Why I Hate My Tesla


July 2016

I’ve owned a Tesla Model S for about a year now.  It’s an amazing vehicle with some really slick technology.  Mine is the more moderate version.  It doesn’t have the ludicrous speed option, or the killer auto-pilot.  I use it primarily for my daily commute, and charge it each night in my garage.  I haven’t been to a gas station in nearly a year, and the increase in my electric bill is a fraction of what I was paying for gas.  Sounds great right?  Well, here’s why I hate it.

I now know what expecting mothers feel like when strangers touch their bellies without invitation, followed by all of the questions about the details of the baby.  That’s what I feel like when strangers approach to drill me with questions about the car.  It’s almost always a “no holds barred” conversations – How much did you pay for it?  How far does it go?  What happens when the battery dies?  Does it catch fire?  How often do you need to put gas in it?  Can you drive in the rain? That’s a nice car, can I get 20 dollars from you?  Yes, while travelling through Delaware I was hit up for 20 bucks while at a charging station.  It gets worse on the road.

While passing another Tesla’s, you’ll get a thumb’s up, a pointed finger, or a head nod.  I assume this is some sort of acknowledgement we share similar taste in cars.  I’ve owned a lot of nice cars and never had this experience.  It can be worse at the charging stations, where it is almost mandatory to make small talk with the other owners while you’re charging.  The conversation is typically their experience purchasing and owning the vehicle.  The tone of the conversation is akin to describing their first sexual experience.  I’m glad to see people passionate about their cars, but this is a whole other level.

On the road, it is very common for other cars to slow down and get a good look at you.  I’d imaging this is how a pretty girl feels getting leered at by strangers in a seedy bar.  Sometimes they ride alongside you waiting for some visual confirmation.  I normally pretend to pick my nose.  This is passive and mild, it does get dangerous.

The newer Tesla’s beat the pants off of the traditional muscle cars in performance and apparently they are very upset about it.  More often than not, if a muscle car like a Mustang or Charger sees you on the road, they’ll engage.  The typical move is to pull alongside you and make their presence known by revving their engine and throaty exhaust.  It’s much like Tom Cruise flipping the bird to the Russian fighter pilot in the movie Tom Gun.  It ends with them aggressively speeding off in a sad attempt to display dominance.  This happens a few times a week.

My all-time favorites are the people that feel the need to bestow their vast knowledge upon me.  Yes, they are the self-proclaimed Tesla experts that want to tell me everything I clearly do not know about my car.  The conversation normally ends with them justifying the many sound reasons they personally do not own a Tesla.  The most common excuse is “there’s so much technology in the car, there’s too much to go wrong, that’s why I don’t own one”  Right, that’s why.

In conclusion, if you are an mild introvert that avoids unsolicited conversations with strangers, and you are interested in a hybrid or electric vehicle, I recommend you test drive the Toyota Camry in earth tone.