Cars Commentary First World Problems Personal

I don’t want a Tesla

This is part 2 of my “Electric Car” series.

I knew I wanted an electric car this time. The obvious choice was a Tesla Model 3, almost universally praised for its driving dynamics, range, software, and purchase experience. But you know what? I don’t want a Tesla. And a car, for me, is more than a transportation appliance. I like cars. I wanted to like my next one.

Here’s why I don’t want a Tesla.

  • Elon Musk. He overpromises and underdelivers, especially with his “IT’S AUTOPILOT, but that doesn’t mean it’s an automatic pilot“.
  • Elon Musk. See also “Full Self Driving is around the corner, just pay for it now! OOPS! You need newer hardware, but this is the good one! OOPSIE WOOPSIE! Not that one, either!” Truth is, full self-driving, especially with the camera-only approach Tesla is currently pursuing, is an unsolved problem in computer science. It may never be solved. We don’t know. But he’s selling it now.
  • Elon Musk. I just don’t want to fund his antics.
  • $7,500. The Federal Government will kindly give me a whopping $7,500 tax credit for buying an electric car within the first 200,000 made by a manufacturer. Tesla passed that milestone a long time ago. Buying from someone who’s sold less of them, like freaking Ford, will.
  • I dislike the design of the model 3/Y. This is entirely subjective, of course, but to my eyes the 3 looks like a boat out of water, and interior looks like IKEA threw out half of its stuff after Marie Kondo visited. It’s too stark and empty for my taste.
  • No driver’s instrument cluster. This messes with my head.
  • They’re everywhere. There’s so many of them it’s not cool any more. Good for them; the car’s a huge success, but it makes it meh.
  • Competition is good! By buying from someone else, I encourage others to make more electric cars. Tesla is the 800-lb gorilla of this industry.
  • Build quality. The body gaps and panel alignment issues with Tesla are well documented. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t, but I like nicely-made things and don’t want to roll the dice on this.

Next: Electric ponies