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Tesla Stupid Performance Buyers - My Rebuttal

The following article was published at Tech Guru Daily on April 18, 2015:
The Problem With Tesla: They Make Performance Buyers Look Stupid by Rob Enderle.

I don't know if the above link will still be working when you read this rebuttal, but this rebuttal page at least is still functioning. The gist of the article is that people who buy the top performance model of the Tesla are stupid since trying to utilize the performance capabilities of the Tesla will drain the battery so fast that it makes more economic sense to purchase the least cost / least performance version of the Tesla.

This has to be one of the most idiotic, ill informed articles about Tesla performance I have ever read.

I am probably one of the most qualified individuals to write a rebuttal to this article. I purchased a Tesla Model S 85 and took delivery in June of 2013. In March of 2015 I sold that car and purchased a Tesla Model S P85D, the most high performance Tesla available at that time.

The main purpose I traded up wasn't just to enjoy the most high performance current version of the Tesla Model S, but that was a nice perk. When my wife and I took delivery of the 2013 Tesla Model S 85, we already had two other vehicles that were more advanced technically than the Tesla: a 2012 Toyota Sienna Limited minivan and a 2012 Toyota Plug-In Prius Advanced. Both of those Toyota vehicles had proximity alerts, collision avoidance, and adaptive cruise control. When we purchased our 2013 Tesla Model S 85, we felt like we were stepping back a generation in automotive technology. At great cost, and after some avoidable damage to our Tesla, we paid to have Tesla install the proximity alert system that was integrated with the Tesla electronics. Unfortunately to this day, Tesla has not offered an upgrade to install collisioin avoidance and adaptive cruise control into older Tesla vehicles. The main reason we upgraded to the new Tesla was to have a vehicle with these features. But as an additional benefit we were upgrading to a car with all the hardware needed for Tesla's self-driving features, as well as upgrading to the most high performance Tesla at the time, the Tesla Model S P85D.

I have no understanding of the point of the above article. I NEVER find myself trading off performance for range. Every evening when we get home we plug in our Tesla Model S P85D having it set to either average daily or high daily use. It just depends on how far we estimate we might drive the next day. If we expect it will be an average day, we set it to the average daily charge setting which will charge it up to about 175 miles. If we think we might drive a bit more than average the next day, we set it to the high daily average setting which will charge it up to about 200 miles. If for some reason we expect to do a lot of driving, we'll set it to the max which will charge the car to about 255 miles, but that is rare. When we are all done driving for the day, we usually still have over 100 miles left on the battery when we return home. However, our usual daily routine involves multiple trips from our house with a few hours between each trip. Between each trip we plug in our Tesla. Thus, every time we leave our house it is usually charged up with plenty of mileage to take us anywhere we might go.

I suspect our pattern of charging and using our Tesla is not far different than many other Tesla owners. We seldom give any thought, or worry, or have any anxiety, about the range of our Tesla. We have plenty of charge each time we depart from our house and have plenty of charge left over each time we get back to our house. Thus, that gives us the freedom to use the full performance capability of our Tesla without giving any thought whatsoever to what impact our driving habits have on the range of the Tesla.

We do a lot of highway driving. We drive at the same speed as every other car on the highway, and maybe even a bit faster than most. Usually there are two of us in the car so we do a lot of driving in the car pool lanes which tend to move significantly faster than the traffic on the rest of the highway. When driving in the regular lanes, I don't hesitate to use the power of the Tesla to pass vehicles that are moving slower than the flow of traffic. I never hesitate to use the power of the P85D when needed. It never enters my mind that I should hold back on the performance capability of the P85D in order to conserve battery range. That is something that is never necessary and never enters into my consideration while driving.

Sometimes I think the greatest joy of the Tesla Model S P85D is when driving down secondary major roads with lots of traffic signal lights. On these roads, traffic signals regulate traffic every few blocks. The speed limit on these roads is usually a maximum of about 45 MPH. This is where the Tesla can best demonstrate its performance capabilties, especially the P85D. Whenever I end up as the lead car at a red light, I have the freedom to rapidly accelerate to the speed limit with just a mild press of the accelerator.

Sometimes there are other cars at a red light that intend to make a show of their acceleration capabilities. Usually these are cars that plan on a solo show of starting power from a red light. I've never had anyone intentionally try to challenge my Tesla. It is very rare that anyone even notices my car as a performance car that could challenge their car. Most drivers have no knowledge of the hidden 691 horsepower of the Tesla P85D. The Tesla does not look like a muscle car or hot rod. Plus being all black, my Tesla is pretty stealth. Unless someone follows the automotive world comprehensively, I doubt they would notice a Tesla on the line with them and the hidden power it contains.

I can't deny that it does provide me with some joy to just accelerate the Tesla P85D from 0 to the speed limit in fractions of a second leaving everything far behind in the rear view mirror, even those cars that were about to pretend a green signal was the start of a drag race. But as mentioned, I don't even exceed the speed limit. It is just the unexpected acceleration from 0 to the speed limit that is thrill enough. Unlike other racing vehichles that start off with roaring engines and squeeling tires leaving rubber on the road, I don't think my easy quiet smooth acceleration would be considered a "speed demonstration" by anyone. This traffic light to traffic light acceleration is where the Tesla really excells, and is really the only practical accelation comparison to make between vehicles in normal every day usage. Vehicles rarely go out to a race track to compare performance. The only usual comparisons one is able to make between vehicles is traffic light to traffic light, and preferably this should be done without exceeding the speed limit or making a racing spectacle of oneself. As far as I am concerned, the Tesla, especially the P85D, is unmatched in this normal every day comparison of vehicle performance.

But the bottom line here is this is a perfect rebuttal to the above article. The Tesla Model S P85D can outperform any vehicle in this circumstance, and can do so with no consideration whatsoever to having any impact on battery range. Thus if one wants to spend on buying the best performing Tesla, that Tesla will deliver the performance desired with no consideration or thought needing to be given to any reduction of battery range. From my own personal experience I would guess that most Tesla performance buyers will rarely give any thought at all to what impact their driving habits might have on battery range. Almost all of them will be able to enjoy the additional capabilities of the performance versions of the Tesla without worry of reducing their battery range. I think this totally disputes the above article. Tesla performance buyers are certainly not "stupid" for spending the extra money to enjoy the top performing versions. The Tesla Model S P85D will deliver performance with no need to worry about any impact on battery range in consideration of the way most Tesla owners use their vehicles.

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