For a fresh view of the emerging electric vehicle world in Australia, I invited the teenage children of my neighbours for a drive in our Tesla Model 3 SR + as well as a chat about it. Marcus, 15, and Stella, 16, will soon be going through that rite of passage of getting a driver’s license and obtaining a vehicle. What do they think the future holds? How did they react to the Tesla? Will they be the EV drivers of tomorrow?
Although both teenagers are shy, their actions spoke volumes. After the drive (during which Stellar made surprised noises of excitement at each “launch”), I left them in the car to play with the screen. Thirty minutes later, I had to ask them to come to the computer with me so I could record their thoughts.
Marcus tells me that he has done a science assignment for high school on climate change. He saw EVs as one of the major factors that will help solve the issue. Both admitted they knew little of how the tech worked. Judging by their symbiotic relationship with their phones, I doubted that lack of technological expertise would reduce their use of technology.
“It’s a rising industry in the world today,” said Marcus. Stellar was curious about the technology behind the braking and the Autopilot. They were both interested to know when EVs would achieve price parity with petrol cars. Neither was swayed by my explanation of total cost of ownership, especially the petrol savings. Like most youth, they live in the now.
They were impressed by the smooth and silent drive. “The car seems very safe because of all the sensors and safety features. It’s simple and appears to have less extra mass,” Stella commented. She liked the three boots – “lots of storage”.
So, what kept them in the car for 30 mins after the drive? Playing with the toys. They found the Tesla to be a fun car with lots to do — like the karaoke & fart mode. Stella told me the screen was mind blowing. “We played around with everything.” (I was chatting to their parents.)
And their thoughts about the future of transport: “It’s all going electric. It will be a rapid transition. Fossil fuels will die out.” They will certainly be EV drivers of tomorrow.
And the last word: “It’s quiet, like a ghost car.”
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