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Why did you choose to go electric?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bonnie, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I'm working on a new blog post about how I ended up with a Roadster. Honestly, til I drove it, I wasn't planning on getting an electric vehicle. I'll post later tonight ... but thought maybe while we're waiting for car deliveries, it would be nice to hear from people as to how they ended up getting a Roadster or putting a deposit down for a Model S.

    So why are you going electric? Environment? Dependency on foreign oil? Performance?
     
  2. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    I really don't know. Everything about it seemed interesting. The tech, the company, Elon, etc. And it seemed like a great mid life crisis car :)
     
  3. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Hahah @ mid-life crisis.

    Me: I bought a Roadster.
    My sis: You're having a mid-life crisis.
    Me: Well, I WAS. But then I bought the Roadster and no more mid-life crisis.​
     
  4. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    #4 Raffy.Roma, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
    As I told in another thread in Italy now gas costs 1.9 euro (almost 2.5 $) a liter and I plan to drive 150 kilometers each day. Then I will charge the car for free thanks to solar panels put on the roof of my house. It means that I will save something like 20 euros (almost 26 $) each day. And I will also help the environment. That's why I have chosen to go electric.
     
  5. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    +1
    I was in mild denial when my wife identified this as my mid life crisis car, but she is right. I chose to go electric because of the tech, the adventure of being on the cutting edge, and the idea of a domestic car with domestic fuel.
     
  6. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    The Beginning. - Blogs - Tesla Motors Club - Enthusiasts & Owners Forum
     
  7. AndyM

    AndyM Member

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    That's hilarious! But, curiously not unfamiliar...

    My answer:

    I watched friends buying BMW, Mercedes, etc., and I chose to wait for the right car. When I saw Model S, how it met my needs, and how it was a giant leap forward from the same carbon burning technology from the early 20th century, for very close to the same cost, and I jumped at the chance.

    -andy
     
  8. ModelX

    ModelX Member

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    For me it is about cleaner air. We have very poor air quality where I live; and my asthma gets worse as the air does. My model X reservation is about making a difference.
     
  9. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Bonnie,

    I'm 99% sure there's an old thread covering this issue that may provide you some insight on this question. At this point there are too many threads, and I'm not even sure what sub-forum it was in (Tesla Motors? EVs? Model S?) to be able to find it. Sorry! I'm not good at finding such things, but someone else may have a better memory than me, or ability to search TMC, to help find the right thread.
     
  10. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Sometimes it's better to start a new thread than to try to breathe new life into an old one. Just thought it would be interesting to hear current forum members' thoughts...
     
  11. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Combination of things; wanted a nice car, the wife's 2000 Altima was needing replacement before long and we've always driven 4-door cars (tho compact). Didn't really know the size of the car last years when we reserved. Was excited to buy 'local', didn't really know anything about Elon Musk but Tesla brand seemed fine. I read the Tesla boards for a while and everybody seem excited about the car, so I pulled the trigger and got the red one.

    I'd looked at a Leaf before and just wasn't excited. Overall GenIII would've been a better fit, but didn't want to drive the Altima for much more than a year more so needed something. Could've done something else for a few, but stuck with the S because it seemed pretty cool.

    I guess I've been an economic environmentalist too; have solar panels because they keep my electric bill down to 'Tier 1' rates... although wonderful PG&E just screwed with that whole thing recently it was a good deal for the last 6 years. So now the car fuel gets paid for once a year with the electric bill since the panels prolly are break even this year.

    Edit: 'economic environmentalist' -- roughly defined as somebody who takes a longer term approach to things and if the payoff is roughly even over the long term will take the 'green' option even if short term payoff is better.
     
  12. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Agreed, especially with so many new members. I just remembered writing this in the past. I found the thread (just went the old fashioned way and found it on page 19 of the Model S threads!). It's a pretty cool thread with some good thoughts and insights into people's motivations for buying EVs, and Teslas in particular. Here's the link:

    How did-you initially come to the decision to get a Model S
     
  13. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Ditto Chris, Ditto.

    The whole is greater than the sum of its parts = disruptive on so many fronts.
     
  14. spleen

    spleen Active Member

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    For us, the initial impetus was financial. Got tired of paying for exorbitant gas prices and feeling like I was supporting the politics and finances of countries hostile to the USA. It started with putting solar panels on our roof to lower our electricity bill and then a friend of the family bought a Leaf and let me test drive which led to us getting one of our own. Surprisingly good torque at low speeds and had enough oomph to get out of its own way. The range was not a big issue since we live on Oahu and there's enough charging infrastructure that you can get around.

    But then we started thinking, "well, what would be a better version of what we have?". So we ended up checking out the Tesla website. Was originally going to reserve a Model S but we really need a replacement more for my wife's Honda Ridgeline so we ended up with a X reservation. Who knows, we may end up replacing the Leaf with a Gen III down the line. After experiencing the advantages of an electrical drivetrain, it's hard to even consider going back to the outdated ICE paradigm.
     
  15. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    I absolutely agree with you.
     
  16. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    For me it was about shaking up the establishment of old technology. I am also a tech head working at a tech company so its a nice car. I also believe in our impact on the planet and feel that if I can put action to my thoughts then others can do the same.

    Hopefully next year I will have my vehicle and I can enjoy a car that isn't pulled by combustion and we can finally step outside the norm.

    Finally though, one of the bigger things is that this is an all American company. Being a Canadian-American (got my citizenship a year ago) I care a lot about the jobs here in North America and more then anything the innovation. I constantly hear on the news that were 26th in math and 18th in science. I am to young for it, but I have heard of a time where we were the first in those categories, its a shame we have gotten complacent.

    *steps off soapbox*
     
  17. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

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    My current car is in the same price range, similar performance and size, but gets 13 mpg combined. The MSP just made more sense and spoke to the kid in me that doodled cars on scrap paper with electric motors and ran forever. The tech toys sweetened the deal. My respect for Tesla's mission as a company and pioneer vision sealed it.
     
  18. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    I've told the story elsewhere but...

    It began for me in 2004. Or maybe even as far back as 2001 when I returned home from overseas and got my 1986 Honda Civic station wagon out of storage. It was a great car, but did not have air bags or ABS brakes. I wanted a car with the latest safety features, but I liked the station wagon body style of my Civic. I've always thought that was far more useful than a sedan. But in 2001 Honda did not make a Civic wagon, so I delayed.

    Then in 2003 I read the first reviews of the 2004 Prius. The liftback is almost a station wagon, and the technology, fuel economy, and pollution rating appealed to me. I'm a tree hugger and a gadget freak, so the 2004 Prius was a no-brainer. I placed my order in November, 2003, and took delivery in January, 2004.

    The Prius would go into electric mode for short periods, and that was the coolest thing ever. So that's where it began for me. I was one of the first (and the first member of Prius Chat) to install the Coastal Tech EV switch, that operates from the cruise-control stalk. (Others had already installed the button. I was the first on PC to install the c/c version.) Then I had some control over when the ICE shut off.

    Inevitably, I became disappointed by the limitations. You could only go about a mile and a half on electric, and doing that is very inefficient. You really wanted to use it only when the battery was at 6 bars or above, down to 5 bars, and only when not accelerating. I began talking on Prius Chat about wanting a full-on electric car. I learned about Tesla and I took a trip to their headquarters (San Carlos, I think?) to see and ride in a prototype Roadster.

    (Digression: The woman at Tesla who I spoke with on the phone, and who promised me a ride if I made the long trip, was nowhere to be found when I got there. She didn't answer her phone and I never found out what had become of her. But I made my way to Tesla, and when I told the receptionist that I'd been promised a tour and a ride, she called out a man who agreed to both.)

    Riding in the Roadster was thrilling. There existed 4 prototype cars. The one I rode in had first gear disabled because of problems with the two-speed transaxle. But it was still amazing. However, it was very loud when turned off (the Prius is dead silent in electric mode) and more importantly, the seats were ghastly: right down on the floor and leaned back at a 45 degree angle. I decided I didn't like it.

    Back home, someone on Prius Chat told me about the Zap Xebra and a dealer, Grant's Pass Electric Vehicles, in Grant's Pass, Oregon. The Xebra was poorly designed and badly constructed, but Sean, the owner of Grant's Pass EV, went to great lengths to drive every unit he got in for several hundred miles, and fix every problem he could find. The Xebra was not as quiet as the Prius (in electric mode) but much quieter than the prototype Tesla. The seats were uncomfortable, but much better than the Tesla. It could only do 35 mph on level ground, but it was all electric, and with an aftermarket battery pack had a 40-mile range to empty. I didn't yet understand about battery care.

    I loved the Xebra. It was as cute as a button, it got compliments everywhere, and it could (slowly) reach the speed limit on most of Spokane's roads. I avoided the 45-mph roads easily, though I'd have been legal on them. But it slowed way down on uphills, and lacked the range to make it to Coeur d'Alene and back.

    So after I'd had the Xebra for a year I decided to have a Porsche converted to electric. That was a mistake that I've documented in the EV Conversions forum. The Porsche was supposed to take 4 months to convert, it was supposed to have roughly half the range of the Roadster and maybe 1/3 the acceleration, but twice the internal space, and extremely comfortable seats. The original conversion shop finally sent me the car eleven months later, and botched the job so thoroughly that I question their honesty. It's still being fixed.

    In the mean time, waiting for repairs on the Porsche, and unsure whether they'd ever be done, I got on the waiting list for a Nissan Leaf. I figured I'd cancel that order if the Porsche came through. But Nissan botched the roll-out. A lot of folks got their Leafs, but not me. Nissan lost my order, then put it back at the end of the queue, then built my car and lost it (they never explained that) then assigned me a different car, then retracted that assignment and assigned me another, then left that car in port for three months while it was supposedly repaired for a recall and damaged paint and somehow never made it into the shipping queue.

    Two months after my Leaf was supposedly "cleared for shipping" but still sitting in port; and after Gordy, working on the Porsche, discovered that in addition to all the stuff he had fixed, the battery pack was shot, I said "f***itall," hopped on a plane to Seattle, and test-drove a 2.5 Roadster. The seats are still not terribly comfortable (though some added padding has helped) but the noise of the cooling system is much reduced, and the two-speed transaxle is gone, and other improvements over the early models.

    And so for a bit over a year I've been driving Very Orange, #1117, non-sport Roadster, and I'm still delighted with it. I sold the Xebra to an outfit in Toronto that plans on using it in a movie. I'm unclear whether this is a specific movie, or whether they'd rent it out to movie makers who just want something cute and weird in the background.

    Tim, now working on the Porsche, hopes to be done with it in time for Plug-In Day. He expects it to have good acceleration, though probably only about a 20-mile range. If so, I'll have two electric cars. He'd like to put a new pack in it, and if I had a girlfriend, I'd have him do that so she could drive it. Otherwise I really don't need two EVs, but I'd lose so much money if I sold it that I'll probably keep it as a summer short-trip run-around. That is, if Tim actually does get it running. I'm not holding my breath. It's been just a few months from done for two years now, and something else always comes up. It really is a beautiful car, and much more comfortable than the Roadster.

    Sorry if this post is way too long. It's been a very long journey for me, from those brief electric moments in the Prius, to a full-on freeway-capable, 245-mile electric car. I like the environmental benefits (here in WA my electricity comes from hydro) and the fact that it uses domestic energy, and the lack of noise, and the absence of the annoying and sickening vibration of an ICE, and the lack of stinky fuel and exhaust. I didn't buy my Roadster for being a sports car, I bought it for being electric. But I do enjoy the thrill of the acceleration.
     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Good story, Daniel! You should post it over in the blog section of the forum. Let me know if you have questions about how to do that ...
     
  20. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

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    I got my drivers license during the first Arab Oil Embargo. The lesson I learned then was that I needed and more importantly the USA needed to drive cars that got much better gas mileage so that we were no longer dependent on foreign governments for our transportation needs. I made it an unwritten rule that each car I bought had to get better gas mileage than the one before it. Of course having a wife allowed me to get her cars that didn't quite meet that criteria. Anyways after years of downsizing ending with the 2001 Toyota Prius and 2001 Honda Insight, I saw this crazy electric vehicle in a Christmas Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, it was my beloved Corbin Sparrow which I have now enjoyed driving for over 11 years. It didn't take me long to have the desire to have a larger more practical electric vehicle to drive the family around. So I started searching the internet for any EVs I could find. Evfinder.com became my daily search vehicle. A converted Porsche 914 and Ford Escort EV became my first fullsized EVs. I think somewhere in these forums, I have lsited the EVs I have owned over the last 11 years, but they include a Doran, Bradley GTE, 4 Solectria Forces, Solectria Sunrsie, 2 RAV4 EVs, a 2009 converted Toyota Yaris (which had 32kwh of lithium bateries in it) and my current Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster. Not being very handy with electronics or mechanics, most of these EVs have been a real stretch for me to own and keep running which is why I am so glad to see all the new purpose built EVs with real companies standing behind them on the market. Although, the Model S will certainly be the best EV I have ever owned, I fully believe even better and more practical EVs are still to come.
     

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