.

freeewilly, she's 63.
 

Alysashley79

Active Member
Oct 4, 2013
1,201
513
Seattle(ish) WA
JMG. I've sold several to non geeky people and I think they probably appreciate all the tesla does more than even some of us tech geeks.

In regards to service I'm sure she can pay extra and have them come get it and bring her a loaner. If there's a long trip where the tesla won't make it due to charging issues (and something you can sometimes get around this is destination charging) otherwise rent an ICE for the weekend trip that happens every once in a while. I've had my S for almost 2 years. At the time I got mine there was only 1 super charger in my state (now there's 3) and I found with a bit more planning nothing was impossible!
 

RAW84

Member
Oct 6, 2014
614
314
Boston
I've found that it's best to follow up the note about only 2-5% of your trips being problematic with a note on the convenience of "waking up with a full charged" during the vast majority of your travels. I think that fact is not fully appreciated by most.
 

JMG

Member
Feb 26, 2015
386
263
NE Texas
Just a followup, she's decided against the Model S. :-(

She said she's just too nervous about the charging/range and "wants to wait a couple of years" for the Supercharger network to expand and the range to get larger. So, I'm going with her on Monday to test drive Infinitis...:rolleyes:

I'm still firmly convinced that she'd be fine 97.5% of the time, but this is an issue I realize I don't need to push. Hopefully Tesla will continue to aggressively expand the SC network and help ease some concern of those that aren't quite as capable of planning future charges, calculations, etc.

Bummer, and I was looking forward to my $1,000 referral credit....
 

JMG

Member
Feb 26, 2015
386
263
NE Texas
Everyone who rides in mine wants one but cites price as the barrier. It's just too expensive for many folks.

Well in this case, price is not a problem. She just doesn't need more stress of trying to figure if she'll have destination charging for her few trips outside of the supercharger network, calculating her wh/mile and rated range...etc. For example, the road trip I just did this weekend...I charged (on a 110 outlet) at a relative's house, and I knew before going that I was going to be able to do this and skip a supercharger on the way back (that was out of the way) if I got at least 220-230 miles.

She wouldn't want to do this and the associated stress. So, it makes sense, just kind of bums me out. In another 3 years or so, hopefully the range will be well into the 300's and she'll be comfortable at that point. I guess in some areas we're still "kind of" early adopters. I'm forever grateful to the real early adopters, that is for sure!
 

linuxkidd

Member
Sep 17, 2015
60
32
Las Vegas
On a recent business trip, a client was talking about wanting a Jag F-type R.. By the end of our week, I talked him into (and scheduled for him) a test-drive... He drove a P85D w/ Insane mode on and was hooked... He's not pulled the trigger yet, but looks like he (and his wife) are excited about the Model S!

LK
 

P85DBeast

Side tEsLa
Mar 29, 2015
625
306
Atlanta, GA
Convinced my parents to get one got a Signature Series. One day my dad was driving my car and got on the freeway (I don't know how he got their) and he said he hates where the blind spot monitor indicator is located he said it should be located in the wing mirrors. He also said the sunroof pillar could be a bit Skinner like cars below I would love to have it like this too (picture below)

- - - Updated - - -

Convinced my parents to get one got a Signature Series. One day my dad was driving my car and got on the freeway (I don't know how he got their) and he said he hates where the blind spot monitor indicator is located he said it should be located in the wing mirrors. He also said the sunroof pillar could be a bit Skinner like cars below I would love to have it like this too (picture below)
 

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