TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here:

How did you initially come to the decision to get a Model S?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by onlinespending, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. onlinespending

    Oct 3, 2011
    I'm kind of curious to hear the thought process behind people's decisions to get the Model S. Obviously most people will claim they wanted an EV, but I'm sure there's more to the story than that.

    A couple of years ago I decided to put down a deposit for the Model S, after what started as a rather frivolous pursuit for a car that was as sexy as it was unique. Admittedly I wanted something that had some cachet, something that stood out from the herd of Bimmers, Benzes, and Lexuses. I started looking into used Ferrari's and Maserati's. And quickly reason began to set in. Even if I could afford these cars (and there were some at surprisingly affordable levels), they would be maintenance and reliability nightmares. I considered the Porsche Panamera, but really dislike the look of it. And somewhere in my search I stumbled upon a prototype Model S. A high performance EV with sexy looks? I was sold. Hell it even looked like a Maserati Quattroporte, which was what I had original coveted.

    For me the Model S is the car without compromises. If you wanted a stylish high-performance car, it's always been something. It's a nice car, but... But it is a maintenance and reliability nightmare. But it gets terrible gas mileage. But it isn't safe. With the Model S, I feel as if I get to have my cake and eat it too. I get a highly attractive car, a high-performance car (especially with the Performance edition), supreme handling with its low CG, tons of cargo space, superior MPGe, top class safety (quite likely 5-stars across the board), state of the art tech centered around a one-of-a-kind 17" touchscreen. And all of the amazing features that are uniquely EV, such as being able to cool and warm the cabin whenever I desire before getting into the car.

    I don't pretend to think the Model S is the savior of the Earth and the answer to global warming. It's likely far more beneficial to the environment if we simply kept the cars we already own and relied more on public transit (there's a huge environmental impact just with the manufacturing and transportation of new cars, and the disposable of used cars). But I am very environmentally conscious, and believe this is a step in the right direction for the auto industry as a whole. I hope the Model S to be the car I own for the next 20 years.
  2. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

    Jan 13, 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    The first time was in my power electronics class in college in 2002. I learned about induction motors, motor control, and most importantly TORQUE! I had taken plenty of physics and dynamics classes and well the force/torque in a induction motor is WAY better than the compressible fluid in an ICE. Ever since then I have wanted a car with electric drive. At first I was going to power a small battery pack with a gas turbine generator, and drive with 4 motors (I still want to do this). And it was going to be a big ass Jeep/Humvee type vehicle. It has slowly migrated to where I only want a pure BEV.

    I heard about the Tesla Roadster and being just out of college, it was always just a dream. I would search Tesla motors on the web about every 6 months read a bit, build a Roadster and ::SIGH::. I signed up for their newsletter and got emails on about the same schedule as me searching out their site. I heard about the Model S, and saw the "starting under $50,000" and did my typical well I'll get a couple AA batteries to power the base model. But about June-July last year the Model S seemed 'real' to me. I got a pretty sweet raise (2nd good raise in 2 years) and probably most importantly PAID OFF MY CAR! The floodgates were open for me finding out my next car. I even went test driving, and well I was preferring my 4.5 year old VW GTI to almost everything I was looking at. I drove a Subaru STI and liked my used car better. I decided my ideal car would be my GTI crossed with a Jetta Wagon Diesel. Great mileage, lots of room for my greyhound, and well fast and nimble. But I looked at the Model S, and relegated it to out of my price range. Plus living in Atlanta I couldn't go anywhere to make Tesla 'feel' real.

    Then I got a mailer saying they would release Model S pricing. I went on Tesla Motors site. I looked up locations. Nothing close to Atlanta still. But I was going to NY for Christmas. There was a NY store. So I went to the store. They said they would get the Model S technology display shipped to them tomorrow. I said I would be back. I came back with my fiancee. Sadly the technology display was not delivered. I ended up leaving NYC Christmas day so I never saw the skateboard. But I saw a few roadsters, I saw the roadster motor. And ever since that visit I have been bonkers for Model S. I drove a Leaf to get the 'feel' of electric, and loved it. And I imagine the Leaf is nowhere near what the Model S will be.

    I got home and after a week I really looked at the Model S pricing. I actually looked at my finances. I can actually afford a $50,000 car! Sweet. So I started looking harder and harder and in mid January had convinced myself I could afford the 85kWh model S with leather, technology, air suspension. After looking at how much that would actually cost, and improving my fuel and electricty cost estimates I realized I *might* be able to afford the 85kWh, but I can definitely afford the 40kWh. I started logging all my trips, and found out that I can make all my trips with a 40kWh pack, and probably without altering my driving habits. Sure I can't drive to Charlotte (from Atlanta) in the 40kWh, and probably could in the 85kWh but my fiancee has a ICE (I am not relying on trade in value for any of my finance calculations) so I could keep it (parked in the front lawn :cool:) to make the 240 mile trip, which happens 2-4 times a year. Now I am sold. The only thing now is I have to pay for my wedding.

    I have since looked at other EVs. But none of them seem to have the range that I need. I drive ~60-80 miles on a normal day. And a few days a month are ~100 miles. There isn't much I can do about this. A leaf might be able to do the 80 mile days, but I will have to change my driving habits.

    I have always loved alternate power sources. In High School we had a model car hill climb competition in a physics class. You could use a really weak electric motor to power your car. I ended up winning using rubber bands to power my car. In middle school we had an engineering competing to race model boats. We could use balloons to power the boats. I ended up winning by putting water in the balloon and having a pseudo-submarine (stability and boat tracking were the real problems here). In college we had a robotics competition where we had many goals. There were limited power sources. We were the only team to create real 'power' with mouse traps. Everyone else just snapped them. We ended up 3rd overall.
  3. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    Grimsby, Canada
    I was at the Toronto Auto Show two years ago...I knew about the Roadster & loved it, but it was too impractical for my family (at the time).

    The folks at the show told me about the Model S...I looked it up online...with the good looks of the vehicle (and promised performance, range, etc.), I immediately sent in my deposit...
  4. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Jan 15, 2011
    Not really sure. I'd heard of the Roadster, but to my mind it was a toy for millionaires. A friend mentioned Tesla was coming out with a Sedan and I checked it out and ended up reserving. I wasn't in the market for a car though and I really don't care much about buying a "luxury" car. I drive an RX8 now, my wife an Acura RDX, which are $30k cars. That was, far and away, the most I really ever wanted to pay for a car.

    I'm not really sure why I have a Model S reservation to be honest. I'm excited about getting it, but there's nothing in my normal approach to cars or money that meshes with getting one.
  5. Tommy

    Tommy Member

    Mar 3, 2010
    The great OC
    My test drive of the EV1 over ten years ago. Though the range and size of the EV1 didn't meet my needs, I was smitten enough by the overall performance of the electric power-train vs an ICE I knew some day I would own an electric car.
  6. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

    Feb 29, 2012
    Kongsberg, Norway
    I've reserved a Model X, but it's the same thing, right?

    I've been interested in BEVs for a few years, as I quickly realized that BEVs are the future. Looking at hydrogen, biofuels, etc - they're all so inefficient. I firmly believe peak oil will backhand the world across the face within a few years, and that makes energy efficiency very important. I also feel it is important to personally be ready for peak oil. I don't want my family to grow up in a world where we have no freedom of movement. This lead me to drool on the Model S for a couple of years. It looks like a really good car, and relative to it's competitors, it's really cheap here. Two things stopped me from taking the leap and reserving one:

    1. Price
    2. Winter performance

    What happened was that my plan to buy a house got pushed back a couple of years, so suddenly, I would be able to afford a car in that price range. And then, suddenly, I heard about the release of the Model X. I think the Model X will be a lot better to drive in winter, and on top of that, it's got everything the Model S has and then some. Also, it will be released at a time where the Model S will have been on the roads for a while, so the worst bugs will probably be worked out by then. (Thanks guys!)
  7. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

    Dec 14, 2010
    Marietta, GA
    I've had EVs for 10 years now, but never thought too much about Tesla. The idea of all those small cells tied together just seemed to be too many points of possible failure. Within a month of buying a used Roadster on eBay at a significant discount and reading these forums, I was convinced that Tesla was way ahead of everyone else, so I placed a reservation for a Signature Model S.
  8. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

    Apr 13, 2009
    Miami, Florida
    I was always interested in the environmental impact of all of our ICE cars on the road, and when I saw Who Killed the Electric Car? I started researching what was going on with EVs (not just hybrids, which were clearly inferior). I loved the whole ethos of Tesla -- EVs should be better than ICEs, and there shouldn't be a "sacrfice" for buying an EV, and I loved the Roadster even though it was totally impractical for me as a father of three young kids. I anxiously awaited the reveal of the Model S (I think we're about to hit the three year anniversary if I'm not mistaken on March 9th?) and put a deposit down on the very first day. Haven't regretted it for a day since, though the closer it comes to fruition the longer the wait seems to take!
  9. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

    Oct 13, 2011
    Delran, NJ
    Completely feed up with ICE cars with all the asinine repairs and fill-ups and the Model S was the only viable one with the distance that I need.

    After a test ride at the Oct event, completely sold on it to the point of getting the bells and whistles one just convince others to buy a Tesla.
  10. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    Sarasota, FL
    Seeing too much of this:

    o01_23334333[1].jpg o04_23306061[1].jpg

    First we got PV installed and then I wanted a family car that would run on electricity and could go >200 miles on one charge. A quick Google search and there was Tesla.
  11. MitchL

    MitchL S#945

    Dec 28, 2011
    Saratoga, CA
    ... my first American car.
    ... designed and built in right here in Silicon Valley.
    ... high tech through and through, with a whole new approach to just about everything.
    ... powered by the Sun.
    ... and it even looks great and performs well too!

    Slam dunk for me.

  12. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    South Florida
    I can say that I have been following Tesla since the development of the Roadster but Tesla's vision of building a viable four door sedan that could go roughly 300 miles is what really made me take notice that a new electric sedan could be something I wanted to purchase.

    As time went on and the sedan came to be know as the Model S; I started gauging my driving habits and realized that I could pay myself to drive the future in fuel savings, reduce or eliminate preventative maintenance and be in a exclusive club until Telsa Motors increases its production numbers. For me, purchasing a Model S would be a
  13. goyogi

    goyogi Member

    May 22, 2011
    ::Silicon Valley:: ::Home of Tesla::
    And seeing too much of this:

    I've wanted an EV for over 20 years now. I have a Volt currently because I couldn't wait for a great EV and it was unknown if Tesla could deliver. Then I got to go on the October factory tour and was impressed enough to put a deposit down. My sis will be getting my Volt.

    As a bonus the Tesla is fast, sexy, handles well, spacious, designed and built locally in Silicon Valley supporting local jobs. And it will be recharged with renewable energy from my home. I can't wait to show it off to others to get them on board as well.
  14. kvietor

    kvietor Model S S280 VIN 168

    Dec 12, 2010
    Lithia, FL
    One of the first paperbacks I bought as a kid in middle school was "Mysterious Island" by Jules Verne. Sci Fi has always intrigued me. I guess I enjoyed daydreaming of all those things the futuure would hold. Now, 50 years later, it's no longer science fiction, but fact. When I think of all the amazing things man has accomplished in just the last 100 years, I'm glad to be part of it. So I am pleased to be the George Jetson of my era and whizz around in my electric car.
  15. Ardie

    Ardie Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    I was one of those [ idiots|visionaries|kooks ] (take your pick) who originally was mesmerized by the Aptera 2-seat 3-wheeled battery powered electric car back in 2008. They were taking $500 deposits for a vehicle that would be in limited production by the end of the year, and ramping up quickly to satisfy demand. Then the delivery date slipped to Spring 2009 -> Fall 2009 -> February 2010 -> Late 2010 -> Never.

    In the meantime, I lived vicariously through Tesla Roadster owners who spun tales of galloping acceleration, of 200 mile trips between charges, of unmatched contentment knowing that not a drop of gasoline stained their fingers while owning that fine automobile of the future ... available here, today! Alas, I am not in that stratified tax bracket that would allow a $125,000 Roadster purchase. And alas, I am too vertically enhanced, and would have to fold like a switchblade to get in and out of one.

    So I turned to the Model S. 160/230/300 mile range, size about that of a BMW 5- or 7- series sedan, whisper quiet, loaded with power, speed "more than adequate," and a price tag that is within my reach. But once bitten, twice shy, so I waited to see how things would unfold. Days turned into months, and I eventually got to sit in an honest-to-goodness electric car that could indeed have been called upon for just about any trip I had taken in the past two years. I could stand it no longer and succumbed to the siren call of Newport Beach's Tesla store shortly after Christmas 2011 and put in my deposit for one to-be-specified Model S. The wait will be about a year and a half, but I have more confidence that it will actually happen.

    But wait! I am not just sitting on pins and needles here. My wife came home one night mentioning that I should go to such-and-such a website because BMW was now accepting applications to lease a BMW electric car for 2 years, and that there are only 700 of 'em, and they were going fast. Okay, I admit it. I surfed. I saw. I clicked. BMW ActiveE. BMW 1-series body. 2 doors, 4 seats. 32 kWh battery. ~100 mile range. Yeah, sure. Like I have an ice cube's chance in a blast furnace. First, BMW will refer me to a company that will come out and survey my home to make sure it is suitable for a charger (and a sleeping place for the car), and only *then* can I move forward and actually submit an application - which could be declined for any number of reasons. And the waiting would begin. Maybe for months. Who knows?
    The charger survey got scheduled four days from the initial sign-up. But the VERY NEXT MORNING, they called and asked if they could pop over and look at the house TODAY(!). (Yawn) Sure, come on over. Knock yourself out. He *did* come over, looked at the circuit breaker box, at the separate garage, the garage's circuit breaker box, the 220V already in there, and said he didn't see any issues. Within 48 hours, BMW got a copy of the charger guy's blessing, referred me to a BMW dealer, and I got an email of a lease application form. (Whoa, this is really going a lot faster than I thought it would.) I fill out the form, fax it back, and then start thinking that this might really happen. While I'm fired up about it, I dragged my better half over to Sterling BMW of Newport Beach (after all, she started it), and actually got to sit in and *test drive* a real live electic car. Silent when stopped. Golf cart-y when you start up, but it sure does have a lot of get-up-and go. The golf cart-like whirr quickly builds to more of a quiet turbine as you accelerate. Uphill. This would be *great* in a race to the top of Pike's Peak. Handles a bit heavy when slow, but goes away when you are at speed. It was 2 days after the test drive that I got the "Congratulations, Electronaut!" email from BMW of North America notifying me that we are scheduled to receive a BMW ActiveE. They just don't say when it will happen. Since then, the actual charging station has been installed, the garage cleared of my daughter's high school science project and other debris, and we await the final call to "come on down!" and pick up our new ActiveE.

    So it will be a great two year test of the waters to see if I really want to go electric. If my Model S build number comes up before the end of the BMW's lease, I could always put them off for a while, or we would just clear out the other half of the garage and go *totally* electric.

    -- Ardie
    As long as it can make it to Las Vegas, my wife will go for it.
  16. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

    Jul 6, 2011
    Following Tesla since 2008 when the Roadster Signature hit Europe and reviews appeared in car magazines. As family grew, my wife suggested getting a minivan. Oh well. Then came March 2009 and I showed her the Model S prototype pics. Seats seven. Electric. OK, why not? After all, she talked me into installing PV on our home and it just makes sense to go EV as the next step. In the time before, I considered Biodiesel, plant oil, LPG/CNG cars but was taken back by cost/lack of infrastructure/still unresolved environmental impact. From that point of view, Model S is the best solution, though very pricey one.
  17. ddenboer

    ddenboer MODEL S SIG

    Dec 21, 2011
    San Martin, CA
    Been following Tesla for years, thought that it was interesting what they were doing, but not for me.
    Last fall, finally decided that the space and acceleration on my Civic Hybrid were not enough (and the rapidly declining fuel economy since the software patch), and started looking at Mercedes and BMW's. And then I found out a friend worked at Tesla, and it made me look again. This was right after the October beta release, and I watched the video of those kids getting out of the back. I watched the videos of it speeding on the test track. I watched everything I could, read everything I could, and was sold.
    7 seater. Very fast. Sexy. Electric.
    Deposit went in late October, and I can't wait for delivery.
  18. Zextraterrestrial

    Mar 11, 2010
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    I grew up in Los Altos and was always interested in the Tzero. Not knowing what I wanted to do (still?) I took a bunch of chem, physics and math classes and originally started as a chem major at Calpoly SLO. After a break from school and working on pools/spas and learning more about electronics/wiring/ heaters/fluid principles/ pumps etc I went back to school to get an Environmental Resource Engineering degree. I started working for the CA DOT. After a year that I made a bit of overtime I spent some 'fun money' on electric RC helicopters. The power of the brushless motors is insane compared to the crappy brushed motor RCs that I had when I was 'little'. I was looking into building a EV and still hope to do it someday( after~ 100 other projects or so are finished around the house). The EV that I plan on building is a bit out of my time/price range right now and the model S, for what it is, is a better deal I believe.

    So, in March 2010 I was given a $10k check from my semi step father (since they never actually re-married) when his mother died.
    Bam $5k to Tesla that I will not miss and 5 into my mutual funds(which should have gone to the IPO as i planned but lagged on getting a stock account, my bad)

    I know I don't really need a 300 mi version S but If I'm going to spend over $30k (the most I would 'willingly' spend on a car) I want the best one I can get. I want to give people rides and blow their minds open! There are so many misconceptions and slanted journalism/politics that people get information and ideas all twisted. There is a pretty big EVangelical group in Humboldt Co and lots of support and am very exited to be a part of it all.

    ..And my wife loves Tesla! I think the factory locked in her love! She Is a metalsmith/designer/creator of awesomeness and I might have lost her to the factory if I didn't keep an eye on her:tongue:
  19. SUN-day Driver

    Jan 6, 2012
    When we got PV we sized it a little bigger than we needed with the idea that we'd be getting an EV someday. We seriously looked at the LEAF but we were unimpressed by how cheap it looked, and its overall ugliness. It would have been a real step down from the Saab sedans we drive now, and we preferred to step up rather than down. We'd read about the plans for the Tesla S a few years ago and so decided to look further into it. An EV that is actually a nice car is exactly what we were looking for, so we made a reservation.
  20. onlinespending

    Oct 3, 2011
    All great stories folks! Thanks for sharing. Keep 'em coming. This is like Penthouse Forum for geeks.

Share This Page