I want to address something that has been in and out of my Twitter feed: Bill Gates bought a Porsche Taycan instead of a Tesla. The Tesla fan (and shareholder) in me wants to scream, “OMG Nooooo!” However, the practical, logical side believes this is a good thing, and she is the one in charge of writing this article.
Why Bill Gates bought a Taycan instead of a Tesla
(he is a Porsche fan. It's his first electric vehicle)https://t.co/zyaQZfnWpe
— Third Row Tesla Podcast (@thirdrowtesla) February 18, 2020
In an interview with Marques Brownlee, Bill Gates shares why he chose the Taycan. “I have to say it’s a premium-priced car, but it is very, very cool.” Bill Gates is a longtime Porsche fan. He owns a rare 959 that he fought to import to the US in a decade-long battle that wound up leading to a new law being passed. So, it makes sense that this Porsche lover’s first electric vehicle is a Porsche.
Gates had some positive things to say about Tesla in the interview. He described the passenger car sector as one of the most hopeful in regards to addressing climate change, and that Tesla is the #1 one company that helped to drive that.
In essence, Bill Gates choosing a Porsche over a Tesla wasn’t a dig on Tesla. He simply wanted his first EV to be from his favorite brand, which lends credibility to what I’ve been saying for a while now. Brand enthusiasts are everywhere, especially among car lovers. I have friends who idolize Lambo. True, if Lamborghini was to make an EV, perhaps just a few millionaires would buy one. Some say that wouldn’t make a difference, but I beg to differ.
People like Gates, who love and truly have an allegiance to their favorite brand, need a compelling EV from that brand in order to go electric. This matters when it comes to the EV movement. The EV movement wouldn’t exist without Tesla’s push and influence, but it needs more than Tesla. Gates’s opinion is that we’re getting there. “The premium today is there, but over the next decade — except that the [mileage] range will still be a little bit less — that premium will come to zero. [When we look at all the sectors addressing climate change] passenger cars is certainly one of the most hopeful, and Tesla, if you had to name one company that’s helped drive that, it’s them.”
When it comes to brands of all types, people love them. I love Community Coffee. It is what I grew up on. The flavor is unique to my late teens and early adulthood. In school, I would see the ads for its cash-for-school programs and we would always collect the UPC labels to bring to the teachers who would collect them from the class. This has helped schools in Louisiana generate over $7.4 million to help lower the costs of textbooks, computers, events, and more. If Tesla was to launch a coffee line, sure, I’d buy it just to support Tesla, but if I had to choose a coffee brand to drink for the rest of my life, it would be Community Coffee, which is what I am sipping on right now as I write this. I don’t think Community Coffee would build its own EV, so mine will definitely be a Tesla. The Cybertruck will be my first ever vehicle as I have never owned one in my life.
My point is this: everyone has their favorite things and many have their favorite brands. Bill Gates chose Porsche as his first EV. Others will choose the Ford Mustang Mach-E or the Volkswagen Buzz. Some chose the Chevy Bolt and BMW i3. Some will buy an electric Ford F-150 or Hyundai Kona EV. We need people to buy all of them.
Bill Gates choosing a Porsche EV is a good thing. It encourages those who love their favorite brands to support those companies if they chose to make an EV. Sure, in many respects you get more bang for your buck with a Tesla, but people buy brands for the brand, not the savings.