Tuesday, December 18, 2018

1: Joining the Tesla Movement

Our Model 3 - Unimaginatively named "Blue"
It was a long wait.  In early April 2016, just a couple of days after the splashy announcement of the  Tesla Model 3, I put down $1,000 to reserve a place in line for a new Tesla Model 3.  I think there were already about 120,000 pre-orders.  I woke up in the middle of the night realizing that if we didn't reserve our spot it might take years to get a car, so I immediately went to my computer and put in my order.  I found out a day or so later that our next door neighbour had done pretty much the same thing.

My wife was gracious - as gracious as she had been a few years earlier when I let her know that I had "semi-accidentally" bought a Bentley on eBay.

I remember watching that first announcement and thinking that the Model 3 prototypes on display would be quite different from the production models. The front of the car seemed unfinished as did the interior with a bizarre iPad-like screen stuck in the middle of the dashboard.

In 2012 I had written two blog entries (one) and (two) expressing my hopes for Tesla and for electric cars generally.   I had come to believe wholeheartedly in the future of the electric car and its inherent superiority over internal combustion vehicles.   I thought that I was going to buy a Model X but I never did, mostly on the grounds that I didn't want to pay more than $100,000 for an SUV.

However, I had not even been in an electric car while I put down my deposit and on an impulse joined the Tesla movement.

It was not until November, 2018 - more than 2 1/2 years later - that my wife and I took delivery of a blue dual motor all-wheel-drive Model 3, trading in my wife's beloved but aging Range Rover Evoque. It has been about 6 weeks now, and I think I can not only make some general comments about the car, but also what it feels like to join the electric car movement.  Particularly, the Tesla Movement.

My plan for this Blog is to talk not only about the experience of buying, driving and living with an electric car, but to put the ownership experience in a broader context.  Tesla is a car company, but also an energy company with a mission to improve the lot of humanity.  It is also only one part of the business of a visionary, Elon Musk, who is certainly one of the most interesting people on earth, a man who is not only promoting sustainable energy and transportation in order to improve the future of humanity on earth, but is also preparing humanity's backup plan, the colonization of Mars. Elon does not think small.

We are on a path to a very uncertain future.  Climate change is real, and we as a species are doing approximately nothing about it.  Buying an electric car is a tiny gesture, a small personal statement that we must get off fossil fuels.  We will soon be installing solar panels to charge our electric car from the sun.

So I plan to write about the rush of adrenaline when I press the accelerator, but also about how individuals must respond to the challenge of a sustainable economy. 

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