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My justification story for buying a Model S...

I have been reading great deal of post here lately on justification for buying a Tesla Model S, and I thought I would share my justification story...

When I first saw a Tesla Roaster on the road, I was so envious, it was in the HOV lane blazing past me, as I sat in my gas guzzling luxury sedan in miserable gridlock traffic. After figuring out what it was, and read about it, I was astonished! Then I went to a dealer, sat in it, and quickly came to the realization it just was't practical for me (Never mind, I could hardly get out of it, as I am 6'1" tall, and nearly had to fall out of it, just to get out). Thus needless to say, when I first read about the Tesla Model S, I was extremely excited!  

I commute a long distance for my work, however, I'm a performance-car enthusiast, and don't feel comfortable driving cheap 'economical' ICE vehicles, much less anything that makes me feel like I am worth less than I have worked so long and hard to create for myself.

Call it what you want, however, I grew up my entire childhood dreaming of owning fast, technologically advanced, luxury cars (many of my toys growing up were toy exotic Matchbox, etc cars). 
Unfortunately,  I also grew up dreaming of owning a home close to the ocean, in a safe neighborhood, where most people around the country could only dream of living.

With that said, the only way for me to afford my childhood dreams was to commute 125 miles round trip, in worst traffic on the planet. I have been making the long commute for well over 3/4 of my life, and it only gets harder to deal with every year, as traffic gets worse, and gas gets more expensive. 

Thus for my needs and dreams, the Tesla Model S Performance is a Godsend of a vehical! Not only do I get to drive a semi-exotic, super fast, high-peformance, technologically advanced, luxury sport-car / sedan (that I would have only dreamed about as a child), it saves me serious money, time, and trouble with my long commuting lifestyle! Plus I get to feel and look good doing it (which no other vehicle on Earth can do currently).

It's going to be like my own version of... 'my cake, and eat it to'!

TikiMan-Seems to me that "Living the Dream" requires no justification. Good for you. Good for the environment. Good for Tesla. It's ALL good.

I have been having a hard time with articulating this. Among my family and close friends nobody has ever spent the equivalent of $40,000 (with HST!) on a car (scale that back to lower numbers through the years for inflation). They all shake their heads in disbelief that I have a Signature reservation.

However I have been chasing this since I first heard about the EV1. GM rebuffed my inquiries and I never saw one in person - just TV and internet information that came out of the US.

I have also been bitterly disappointed by the vehicles of the past 15 years. Until the latest generation of the Prius shipped there was nothing on the road in Canada that could consistently beat my VW Golf TDI's fuel economy without hypermiling.

I am very much an A->Ber and I have never had anything more luxurious than my old Golf. However, I like nice things. I want to lead by example and I have only been advocating greater fuel efficiency since I had to pay for my first tank of gas in my parents' car (and no - we aren't discussing what year that was :) ).

This car is everything I have been wanting (range, performance, comfort, and freedom from gas) and is gorgeous to boot. Hopefully Tesla gets the quality right! Once I start sitting the doubters around me in the car for some demo rides I want all their doubts to evaporate as they did for me when I test drove a Roadster in 2009!!


You are correct, there should be no justification, however, it always nice to share with others our reasoning. I am by no means wealthy enough to afford a $100k ICE car that only gets 15-20 MPG (well, not that I couldn't afford it, but it goes against my values of being a penny-wise person).

Your opening phrase mislead me. "When I first saw a Tesla Roaster on the road" I was toast. That's what I expected! Unless it was a plump chicken?

@ tikiman and cablechewer

Same reasoning for me, i don't think I would have purchased any ICE above $45-50K but when I saw the specs of the S, i couldn't help jumping in the bandwagon.

I just wish Telsa fixes the small things (call it noise) around interior finition (rear lights, miror lights, stereo, front cupholders, rear cup holders, inside storage space) if even real issues. I did't drive the car yet...

Here is my two cents worth: We (my wife and I) have always tried to purchase more efficient vehicles with a Prius being our most recent. Well before the Prius we signed up for and EV1 but like Cablechewer were rejected because of our 90 mile (round trip) commute with a 1500 ft climb in the middle. When the roadster came on the market we were very tempted but the roadster just does not fit our needs and/or lifestyle so we reluctantly deferred. Along came the Model S and we made the “leap of faith”. We committed to a vehicle more expensive than the sum of all the vehicles we have previously purchased and we did it sight unseen. Most of our friends thought (and still think) we were/are crazy. Those opinions, I am confident, are about to change. Will that make my/our friends future owners? Not very likely because our friends like ourselves are not people of means. What separates my wife and I is our ability to handle our limited monies wisely. I guess I could be called a “tight wad”, or worse, but I prefer frugal. One of the other forum threads was/is about people’s top ten reasons for purchasing a Model S. I could not stop at ten but have pared my list back down to eleven that fairly well describe our feelings toward and motivation for purchasing a truly revolutionary vehicle; the TESLA Model S:
1. Being a Leader
2. Being Independent (we will use solar power to charge the car)
3. Efficiency
4. Form following function (cup holders are secondary)
5. Elegance
6. Zero Emissions
7. Safety
8. Exhilarating acceleration (everyone must have some fun every now and then)
9. Long term economics (we will keep our car long enough to pay off the higher capital cost)
10. Pride in doing what is right regardless of cost (see 6 above)
11. Knowing that you can out run virtually all others at a light (walk softly and carry a big stick)

You lie like a rug! Like other hairless monkeys, you mainly want special status, and admiration from your fellow primates. ;)

That makes 12.


@Brian H Remember I pared the list back down to only 11. Reasons like "Having something in common with Jay Leno's garage (David Letterman eat your heart out)" did not make the cut. I think we are all very very proud of our choices so I guess I am "guilty as charged".

Deny it all you want. As the Slate Priuses are for Losers article said, "I prefer not to think of myself as the sort of person who would harbor feelings of superiority on the basis of a material possession. But it is extremely hard, as drivers in their BMWs and Lexuses crane for a glimpse of my ninja-quiet ride, to keep from thinking one thing: Suckers!"



I'm somewhat reluctant to step up to the Tesla from the Prius, and lost much of my hubris when I traded in an S430 in 2006. However, my older daughter may soon need a car for work/school. I looked at a 2012 Prius, but I'm not a fan of the new Prius cockpit console.
My younger daughter would love for me to get an A6, but as a staunch eco-buff I'm not going the gas guzzler route ever again


I hear you. Each revision of the Prius seems to degrade the interior of the car. The 2004 has far worse interior materials than the 2001, and the 2010+ is gimmicky.

However, not going to the Toyota dealer is worth at least $15,000 in stress relief--maybe $20,000.

Peak Oil bruin, tell your daughter the A6 is a boring car. It really is. In fact it is so boring that I wonder what particularly caught your daughter's attention about it. Maybe her new boy friend's dad has one, or something like that?

Don't get me wrong. It is a very solid car, spacious, comfortable, reliable and practical. But boring throughout.

I am getting it for #12.

To heighten your pleasure, make a small placard on a handle, saying, "Sucker!", and hold it up as you pass Lexi, Prii, and the like. ;)

My wife educated me when we first looked at solar for our home: a matter of national security! Never mind just how great the S is as a car. It represents one small step in oil independence. I don't want young people giving their lives so I can drive a car. I want our tax dollars moved to more productive ends in place of wars.
And after driving an S I am totally in love with it. So hopefully I get to satisfy both my love of great cars and my desire to do something positive for life on this planet. It's the only home we have.

I am a real estate agent and I think this will be the perfect car for me! Before becoming an agent, I drove sporty two door cars with a clutch. Had to give all that up in order to have room for clients. Now I can have my cake and eat it too since this is a beautiful large car that drives like a sports sedan; has plenty of cargo room when I have to take staging items to my listings; has enough battery power for all of my short trips around town; plus the regen braking makes it feel somewhat like driving with a clutch. All of this and I will no longer have to buy all of that gas. I am installing solar panels on my house to go as green as possible. Can't wait!

@Cindy, and you can pull up an MLS listing on that monster 17" screen too!!

BYT - I hadn't even thought about that. My clients will be so wowed.

The Model S has impressive specs and functionality. However, this is version 1.0, so it is an early adopter product. I imagine that over time, they will add features like tracking cruise control, collision avoidance, proximity sensors to help with parking. The interior like seats, trays, cup holders, etc will be refined, since management is aware of the comments. After all, Elon drives a high end Audi and knows what a refined interior looks like. Takes resource and time.

The battery characteristics need to improve. Their hi end 85 KWhr battery pack has an initial steep decline in capacity that stabilizes. I got to have 300+ miles range because supercharging reduces capacity further. In my area there are hardly any public chargers.

For $100,000 I want a refined product with minimal practical limitations. I haver production reservation due in April 2013. Tesla had offered a Signature option recently that I declined. I want to see how the initial cars perform. I figure they will have the kinks out by then. I appreciate the early adopters for the pioneering efforts. It took conviction for the early adopters of the Roadster.

mitrabbit | August 9, 2012
My wife educated me when we first looked at solar for our home: a matter of national security! Never mind just how great the S is as a car. It represents one small step in oil independence.

Actually, that's really no longer a concern. The GAO has concluded that recoverable light sweet (top grade) oil in the (mostly) federal Green River formation (think east slope Rocky Mountain states) is about 1½ trillion bbl, equivalent to proven reserves for the rest of the world combined. The US is a de facto Oil Empire, now!

As for electricity production, frac gas is so cheap and plentiful that (easily built, low-cost) gas turbine generators are driving every other alternative off the market; even coal can't compete. The US domestic price is about ¼ that for the rest of the world. Steel and aluminum plants in Ohio and elsewhere are refurbishing and re-opening: it's too expensive to use foreign coal-powered (e.g.) locations.

As for "de-carbonization", don't sweat it. The actual atmosphere and world have shown zero temperature sensitivity to CO2 increases, despite all the over-cooked model predictions. In technical terms, those models show "no skill" on any time scale. Meanwhile, agriculture and forests love the stuff. Plants had eaten themselves into near-famine levels, and would prefer to get back to 1,000 to 2,000 ppm, if only it were possible.


So your conclusion is 180° wrong. The only thing that matters is how great a car the Model S is!

Electric motors are inherently superior to ICE engines, and permit far greater control and performance, at far lower cost in far smaller space, etc., etc. Just better! The storage/recharge problems are resolving fast, and the dam is breaking on nanotech improvements, on a really significant scale.

One of the areas of said improvements is the ability to take recharge very fast without much heat or damage. By the time you replace your battery, it will no longer be an issue. And so on.

Brian H - methinks you need to turn off the Faux News for a change.

Funny, I was about to tell YOU the same thing

@MandL and apparently @Vawlkus...

Your use of "Faux News" weakens your argument because you're taking using a childish tactic to bolster what is apparently a weak argument on its own merits. That said...

I'm confused. So Fox News has argued that "Electric motors are inherently superior to ICE engines"? Interesting, I didn't realize that.

Hey, Brian H must be right. Look how dirt cheap gas is (sarcasm). Either way I don't care honestly. The BEV will bring competition to the gas companies forcing them to get competitive (lower gas prices) or fade away.

Sundre, all I read was that electric motors wer superior, where are you getting gas is cheap..?this thread is about why we are buying a model s, fox news in this discussion......well you know

Electric motors are superior. Sorry

Back on thread--

Justification!?! We don't need no stinkin justification!!!

(reference Treasure of Sierra Madre)

You drive a tesla, because it's the right thing to do (period)
Particularly if you charge it with solar power as I do (now with the roadster) and will (with Model S next month).