Tesla = Apollo Program

OK before y’all lacerate me, read me out. And no, there are absolutely no Space-X puns coming.

We have had our Model S for exactly two weeks. The reception we’ve received is unbelievable. The public’s fascination with this car is beyond comprehension.

I have been trying to figure out why. People have a crush on this car, complete infatuation. OK, it’s beautiful on the outside, superbly simple on the inside, quiet, crazy fast, unexpected. All those are OK, and unexpected starts to get close to it.

I think it’s this.

I think everyone approaches the Model S with one essential thought – NO WAY.

Not as in a good, “I don’t believe it,” but as in a really skeptical, “I don’t believe it.”

They are in the womb of automotive expectedness – the ICE world of the last few decades – and in a span of about 60 seconds (approach car, beautiful, handles extend, OMG, get in, stunning, flat screen stares at them, panoroof slider bar, foot on break, speedometer flips over, roll away silently, first straightaway punch it, memories of first rollercoaster ride, fat-ass grins all over faces) they are shot out the birth canal into the bright light of a new, awesome world (sorry for the graphic overlay, but it’s like that.)

And then they think, NO WAY, as in NO WAY has this freaking out-of-nowhere company kicked sand in the face of 100 years of automaking. NO WAY have they done it, NO WAY is it American, NO WAY is it 8,000 laptop batteries flipped back and forth in the right kool-aid. NO WAY did you buy another one from that super-sized iPad, NO WAY did I just laugh my head off driving in a 3/4 mile loop around your neighborhood (seriously, there’s NOTHING inherently compelling about that).

When did you hear about Tesla? How long has it been reserved? How many are there in San Antonio? Is it really all electric? Where do they make it? Who makes it? WHO MAKES IT?

My wife’s been chased down in the school parking lot, our kids’ friends want to keep going for rides, laughing their heads off. I’ve been blockaded in my driveway, thumbs up from freeway passers-by, blank stares from Maserati owners, people on cell phones behind me at lights talking about it (it goes like this – person drives up, eyes widen, cell phone comes out, speed dial, big smile hand gestures, pointing, etc.).

Our neighbor was leaving for the airport this morning, her driver (towncar instead of cab, just the way they do it) was parked out front. I parked in front of him, got out and went to the door to get their daughter to take to school. “Sir, excuse me sir, is that your car?” “Yes.” “Sir, that is the nicest car in San Antonio!” “Thank you, well, there are a lot of nic…” “SIR – THAT is the nicest car in San Antonio.” “Umm, thank you.”

Power Consumption

It’s our Apollo Program.

People are proud of it. Of the balls to try it. Of the audacity to pull it off. People we don’t even know are proud of us for buying it. They feel like they’ve bought it by seeing it or riding in it. No one is lukewarm about it. Is this how Columbus felt?

I think everyone’s pumped that someone can still kick ass and take names, without going to war to do it.

It’s sort of indescribable.

I’ll add insulation and solar panels if I want to feel greener. This is way beyond that.

Let them make one for you.

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6 responses to “Tesla = Apollo Program

  1. Nicely written! We’re finalizing the selections on our model S and looking into some clever vanity plates (kind of the cherry on top, if you will!)

  2. I’m now where you were a year ago (2 weeks into ownership). My test drive in December 2013, as good as it was, actually didn’t prepare me for how awesome a daily experience with this car is. A fellow area signature owner says it takes about a month to REALLY get it. So, although I’m already really really really happy, I’ll take it “one day at a time” with ever-increasing joy. With a Model S, who needs drugs or alcohol?

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