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Just because Teslas can (but beware the reputation)

Drew57

Active ember
Apr 4, 2020
1,341
1,606
Chester UK
Back in March I was standing near someone who on seeing a Model 3 parking made derogatory comments about Tesla. He didn’t know that I was an owner & I didn’t respond directly but asked why he had that opinion….

He felt that Tesla drivers were like 'brand xyz' drivers - accelerating excessively, unnecessary speeding, dangerous overtaking and last minute cutting in. He also used the phrase “…boy racer d!*k heads”. A sweeping unfair generalisation & probably based on a single case but maybe he had a point?

On another occasion last year I’d chatted to a Model X owner at a supercharger & he voiced similar opinions about Model 3 drivers, the inference being that the cars were becoming too common & attracting the ‘wrong sort’ of drivers (came across as superior & elitist).


This past week there were two instances that reminded me of those conversations….

In the first, I'd just collected my granddaughter from the child minder & stopped at busy lights in the town centre behind a blue Model 3. On green he set off ridiculously fast (30 limit!), maybe expecting me to race him & show off as well.

On the second occasion a white Model 3 Performance, sunny day with fog lights blazing suddenly jumped 4 cars in a long line of traffic ending up two vehicles in front of me, slamming on & back down to 40 . It got him nowhere but caused the just avoided oncoming car to flash & the little Kia in front of me to brake very hard, swerve & hoot. At that instance it felt quite uncomfortable & embarrassing to be driving another white Model 3.

All Teslas are great to drive, easily manage long journeys, are full of clever, ever evolving tech and are good for the environment but they are very fast & probably encourage some owners to drive like this ‘just because we can?’ I know this is a small minority & I see Model 3s driving sedately on many local journeys but people tend to react to the negatives and opinions form based on that.

It’s bad enough to see public concern about the high purchase cost of EVs, range anxiety, unreliable charging infrastructure & who knows what else but the last thing we need is for Teslas to wind up both petrol heads and the nodding dog brigade at the same time - no doubt the press would love that.

I admit to sometimes enjoying the performance of my car in the appropriate circumstances (it’s hard not to but hopefully in a manner befitting my age) & am considering replacing it with a Model Y in a couple of years, probably a performance version if I’m given the option to continue using a tow hook.

However it’s the sort of behaviour above that other people remember & if it starts to label us with an immature, showy, irresponsible reputation I will probably look elsewhere than Tesla.
 

GRiLLA

Active Member
Jul 5, 2020
1,532
1,610
UK
One of the quirks of the human psyche is that we love to artificially divide society and then dislike that type of people. That might be by nation, religion, skin pigments, gender, sexual orientation. You name it, we'll find a way to generalise and disapprove. It's hardly surprising that car choice follows suit.
You may have encountered two bad drivers, just I like I saw a nutter in a Citroen on the M40 today, the vehicle has no meaning.
 
There is a very short stretch of dual carriageway near us, with a roundabout at both ends. Its probably about 100 yards in length. In this length of road, many, if not the majority of drivers, including me on this occasion, have to cross from near side to offside so that you can do a 180 at the second roundabout which then takes you in to a car park, as per the very noticeable signage.
1618945205152.png


On this particular occasion, I was in my mediocre powered ICE. Having checked that outside lane was clear, I indicated then started to pull into the outside lane, just in time to then do the 180 to then pull into the Shopping Park. Or not, as some idiot in a white Model 3 decided to floor it up the outside lane from nowhere with what must have been 5-10 cars back. Thankfully, I was still checking my mirrors to see the fast approaching car bearing down on me. I was able to swerve back in from whence I came, accident averted but in completely the wrong lane to attempt the 180.

It was all split second reactions, but next time I wont be quite so quick to return to my lane to give any idiot a taste of what emergency brake assist feels like.

Thankfully no one was turning at the far roundabout as the Model 3 driver didn't even bother to slow for that as they were easily exceeding the 40 limit.

Of course, it could have been the actions of any car driver, but very few cars would be able to accelerate so rapidly that they would come across another car who had started their maneuver when the Tesla probably wasn't even on the same stretch of road. The potential speed difference of a Tesla and most other vehicles needs to be appreciated by all that drive them.
 
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I think there is also the unconscious bias that occurs from either past encounters(typical BMW/Audi/Merc etc etc) or from you owning a car of the same model(ever notice how you suddenly see Tesla's everywhere once you have one on order when previously you saw none).

Statistically, the more common a car is the more their drivers will be observed making errors. I also think it depends on if you have had a fast car beforehand E.g you not only have to consider your own speed and acceleration but also consider that by the time the driver in front has glanced in the mirror and see you behind to them and then deciding to pull out you could very well be alongside them with all the drama that entails.
 
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I wouldn't sweat it too much.

I've ridden motorcycles my whole life. Fast ones, slow ones, big, small, pavement, dirt, etc... There are stigmas that come with every single one. When I'm on my fast bike, I use up that performance and enjoy it. My logic is, if I'm not putting anyone else in danger or harassing anyone (I'm not the harassing type), I largely feel like they can go pound sand.

It is an interesting point of view though. I live in a very rural area. For whatever reason, I get harassment by guys in rusty pickup trucks pretty often. Couldn't tell you why. I just ignore them.
 
Conversely, it seems every car I own has its "nemesis" car. A group of drivers who always seem to want to race, cut me up or otherwise be a pest. Wife had a mondeo estate and it was BMW X5's, I came from an A35 and it was Golf-R's and now with my M3P it's white van men.
 
When they first came out till about 2 years ago I think most drivers were overall reasonably well behaved.
However in the last year I've noticed the types of drivers being more like "boy racer" sort trying to show off in what they think is the next M3....
Unfortunately this will also probably put most of our insurance premiums up when they crash as well!
 

Drew57

Active ember
Apr 4, 2020
1,341
1,606
Chester UK
There must be numerous reasons why people choose a Tesla including...
  • Brand image
  • Mission to drive the world's transition to electric vehicles
  • Concern for the environment
  • Techie features
  • ‘Self driving’ (degrees of)
  • Lower running costs
  • Range, including Supercharger network
  • Performance
  • ‘Apparent performance’ - callipers/spoiler/badge etc
In discussing with friends, neighbours & relatives most had heard about or appreciated the first four or five points, sometimes the next two but were usually very surprised to hear about or experience supercar acceleration levels. Probably a combination of the rarity of Teslas pre M3 & the fact that more expensive S & X models are often driven more ‘responsibly’ by older drivers?

I was most impressed by the tech features in the first Tesla I rode in (2017) plus supercharger range possibilities as well as already having solar PV/batteries which would give me very low running costs. Acceleration wasn’t even a factor (& I admit to having a bush hat on the parcel shelf of my previous car :eek: ).

Move on to the second month of 3LR ownership & my wife added the performance boost as a birthday present so how had this frugal techie geek changed by so much in so little time? (...even without having a backwards cap on my head
hat.jpg
) The performance was addictive, potentially license threatening or downlight dangerous so it’s no surprise that an existing adrenaline junkie speed freak will be tempted to push the limits.

Thankfully I managed to get over that initial rush, have reverted to a level of maturity befitting my appearance & now use the performance mostly for safer overtaking, exiting junctions etc.

However I expect that as more 3s continue to arrive, residuals will drop & we will see increasing numbers of second hand cars being driven by less careful, younger drivers. Performance potential of EVs/Teslas will then become extremely well publicised alongside other marques achieving similar (eg forthcoming Kia EV6GT).
 
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Interesting thread. Performance on offer is pretty crazy in the grand scheme of motoring. Accessible too. Perhaps this can only head one way. I’m not too bothered about the brand or ‘cult of Tesla’ so much anymore. Perhaps it’s that there are now loads on the road. At least 5 M3’s in my village now. It’s an odd thing. Not sure how I feel about Tesla ownership currently.
 
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I was on my way home from work tonight. Had a small van honking their horn for no reason. Came up to the right hand side of my car at the roundabout and kept staring at me. Twice they did this. Not sure what their problem was but it was very unsettling. Don’t know if it was anything to do with me driving an M3.
 

EVMeister

Lover of Tesla
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2018
2,035
16,015
England
In the first, I'd just collected my granddaughter from the child minder & stopped at busy lights in the town centre behind a blue Model 3. On green he set off ridiculously fast (30 limit!), maybe expecting me to race him & show off as well.

I have to admit to doing this a lot myself. If I'm first at the traffic lights and the road is clear enough up ahead, I'll zip up to the speed limit very rapidly. For me it's part of the joy of driving this car... But I wouldn't exceed that 30mph nor would I do this if there's a big line of traffic right ahead. Maybe I'm part of the problem. :eek:
 
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During my daily commute which is quite long (115 miles in total) I see quite a few 3s on a daily basis. I must admit that all of them drive like me; quite relaxed, no sudden acceleration etc. It was only one time when straight after a roundabout while 3 lorries were in front of me and with obscured visibility for overtaking a performance black 3 that was a car behind me overtook all of us! The moment he pulled back a lorry appeared on the opposite lane....
I don't think though that it has anything to do with the car. It is down to mentality.
I am more annoyed by the vans doing 85-90 on M56 all the time.....
 
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Yev000

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,396
985
Knaphill
I wouldn't sweat it too much.

I've ridden motorcycles my whole life. Fast ones, slow ones, big, small, pavement, dirt, etc... There are stigmas that come with every single one. When I'm on my fast bike, I use up that performance and enjoy it. My logic is, if I'm not putting anyone else in danger or harassing anyone (I'm not the harassing type), I largely feel like they can go pound sand.

It is an interesting point of view though. I live in a very rural area. For whatever reason, I get harassment by guys in rusty pickup trucks pretty often. Couldn't tell you why. I just ignore them.
Here is a man that I bet has a cybertruck on preorder... ;)
 

Exy1

Member
Jan 28, 2020
73
42
NI
Could it be an ownership issue.

There a lot of M3's on company car schemes/leased/ pcp'd.

Any company car drivers I have ever known drive like complete and utter bell-ends which amazes me as they rely on their licence for their living.

I'm on another forum for Boxsters and this same topic emerged recently so it may actually be true, maybe all the bell-end Audi & BMW drivers are shifting to Tesla?
 
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