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Unusual issue, how do I talk someone out of buying a Tesla?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by green1, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I love my car, I tell everyone how wonderful it is, and I'm always hopeful more people will buy one. Except in this case.
    My father wants one really badly, and it is just simply not the right car for him. He's always been a tech early adopter, but now in his 70s he just can't grasp basic technology. He has a smart phone, but can't figure out how to text, and the battery is always dead (as just one of many examples)

    I've talked to him at length about the car, but I know there are some key points he doesn't understand no matter how much I tell him.
    - His main use case is to go skiing in the winter, he likes to go to ski hills that are 3+ hour drives away, with no destination charging, and either without superchargers nearby, or not realizing he'll need to stop at them.
    - He thinks that at -20c he can drive for 3 hours straight, plug in to a 110v outlet for 6 hours, and have enough charge to drive 3 hours home.
    - He thinks autopilot will help him now that he has more trouble paying attention while driving, he wants to rely on it to keep him in his lane, in winter, on snowy roads.

    Add to that the fact that I know this will stretch his finances quite uncomfortably, and I just can't recommend he buy one, but I know he's sold on it, and no matter how much I try to dispell his notions, I just don't think I'm getting through.
     
  2. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Let him take yours on a trip? Or take some time and go with him perhaps so that he can understand, but you can help get him out of any trouble?

    If he's anything like the old men I know, it has to be your father's idea - and that typically only comes with giving him more viewpoints from others, or direct experience.
     
  3. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    As an ooooold man in his seventies, I'm not sure that's relevant. I have younger relatives that are unable to grasp certain concepts. Heck, I know people in their 20s that don't understand about range and charge. Some people just don't have enough functioning brain cells, some can only think about things "artistically", or are more concerned about moods or fears. I can't tell you how many people I know who think the car that runs on water would be better, or putting generating fans on the vehicle would eliminate charging.

    I wonder, though. Doesn't sound like he has complete Alzheimers. I like the idea of you taking him with you on a road trip of sorts. Let him drive to zero and call the tow truck. See if he can figure out why it happens. Does he understand the energy graph? Does he believe the range display? Let him drive on a bad piece of highway with AP and see what he does when the car tries to make an exit!

    I guess what I'm saying is, people learn in different ways. Some learn by doing. I wouldn't give up on him entirely.

    Then again, the Model 3 is coming out in a few months. Smaller, cheaper, may be a better fit. And a few more months wait may help.
     
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #4 ecarfan, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
    Agree with the two posts above, let you father drive your car for a few hours with you as the passenger explaining things to him. Drive with him to a ski location where there is charging there or on route and show him exactly what needs to be done to charge the car enough to safely get back home, and then point out other ski locations where such charging is not available, which would result in him being stranded.
    If he can't grasp the basics of using an EV after such a trip with you, then he shouldn't buy an EV.
     
  5. 1208

    1208 Active Member

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    Let him have it for a week. Long enough to know if he can live with it. He will either adapt or realise its not for him.
     
  6. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Yep, just what I was going to suggest. Loan him your car for a trip, perhaps go along (so he doesn't get into serious trouble). And my experience with sons vs. fathers is that sometimes the father doesn't want to admit the son knows far more than he does. (Moms, however, just let the son fix things when they visit :))

    Good luck!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Agree, I don't think it's an age thing. People approach technology in different ways. And if he's always been an early adopter, but hasn't been coming up the learning curve in other areas, then he might just need a little time to catch up.
     
  7. patrick40363

    patrick40363 Member

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    Buy him a Chevy Volt. No harm if he forgets to charge and can drive as far as he needs to. Just put gas in. It is a good way to become accustomed to plugging a car in. Get a 2017 model which will have all the newest stuff.

     
  8. callmesam

    callmesam Member

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    I took my dad with me to pick up my Model S in Fremont in 2013. We went to the Monterey Auto Show afterwards, as he wanted to bid on a few cars.

    We stayed less than 2 hours. When we left, I let him drive for a few hours to get used to the car.

    When we arrived back at my house, he ordered a loaner from the NY service center. There were few Superchargers on the East Coast where he lives.

    He now has his routine and knows how to Supercharge. He's driven up and down the Eastern seaboard from CT to Miami.

    1. The technological part can be solved with charge planning.

    2. The Autopilot software can be introduced, with limitations explained.

    3. The cost cannot be reduced unless he is willing to purchase a CPO or loaner vehicle.

    I agree with the posters who think you will be able to help him by taking a few trips together to help him orient to the car. At first, my dad would call before every trip and he had a list of each Supercharger he would visit. On the last trip, he blew off all his planning and told me he was just going to put his final destination in the trip computer and let the car do the thinking. Seems to be working really well for him.

    Can I assume he'll be driving to the Banff area? If yes, there are many charging options in that area including many destination chargers.

    Tesla Store, Service Centers and Chargers

    Good luck helping your dad. That can be one tricky bit of business. :cool:
     
  9. TEUNTSLA

    TEUNTSLA Member

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    Green1, bring him to a meetup and have him talk to some other owners and get an "unbiased" opinion on viability, practicality & risks
     
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Agree with what others have said, but I'll get more specific:
    go on a 1,000+ mile road trip with him through the mountains. If/when he plans poorly on charging, make sure you're ready with your phone to find RV parks that have a 40A outlet; that might eat up 8 hours of your trip time but it will keep you from getting stuck / towed.

    Look at it as a bonding experience with dad as well. Have fun with it.
     
  11. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    There are a few issues to address here, yes, a long road trip would probably help, but I don't think we're likely to be able to schedule such a thing in.
    My mother and I both suspect that his mental acuity is not what it once was, and I think that's part of why he's falling behind the tech learning curve. I feel that I've been quite clear on the charging limitations of the vehicle, but I just don't feel that he's grasping how much electricity it takes to move the car. He also thinks little things like LED headlamps would give noticeable more range (That's one reason he doesn't want CPO, he wants LED headlamps to save power and is convinced that if he orders a new Tesla it will come with them) He was worried the other day when I was taking stuff out of the car because the dome lights were on and I might drain the battery, because in his ICE if you leave them on overnight the car won't start in the morning.
    Meanwhile he's many times made comments about plugging in at 110v for short periods to charge up large amounts. (and remember, his use case is mostly winter when the 110v outlet probably can't keep up with the pack heater let alone add any range at all)
    Additionally, I know if he has trouble in my RWD 85, he'll just say that it wouldn't be a problem if he had a 90D instead because they get more range (even if it's not enough more to matter, and that he plans to have a roof box on (and I don't) which would suck range even further)

    As for someone earlier who suggested a Volt, I tried that, he said that he's too tall to comfortably fit in one (6'4") so he won't consider it.

    I know there's no easy solution here, but I kinda needed to vent. I never thought I'd ever be in a position to try to talk someone out of one of these amazing cars, but realistically it's just the wrong vehicle for him
     
  12. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    It's hard to deal with aging parents. You want to respect the fact they've lived a long productive life. It's tricky to navigate showing respect and keeping them safe.

    Sounds like he'll be a great candidate for the first fully self-driving car. I love the idea that instead of taking car keys away and limiting independence, we'll be able to give keys to a self-driving car and increasing independence. Hope the timing works out for you and your parents.
     
  13. 1208

    1208 Active Member

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    What about renting one for a few days or longer?
     
  14. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Tough situation. I'm dealing with my father getting on too. He'll be 96 in February and he's been living alone since my mother died two years ago. He has a strong support network and he's always been extremely cautious, but he's beginning to have some memory problems. Like your father, mine was always into tech and he's had a lot of tech over the years. He was a professional photographer who specialized in really tricky stuff back before PhotoShop was invented. When he got his hands on PhotoShop he figured it all out on his own and became quite good with it. He mentioned in passing the other day he couldn't remember how to do something fairly basic in PhotoShop which is unusual for him historically.

    It may be hard for you father to face, but maybe getting him in for a mental evaluation would be a good thing, not just for the car thing, but overall. People in early stages of dementia often manage to compensate enough to get by and the problem is worse than it looks.

    $100K for a car is a lot of money for most people, and it's even more of an issue for someone in their 70s. When my father was in his 70s he often said he was conservative in his investment strategy because he didn't have the time to earn it back. Maybe your mother can veto spending the money at least until your father has a mental evaluation? Different families have different dynamics, so that may not work in your family, but in mine major purchases always had to be discussed and accepted by both parents before they would spend the money, though one usually was the driving factor and the other was just a "yeah" or "nay".

    It does sound like an EV is not the best car for your father. At least not what's available right now with the current infrastructure. If he's going to do downhill skiing I assume he needs to climb some altitude too, that will further suck range. Tesla just installed a supercharger on the road to the most popular ski area around here (Mt Hood, ski area at 6000 ft) so people can get up the mountain. The SC network is still a lot thinner in Canada. Just a thought, maybe you could sell him on waiting a bit until there are some more superchargers around?
     
  15. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I'm not aware of anywhere within 1000km of here that rents Teslas. though I do wonder if there's any way to arrange an extended test drive for him from Tesla. If anyone can talk them in to one, it would be him. (I'm always amazed at what he can talk salespeople in to!)

    - - - Updated - - -

    I agree, however both of my parents are very leary of mainsteam medicine. They believe almost any weird garbage they find on the internet, but not what a doctor will say. (This is all sorts of fun for dinner conversations with myself (an EMT) and my wife (a Registered Nurse), we tend to avoid health topics, it's a lot easier)

    My parents have a very unusual marriage when it comes to money. They have no shared money, it's all one person's or the other's. As long as I can remember, there's always been a scrap of paper on the fridge with a running tally of who owes who how much (down to the penny) to be paid off later. My mother really has no say in my father's spending here.

    That's been my plan so far, but I'm not sure how successful it is, keep in mind he doesn't seem to grasp the difference between a 110v wall outlet and a supercharger, for him as long as he can find a plug he's fine.
     
  16. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    Is the Tesla web page on Charging no help in this regard?

    Skiing, sheesh, I (probably) can't do that and my knees are only 50ish. I respect what he can do just from that. And as "midlife crisis questionable decisions" go, an EV purchase beats having an affair ...or so I tell myself! [emoji2]
     
  17. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    The facts have been presented, but I don't think he grasps them. Remember, he thinks something small like LED headlights, or not leaving dome lights on will make a major range difference. It doesn't help that the Tesla charging page is overly optimistic about what you can do with 110v, it assumes the car is charging from it in the summer, not trying to heat the battery pack before it even starts (using more than the 110v outlet can provide)
     
  18. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    #18 wdolson, Dec 5, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
    I can appreciate alternatives. I have seen them do things mainstream medicine can't. However, I'm also open to mainstream medicine too. It's far more appropriate for some things. If I break my arm, I'm getting to a hospital.

    I know some people like your parents and I understand the frustration dealing with them when they need mainstream medicine. There is no requirement they do what the MDs recommend, but getting tested with modern machinery gives you some idea what's going on so it can be treated better.

    My SO and I have a similar arrangement, but it's far looser. We keep our funds separate, but rarely make any issue about having the other kick in 50%. It's a lot looser arrangement. Though we discuss major purchases with each other both for sounding purposes as well as a "talk me out of this if it sounds crazy" thing.

    In any case, I can grok what you're talking about.

    [/QUOTE]

    Maybe you could lay out some math for him? The charging rates between a wall outlet and a supercharger are massive. Making the case that a wall outlet in the winter in Alberta is pretty much useless because of the vampire load from the pack heater? You could also do a demonstration at his house. Take your car there when its cold and show him the state of charge when you get there, then plug your car into one of his wall outlets and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then demonstrate how little charge you got, or the loss. If he starts arguing that a 90D would charge faster, point out the charging situation has changed very little from an early Model S to the latest version.

    Just brainstorming ways to break through here...
     
  19. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    #19 Canuck, Dec 5, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
    I think he should buy it and go through the whole experience. That's what life is all about: experiences. It's not the destination but the journey -- both good and bad. He's made it this far in life, and apparently raised a smart and well-adjusted son in the process. Perhaps he knows a little more than you think? He might end up really enjoying it and living with its limitations. And if he doesn't, he sells it and takes a loss. It doesn't sound like he's going to go hungry if he takes that loss.

    But I do appreciate and admire your concern for him.
     
  20. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    ...and you can't take it with you, either. I'd probably let my dad buy it and help get him out of the occasional trouble.
     

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