"Are you crazy?" said journalist Ed Niedermeyer, whose name is allegedly painted above the drain of the replica Duchamp, which is hidden in Elon Musk's private bathroom in Tesla's Fremont factory.
"I'm buying a Tesla," I said, "and nothing you say can stop me."
"Maybe you should read my book."
"The certainly will not stop me. "
"But," Ed whined, "we've done more than a hundred episodes of Autonocast, why you should not."
"They have More than a hundred have thought about why people should not do that. I have more than a hundred done, why people should, "
"I hope you did not tell them in advance," Ed said over two clicks of a bic. "You should go in as a civilian."
"Of course not," I lied, "otherwise I would not have credibility."
The truth was that for months I had talked to senior Tesla colleagues who promised to buy new ones and threatened to buy used ones. They had never uttered anything but best wishes, which made Ed's argument much easier. As much as a dark part of me hoped for a discount and a specially prepared car, I would have to order one like any other Shlub. But the preference of manufacturers is what other people do. You know her; These car "journalists" have no unfriendly word for a car until its model cycle is over.
Me? I have to keep my reputation.
Unfortunately, the truth was that even I – who had more Tesla miles than most of the surviving owners – had been infected with FUD, aka Fear, uncertainty & doubt. If you believe mainstream media reports, Tesla is the Theranos of transportation, Elon Musk is his Elizabeth Holmes, and the company will be dead before the first maintenance of my car. Let's not forget the shortage of spare parts, cars catching fire, the autopilot accidents and things like the Autonomy Day, which some call the Silicon Valley version of The Producers. Opposite the big outlets are Tesla investors from incredibly flat technical knowledge and a constellation of stock certificates – I would call them whores, but that would be an insult to sex workers trying to make a more honest dollar – who shamelessly abolish any criticism of Elon Musk and Tesla with Whataboutism at its best.
But that did not interest me. I did not buy a $ TSLA that is in a difficult phase. I wanted to buy one Tesla. The only way to buy a Tesla is to become like a honey badger. If you do not care about the promises, lies, idiots. trolls. FoolOf rumors, hopes or exaggerations, only the glorious reality of the one fact remains: the cars are amazing, delightful, breathtaking and unique.
Elon Musk said at least one thing on Autonomy Day: No automaker on Earth has released a car that can compete with the 2012 Model S, and it's still light-years ahead of any other EV that you can buy today. Autopilot. Powertrain. Offer. Charging infrastructure. User interface. Navigation system. People can complain and complain about the build quality, but I'd rather have magic with a defect than a work of art that I hate. I am absolutely convinced that the vast majority of people who dislike Tesla have never driven and / or short-circuited.
The old automakers can beat Tesla in terms of build quality, but I do not care if they stay behind the cutting edge of technology in almost every way. If only the quality of workmanship played a role, Toyota would be the only automaker on the planet.
Am I crazy? Maybe, but I drove or owned some of the best cars ever built. I've just sold my # 73 Citroen SM, # 90 Porsche 928GT and # 3988 BMW M6. My current fleet includes a 2000 E39 BMW M5, a # 87 Porsche 911 Targa and a # 12 Morgan 3-wheeler. I love them all, but my needs change as I get older and the needs slip with them. I've just had a baby and need a family car that's safer than a 20-year-old BMW gasoline gas from the reserve tank. And me want an electric vehicle.
I just started a new job at Argo.AI, whose headquarters in Pittsburgh is 603 kilometers from my home in Manhattan. I have to commute at least every two weeks and I need a car when I'm not at home. There are six hours each. Six hours in the car are a long time. Noise levels are important. You can not grasp how much better you feel at the other end of a long drive in an EV, until you've done it.
Why not fly? The flight takes five to six hours from door to door, of which the flight takes only 90 minutes. I'd rather spend six hours in a car, listening to podcasts, and talking on the phone Likewise consider less noise with an EV. The other necessity is a real The driver assistance system (ADAS) was developed for use on highways, and there are currently only two serious systems on the market: Tesla Autopilot and Cadillac SuperCruise. I'm not buying Tesla's claims that using autopilot is safer than not, but it's sure to be less stressful over long periods of time. The same applies to SuperCruise – which is significantly safer than the autopilot due to its camera-based driver monitoring system – but which is currently only available for traditional combustion Cadillacs (ICE).
That is, all roads lead back to a Tesla.
Of course, my child's mother wanted a Model X. "These doors!" she giggled, but I did not pay for less range and one more thing that could break. I wanted to please her, but I would rather put the difference for the little Coco Roy's college fund. A Model S? Not worth 30% more than a 3 for me.
And so a model 3 was the only choice. As T-Day approached, I purposely ignored all news about Tesla and prepared to place an online order. Then the thought came to me: there Got to be some inventory cars sitting around the tri-state area. Surely Tesla would offer me something Kind of deal. I marched into Tesla's beautiful showroom in New York's Meatpacking district and asked about the only configuration that makes sense:
- Model 3 four-wheel drive with long range, there Long-distance. The EPA says it will be 310. Why not the performance? It comes with 20s instead of 18s or 19s and gets a few percentage points less range. The Tesla configurator says it's the same. They lie.
- Black appearance, because who cares? This is my commuter car.
- Black interiorbecause white is the only alternative and I'm not an idiot. White may be cooler, but it will not survive a car seat, let alone a baby.
- 18 "Aero Wheelsbecause reach. There was a time when the Tesla Configurator actually displayed range differences based on wheel size. These days are over. Bigger wheels = bigger profits = shorter range. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that a smaller, lighter wheel is superior to a larger, heavier wheel. Also more comfortable.
- autopilotbecause buying a Tesla without it is crazy. Good news for the buyers: This became standard soon after my purchase.
- Full self-propulsion (FSD)because if I want to write about the latest automotive technology, I have to drive it.
To my delight, this was recently discontinued rear The variant with wheel drive was available on site in different colors. That meant saving weight and money and having a few miles more reach. Just in case I wanted to break the EV Cannonball record again, it was the perfect car.
The Tesla staff were great. The car was in stock. I gave them my credit card. Within minutes, I had an email confirmation and an online account. Within hours, they confirmed the delivery home for already the next day, It was by far the best car buying experience I've ever had. I went home and counted the hours.
You will not believe what happened next.
Alex Roy is Director of Special Operations at Argo.AI, Founder of Human Driving Association, Editor-in-chief The ride, Host of The Autonocast, Co-host of / DRIVE on NBC Sports, author of The driver. and producer of APEX: The secret race across America, He has set numerous long-distance records, including the notorious Cannonball Run record, and believes in mobility as a fundamental human right. You can follow him Facebook. Twitter and Instagram,