It would be easy to think that all the Teslas are being bought by young techno nerds. But it is surprising to find the number of grandparents who are investing in the future of their grandchildren, and also just having fun. Sometimes grandma wants to drive, fast. Whatever their reason for buying a Tesla, here are some fascinating stories.
Patricia’s two sons own Teslas, and when she was looking to upgrade her Honda HRV, they encouraged her to take a Tesla Model 3 “only for two weeks” and try it out. She didn’t want to change from her preferred brand and drivetrain, but after only 2 days, she was hooked. “I have to have one, it just drives itself!” she says. Like me, she has a little trouble getting in and out.
I asked how she coped with the technology and she said: “The grandchildren do all that for me.” Sometimes she finds it hard to locate her favourite radio station — especially after one of those pesky over-the-air updates. Me too.
As for the driving, the furthest she has been is from Brisbane on the Gold Coast in the south to the Sunshine Coast to the North. That’s about 200 km round trip. She checked for Superchargers, but in the end didn’t need them.
Jo’s neighbour bought a Tesla and took them for a drive in it. She says it felt like she was getting a face lift with the G force of the acceleration. Then her son bought a Model 3 Performance and she was even more impressed. After a test drive at the Tesla service centre in February, she put in her order for a dual-motor Model 3 Long Range. They are expecting their baby in May or June of this year.
Up to this point, Jo was planning to replace her Audi S 3 sports car with a fossil-powered SUV. Jo has always been a bit of hoon, with a couple of Mustangs and an XR 5 in her stable. “At the lights, I want to win the race. I want to be first off the mark.”
Jo and her husband are also well aware of the climate crisis and want to do their part. They have installed a large rooftop solar system and are looking forward to charging their car at home at no cost. But the major draw is the fun of driving a Tesla. “The car is very impressive. I love the clean dash with no distracting dials and knobs. It has attitude — speed, response, and comfort.”
Catherine tells me that she found that the savings in energy costs covered any loan payments she needed to make for the initial purchase of her Tesla. She is by no means wealthy, but upon retiring, she decided to cut monthly costs rather than look for investment returns, so took some of her retirement savings and decarbonized her home. The return has been pretty good this winter since she no longer buys fossil fuels.
“Why let my money sit and contribute nothing while my grandkids’ planet burns?” she says.