Evolution Of Tesla Loyalty From A Non-Elon-Fan

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I was driving a Toyota Prius for several years until I made the move to an EV in 2018, buying a Tesla Model 3 Mid Range. Last summer I traded up to a Model Y Long Range. My admiration for Elon Musk has been dinged by his political pronouncements, but his cars and dedication to a clean energy future are powerful reasons to stick with the brand. That makes for a painful tension, so I’ll indulge in some nostalgia about buying a Tesla in the first place.

My first reason to go electric was concern about climate change, so Tesla’s mission “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy” resonated strongly. It wasn’t enough anymore to drive a Prius and tease out the most mpg. But moving to an electric vehicle meant being able to afford one, being able to charge it, and actually liking its design. The only affordable EVs on the market at the time were the Leaf, Bolt, and Tesla Model 3. Being a New York City resident, I don’t use a car for daily life, and almost all I do is long distance driving. While the Bolt was attractive, the lack of reliable fast charging was a dealbreaker. Same problem with the Leaf, which I also found irredeemably ugly. So the Supercharger network was the practical reason to choose a Tesla.

The other reason was the design of the Model 3 itself. It was just beautiful, inside and out. When my husband and I sat in one for the first time in a Tesla showroom, we fell in love immediately. The interior had all the features we wished for or had not even imagined: the flat surfaces on the dash and console where you can place your take-out food (so nice while you are at a Supercharger); no unnecessary emergency brake lever or stupid pseudo-stick shift taking up space between the seats; the ability of the passenger to control many functions on the touchscreen; the feeling that you are sitting in a living room rather than a cockpit. I still think that these functional aspects of Tesla’s interior design don’t get enough credit.

And of course, actually driving a Tesla is wonderful for all the usual reasons that EVs are superior. I also have Full Self Driving and find it very helpful on our long drives, as well as an excellent safety feature.

So while I wince with each new political statement Elon makes that I disagree with, I cannot see myself abandoning the Tesla brand. The cars are just too good, and the mission of the company is just too important.

By Stephanie Doba

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