You know the thought you have when you see someone on the highway driving a Hummer, right?
It’s someone dying for poor gas mileage and desperate for attention.
Well, if you are the proud owner of a Tesla vehicle, the same latter thought applies — you’re just looking for attention.
I know what you are thinking if you do drive one of the models: “I am saving the environment.”
But you had to pay anywhere from $70,000 to upwards of $130,000 for the privilege of saving the environment. Unless of course you are the rare breed who paid $35,000 for the Model 3 — and there are only about 140,000 of you out there.
Kudos to you, at least.
The fact of the matter is there are many other electric cars that serve the same purpose of cutting down on emissions and “saving the environment.” You have the Nissan LEAF ($30,000 MSRP) which is small, but serves the purpose.
“But, there isn’t enough room,” you say.
How about the Hyundai Ioniq EV ($31,000 MSRP)? Or the Honda Clarity Electric ($37,000 MSRP)? Both vehicles have about as much space as the Tesla models, but at more than half the price.
Nope, you’d rather have a vehicle that has been reported to crash repeatedly while on autopilot, made by employees in substandard working conditions and owned by a man who flippantly smoked marijuana on one of the most popular podcasts in the world.
Did I fail to mention the video of a Tesla Model S bursting into flames in Shanghai on Sunday?
Oh, and while we are on the subject of Tesla’s embattled CEO, Elon Musk, let us not forget all of the issues facing him and his company.
It is expected that Tesla will report yet another dip in its earnings when its first quarter results are announced this week. The environment is so much so that Musk has even said there is a “very difficult” path ahead for his company. That path includes a 7% cut to staff on top of the already 9% reduction the company had last year.
Then there is the issue of autonomous driving.
Musk suggested Tesla plans to unveil self-driving cars that can drive highways and city streets, promising up to a million robotaxis on the road without a driver behind the wheel by 2020.
Steven E. Schladover, a retired research engineer at the University of California at Berkeley was more than skeptical about Musk’s claims.
“It’s all hype,” he said to the Associated Press. “The technology does not exist to do what he is claiming. He doesn’t have it and neither does anybody else.”
So you have Tesla owners spend tons more money to do what other vehicles half the price will do. And they spend that money to support a CEO consistently making gregarious claims, treating his workers poorly and supporting production of vehicles that have yet to produce smooth test results.
All of that so they can say, “I own a Tesla.”
Of course, if you are worshipping at the shrine of Musk, you may be owning a Tesla because the only other option would be a horse — according to him at least.
So let’s not be disillusioned here. If you own a Tesla, it is for one reason and one reason only: status.
You believe that, somehow, some way, owning a Tesla makes you better than everyone else because you ponied up the big bucks to “save the environment.”
That and, like Hummer owners, you are clearly seeking attention on the road.