Tesla , Patriotism and the Marshmallow Test
In 1972 an experiment was conducted on 4-6 year old nursery school children. A marshmallow was put in front of them and they were told they could have the marshmallow now or wait 15 minutes and they would be rewarded with a second marshmallow. The overwhelming majority of the kids could not defer gratification and ate the first marshmallow before the time was up...see... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_marshmallow_experiment . The lesson learned was that most people even to their determent want instant gratification and can’t wait even if it’s their will end up later in their own best interest. Therefore, Tesla can do chart after chart with depreciation and gas costs all day long but the majority of new car buyers want their savings now.
Some fun facts ...The average cost of a new car in the U.S. has risen to a record high $30,748, is driven an average of 13,476 miles per year gets 24 miles per gallon and is owned just about 6 years (another record high). The United States imports 45% of it’s oil from foreign countries of which 2/3 goes to transportation. With the average consumer using 561 gallons of gas a year and with the average cost of $3.60 a gallon the consumer spends about $2,000 a year on gas for their cars alone. Having your base model $20,000 above the cost of the average car will change the world to some extent but at this point most people see the $30,000 marshmallow now and won’t and can’t seem to wait for the future savings and a second marshmallow.
The population who have deferred gratification by both waiting a long time for their Tesla and have figured out that the savings in gas and regular car maintenance will pay for itself over the long haul have already probably put down a deposit with Tesla. On a side note, you will be happy to learn that the kids who waited till the 2nd marshmallow were found years later to have higher SAT scores, better social skills and a bunch of other presumably good traits. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer .
During a dinner conversation over this past weekend I mentioned to a few friends that I test drove the Tesla and have a deposit and reservation for the X model to be delivered sometime in early 2014. (By the way the S model was one of the most amazing car’s I have ever had the pleasure to be in and drives, handles and accelerates like a dream). I mentioned during dinner that I consider the buying the Tesla one of the more patriotic things I could do at this point in my life. The reason ,I explained, is that if you believe it’s in the United States best interests to cut it’s dependence of foreign oil then Tesla can not fail. If you also believe in the marshmallow theory then the only way to severely cut our dependence on oil and have electric cars be 50% new car sales quickly, then Tesla must make a car that works amazingly well at a price tag at $30,000. Lastly the only way Tesla can make a car that is dependable and sellable at $30,000 is to
1) have a bunch of people who lucky enough to afford the current cost of the car to buy the car (deferring their cost benefit( aka marshmallow) over the next 5 years thereby keeping Tesla alive and well,
2) spread the word about the car whenever they talk to friends and drive the car as much as possible and not stick in in a garage
3) buy the preceding models to the 30k car and continue to feed the company feedback so that at the time the $30,000 car comes out, there is a learning curve.
If you believe in the concept of Moore’s Law (the so-called law, that the number of transistors that can be fit on a computer chip will double every two years, resulting in periodic increases in computing power)
Then logically, in a few years Tesla should be able to make the battery on it’s car go longer distances and the same time make the battery more affordable . An example of Moore’s law would be charting the personal computer’s hard disk capacity from 1990 to today with both cost of GB and capacity. Bottom line is when Tesla comes out with the $30,000 model and the patriots and marshmallow grabbers take hold of them then the world will change dramatically and change dramaticallyfor the better.
Signed Racer X (brother of Speed Racer and new member of the Tesla family).
P. S. If Israel is listening, then the same logic flows for Israel as well .. That being if Israel believes it’s in it’s long term interest that the United States be independent of foreign oil, then , the Government of Israel should send in deposits now for Teslas for all it’s Government cars. Israel doesn’t have a car company making cars in Israel and by keeping Tesla alive and well it has a strong chance to eliminate the Unites States need to import any oil from the middle east thereby logically making Israel safer and stronger.
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