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EVERYONE Who Can Afford a Tesla Should Be Driving One

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by ToddRLockwood, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    #1 ToddRLockwood, Nov 5, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
    After reading about the latest UN report on global warming, I was inspired to write this blog piece...

    Digital Toaster: EVERYONE Who Can Afford a Tesla Should Be Driving One

    Even among my own circle of friends, I know people who could make the switch if they felt compelled to do so. When the Model S was conceived, Tesla knew that it had to be first-and-foremost a great car. Few people would spend this kind of money for a step down from their current luxury vehicle. But with the release of the D variant and the simultaneous release of the UN report on global warming, it feels as if the game has clicked up a notch. Tesla and the Tesla community need to do everything possible to promote the Model S as "the new normal" — not an exotic spaceship.

    Please excuse the stereotyping, but in my experience people of means are more adverse to change. Old habits die hard at the country club. These folks need to be convinced that going electric will not change them into "weirdos" in the eyes of their friends. The privileged have to move beyond the inconvenience of global warming, to taking a proactive role. They are in the best position to make a meaningful change right now by driving a Model S, installing a solar system, and converting home HVAC to heat pump technology.

    Buyers in this category are likely to have at least one other car in the garage, a gasoline powered one, so adding a Tesla is not necessarily a complete changeover. But as many Model S owners have found, that other car rarely gets driven once you get accustomed to a Tesla.

    -----------------------------

    ADDENDUM

    I think it's important to remember that a Model S is more than simply an electric car; it's a rolling announcement about the arrival of electric transportation. Sure, there may only be about 60,000 Model S on the road — hardly enough to have a measurable effect on global CO2 — but the effect these cars have on the rest of the car buying public is huge. The Model S has already redrawn the image of the electric car, changing it from a curiosity to an object of lust. Tesla is updating America's love affair with the automobile. The payoff for the environment will come later, when consumers have abundant choices of electric cars. But in the meantime, the more Model S vehicles that appear on the road, the better. We need to feed that lust to the point where public demand finally forces major car makers to build EVs that are worthy replacements of existing automobiles.
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    ...or they could change their lifestyles so as not to even need a car. (that's not for me, but I'm just sayin')
     
  3. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    Agreed! Glad to see others out there like this. :)
     
  4. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Right. Unsure if this is what you were getting at, but not everything is for everyone. Maybe folks need more range. Maybe they don't like the looks of the car. Maybe it's too big. Maybe the interior quality DOES make them see it as a step down. Maybe they don't like Elon Musk.

    Hey, maybe they're just stubborn. Whatever the case, they choose not to. Same way they choose not to join those who bike to work, or go vegan or...
     
  5. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    There is a lot of misconceptions about Tesla and EV's, just take a peak at the reaction to the Motor Trend test drive of the D. Scroll down to comments made at the end of the article. I agree with the above, I think we all do our best to change those misconceptions with people we meet. I have a neighbor whose is a retired doctor and even though he can afford a Model S would never spend that kind of money on a car. He understands global warming and drives 2 Prius's and has solar, we have had many discussions on Tesla and says when the gen 3 comes out he will buy one if it is reasonably priced. As I have said before cannot wait for the mass market Tesla, then what will be your excuse!
     
  6. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    The title of the blog post is very presumptuous and will not go over well with many people. Many people don't want to spend that much money on a car (even if they can "afford" it), some don't like driving or parking such a large car, some want an even bigger car like a SUV, some drive places frequently that are not accessible by supercharger or without convenient destination charging. Some may just have different priorities. Show and tell about the car gets many people interested in it. Tell people what they "should" be driving and they will stop listening.
     
  7. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    I agree with you. A Model S is not for everybody. And when you come right down to it, most people buy cars with their wallet, not their social conscience. But the recent UN report on global warming does add a new factor, I believe. In my mind electric cars have gone from "nifty curiosity" to "essential to our survival" in less than a decade. Likewise for solar power. We need to push things beyond the "feel good" motivation to actually being proactive and accountable. I'm not a big fan of finger-pointing, but at some point we must become collectively conscious of the reality we're facing.
     
  8. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    Maybe should is not a good word, but given what you have said I would say that if this is the kind of car you would normally think of buying, then why not an all electric car instead. Like everything in life there are compromises and maybe you could compromise to help get off gas.
     
  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, but we really need to look at root causes and a big one is over-population. No matter how green and eco-conscious you are, bringing more "consumers" into an already overpopulated world probably undoes every other effort you could make in your lifetime.
     
  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    The reality is that the Model S even in the base config with no options is far too costly for the vast majority of Americans and Europeans and other developed countries, and even more out of reach for the rest of the world. However, many Americans or Europeans or Japanese can afford a Nissan Leaf or similar.
     
  11. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    I hear you. We may be able to double the average gas mileage of cars over the next decade, but the number of cars will have doubled during the same period. So where's the gain? And at some point, we will reach physical limits on gas mileage. The beauty of the EV/solar combination is that it deals with the two biggest CO2 problems at the same time. I think Elon really has this right.
     
  12. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    It's the same doom and gloom that has been around for a decade now. Sure we are worse off but it is only because we are 10 more years down the line. Why is this doom and gloom report more meaningful than all the rest?

    And buying a few thousand extra EVs isn't going to make a hill of beans difference.

    What really needs to happen is laying the infrastructure, and groundwork to switch from fossil fuels. But that wont happen on an individual level.

    And why not a LEAF or eGolf?
     
  13. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    #13 dhrivnak, Nov 5, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
    There are many paths to energy efficiency. A car is just ONE part of the equation. Have you gone 100% solar? That can make as big of difference as a car. As others have said walking and riding a bike are even better than an EV.

    How about going vegetarian? So I would not preach about a car until you yourself have made all possible changes.

    PS Even I am a work in progress and still have much I can do to reduce my carbon footprint. Yes I drive an EV and bicycle to work, have a passive solar house augmented with solar PV and have reduced meat. But I still eat meat, eat food imported from around the world and we still have a gas car, a Prius but it still burns oil. We all have blind spots and use energy in MANY ways. We still go on vacations and air travel is quite carbon intensive. While a Tesla is a great step, to me it is only one of many steps that need to be taken.
     
  14. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    A LEAF or eGolf would be wonderful also. However, for some of us, 80-90 miles won't do it.

    You really should read the report. It states that our actions are critical, but can have an impact. It isn't all "doom and gloom".
    Much more certainty from the previous points. Of course, we can, and should continue to research and learn.

    EVs are one piece of the solution. Our electrical grid needs a lot of work.

    As for the actions I can take as an individual, buying, driving, and showing others about the Tesla is one of the biggest impacts I can make.
     
  15. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    For me, this realization occurred a little over 2 years ago in Sept '12. I'm one of the people who it turns out CAN afford to drive one of these cars, but prior to Tesla, the idea of even spending $20k on a car was weird to me. Even today, the idea of spending $20k on any car EXCEPT a Tesla is weird to me. Back then, I had my ah-hah moment where I went very quickly from "would like to drive electric" to "I can afford it" to "it's a moral imperative, for me, to be driving electric". Others in the thread have commented about the title of your blog post being presumptuous, and in my own conversations with people, I don't put it as strongly as "if YOU can afford it, then YOU need to do it". But I do talk about it from my perspective - that for me, it became a moral imperative to translate the possibility into action; to be driving electric, and to be producing as much of my own electricity as possible.

    I call this the first rung of personal energy independence. And I have a firm grasp on that bottom rung :)


    For me, it includes all of the reasons you cite. Every single one of us reading this forum is well into the 10% of the global population that account for 50% of the carbon footprint. Most of us are well into the 1% of the global population, and I suspect that we (broad generality) have an outsize fraction of that 50% of the carbon footprint. We are also the ones most able to take personal action and do something about it.

    For me, I don't feel like I'm in a position to do something about global carbon. But I realized a couple of years ago that even if I couldn't fix the world problem, I could at least stop making significant contributions to the problem. For me personally, that meant "sacrifice" by driving a Roadster (oh, the agony :)), and adding a 10 Kw solar system to the roof of our house. The fact that the Roadster is a joy to drive, and less expensive to operate (total cost of ownership is dramatically higher, but now that we have it - the per mile cost is lower), and that the solar system is also making money and will pay itself back, makes it awfully painless for me to obey this moral imperative.

    So I try to be an example to people around me, many of whom I believe could be driving electric, and many of whom I believe would put a solar system on the roof if they had an idea of how good of an investment it can be (and as a bonus, it reduces one's carbon footprint).


    A perspective on carbon production that has impacted me heavily comes from the BBC documentary with Hans Grosling "Don't Panic". You can watch it here:
    http://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-the-facts-about-population/#.VFp7WjbTles

    It's an hour long, but part of what I like about it is that Hans is a master story teller (so the statistics and visualizations are also interesting). Most importantly for me, it's not a dreary hour of all that is bad in the world - there are some rather remarkable advancements we've made as a species in a mere eyeblink of time. It's a hopeful sign that is far more long sighted than anything you're likely to get from the daily news.
     
  16. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    This is the key. One becomes thousands very quickly to millions. Have the money? Buy a Tesla, or a LEAF, I don't care. Get an EV. I think some are taking the title to literally.
     
  17. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I have been vegetarian my whole adult life, put solar panels on the house, drive a (non-Tesla "all I could afford") EV, but don't really consider myself an environmentalist.
    These decisions were made somewhat subconsciously. I try not to preach my lifestyle choices to anyone, but hope others might think they are good ideas too.
    In the early days of Tesla, they pushed the global-warming/oil-independence angle, but it seems they decided it was better not to have to argue those points (let people decide for themselves) and just sell based on all other standard car metrics (performance, safety, comfort, handling, reliability, interior room, style, etc.) So far, their plan seems to be working!
     
  18. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    His blog was considered and well-written. You don't need to agree with him but to tell him that unless he is perfect in all aspects of his life he shouldn't "preach" makes no sense to me. Take issue with his arguments, not him as a person. Ad hominem attacks have no place in any debate. Someone can have a cigarette in their hand and tell you not to smoke. Their message is no less correct.
     
  19. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    The truth of the matter is, US CO2 emissions have already declined to 1990 era levels and seem to be continuing. However, there is nothing, NOTHING, the U.S. can do that will mitigate the huge emissions coming out of China and India as they modernize their entire population. That goes for other developing countries as well. Those countries have also said they will ride the coal train until their economies improve. That's the real problem, and no number of $100000 luxury cars will fix that.
     
  20. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    It may surprise you to know that I came to the Model S as a car guy, not an environmentalist. I founded the Vermont chapter of the Ferrari Club. My attraction to the Model S was its performance, design and technology. The green aspect of it was a nice extra, but certainly not my motivation for buying one. I'm a perfect example of a person whom Tesla had in mind when they set out to create "a great car" — as opposed to "a great electric car."

    It was only after owning the Model S for a year and driving it every day in all seasons, that I began to recognize the role that electric cars will play in our future. I became a student of EV technology, and that led me to learn more about the environmental benefits, especially when solar power is part of the equation. And yes, I do charge my car and power my home with solar, something else I wouldn't have thought of doing until the Model S came along.

    I've read reams of information about energy and the environment, but one of the most memorable bits was Elon Musk's appearance on TED in 2013. He captured the big picture in a way that I hadn't heard before, boldly predicting that solar would be the single largest contributor to the U.S. electric grid by 2030. And he showed how solar power and electric vehicles are perfect partners in tackling the two largest CO2 problems at the same time.

    By the way, I do avoid meat, but not for political for environmental reasons. I do it for my health.

    - - - Updated - - -

    This expresses exactly what I've been experiencing. Tesla is building the answer to a question that most of the country hasn't asked yet. My light bulb moment came after I'd owned my Model S for a year. That's when I began to appreciate the bigger picture. I imagine many of my friends will do the same thing—buy a Model S simply because it's a compelling vehicle, and then later recognize the environmental significance.
     

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