I am sometimes approached by relatively older people with a comment or question about my Tesla. “Nice car”. Or “how far can you drive it?”. Sometimes I get into a conversation and then I tell enthusiastically about my Model 3. From the reactions I note that there is a lot of ignorance and there are quite a few unfair prejudices about electric driving and / or about Tesla. Sometimes I see a senior driving a new, reasonably priced, ICE car with hybrid technology. Then I often think a bit of a shame! Buy an EV to complete the evolution of the car you have experienced.
Through this website I came into contact with a person, André, over 80 years old from Belgium. André is the proud owner of a Solid Black Model 3 LR with FSD! For a while now I had the idea of writing a blog about why it is more than smart for a senior to buy a Tesla in my opinion. A great opportunity to hold my arguments against André and see if we can persuade more seniors together. Unfortunately we have not yet been able to meet each other yet due to the COVID19 restrictions.
What is a “senior”?
Let’s say someone who is shopping around maybe buying a new car one more time. There are a few nice savings in the bank. The compulsory (re)inspection for the driving license is still a while away. In the years after the second world war grown up with cars without seat belts, airbags, headrests, catalytic converters and such. Fifth gear was a novelty. DAF, pride of the Netherlands at that time, came with a variable transmission. A FM radio in the car was a luxury, seeing the cassette tape rise and be replaced by the CD player!
Actually witnessed the rise of the car as a mass product. A time when owning a car has become common good. That cars became safer and, ultimately, cleaner. With or without cheating diesels. And more economical, but also much more expensive. You don’t know any more than that you are buying a car from the car dealer. A “bouquet of flowers” at the delivery. Often also quite loyal to a brand. Every year neatly for a service. Nothing wrong with that at all. But….
Wouldn’t it be nice to do something really different one more time. Stepping into the future one more time! No more filling up with dyno-juice, but experience the luxury of plugging in at home! And maybe buy the certainty that even at any moment you have to decide together with your doctor that driving by yourself is no longer safe, you can still be mobile in your own car! Buy a car that will give you a “proud” look on the face of the grandchildren. They would love to go for a ride with you. And they want to play a game in that cool grandpa and grandma’s car.
Where can I experience a Tesla?
Tesla does no advertising. So also no advertising aimed at seniors. If you want to see and feel the car, you can go to a Tesla store. But here no “pushy salesman” trying to sell you a car. There is an advisor to whom you can ask questions and who can help you to order the car online yourself. Of course you can also take a test drive there. You don’t have to negotiate a price. The price is the price. The price of a Tesla is getting lower step by step. If you have just bought one it seems of course not very nice, but if you are going to buy, it is of course beautiful! The other way around also happens, especially with the full-self-driving software. Trade in a car is also just the trading price. Completely clear! But the point is that we are used to a sales model where we don’t know at all what the final price of the new car we want to buy will be. Because part is in the trade-in price and / or you pay later at the service. And you keep coming back to the car-dealer where you bought it. You really have to rethink. So no longer think in terms of the purchase price, but in terms of the costs of owning the car.
Buying and owning a Tesla is not really comparable to any other car brand. In short: you order it online (the price is the price), they bring it to your home (or you pick it up at a delivery center) and you hardly ever go to the garage, because there are almost no maintenance visits. In principle, if something breaks, they come to your home. If this is not possible, there is always a service center nearby.
The “number one reason” will always be safety. In short: there is no safer car to buy than a Tesla. A number of cars may come close, but all aspects of safety added together (active and passive) Tesla is number one. So if something goes wrong, the chance of personal injury is relatively low. Moreover, due to all passive systems, the chance of an accident is much smaller. And if it does go wrong, the active systems provide maximum protection. We are now talking about the era that you still have to drive yourself. But that era is slowly coming to an end.
Driving an EV is always cheaper than driving a car with a combustion engine. Simply because electricity is cheaper than fossil fuel. The more kilometers driven per year, the greater the savings. In addition, an EV requires (almost) no maintenance. And for the time being you do not pay road tax in the Netherlands and many countries have incentives. At Tesla, the savings go even further because the depreciation is a lot lower. The demand for second-hand Teslas is high. You can just lose 15,000 euros less compared to a BMW or Audi over a period of 5 years! And if you bought the Full Self Driving option, there may be no depreciation at all in the end!
Always up to date
Actually, there is no reason to replace a Tesla after just a few years. Because of the software updates it is always up to date and new functionalities are constantly added. You do not have to go to the car-dealer. Just order at home. It is a natural proces. Andre has bought 13 cars in his life. With the over-the-air software updates, there would probably have been fewer. It is incredible how many small and large functionalities are added every year. Actually every month a gift to unwrap. What’s new this time, when you see the notification that an update is available?
An EV is always a car with an automatic transmission. In fact, a Tesla has no gears at all. Without a hitch from 0 to the maximum speed. And if you let the pedal come up, the car brakes to a stop. The energy released during braking is stored in the battery. It takes some times getting used to, but you soon learn how to drive in a relaxed way by only using your right foot. You almost never have to use the brake pedal. An extra is that all Teslas accelerate very quickly. They all go to 100 under 6 seconds. The fastest now available even under 3 seconds. There will even be another one that goes to a hundred under 2 seconds. They all have a range of at least 400 kilometers.
There is always a lot of hassle about that range in real life. Whichever EV you buy, really delve into the actual range and whether it suits the way you want to use the car. Know your usage! A WTPL of 420 km does not mean that you will easily can drive from Maastricht to Amsterdam and back! A one-way ticket is more realistic! The European WTLP designation is far too rosy. The US EPA is getting closer. If you take 70% of this, then you have a distance which in practice (even if it is cold outside and / or a lot of headwind) should normally be possible.! If the frequent rides drop fits in this picture (Know your usage) and if you can charge at home, then you’re in the right place. If you have to go beyond, there is always a Supercharger nearby for a quick recharge. Knowing this, you do not have to constantly calculate with the WLTP range. Superchargers is Tesla’s own charging network with European coverage.
In addition, you can also charge at all other fast charging stations from public providers such as Fastned or Ionity. With a Supercharger you just have time for a sanitary stop and a cup of coffee and you can continue. Loading is so fast! Up to 250kW. In 10 minutes you have enough for 200-300 km. That is very fast. Tesla has been developing all-electric cars for over 10 years. No other brand will be able to market a car in the coming years that is more efficient than a Tesla. They can have more range, but then they have a (much) larger battery. Tesla is constantly working to improve efficiency. A good example of this is the heat pump in the Model 3 and Model Y for energy-efficiency in countries with a colder climate.
The interior of a Tesla, especially the Model 3 and Model Y, is completely different from usual cars. All buttons are on the big screen. And best of all. You never really have to use them. You setup everything once. The mirrors, the steering wheel, the seats, seat heating, all settings about driving assistance, the interior temperature, really everything can be set via the screen. Large buttons, clear operation, super logical and lightning-fast response. And everything is stored under your own profile. When you step in, everything is as you want it to be. If you share the car with someone else, he or she can also setup and save everything at once. It is such a luxury that you can even set how the seat will position when you get out of the car. And as soon as you want to start driving everything is exactly the way you want. And if you change something, it will just be stored neatly. If you buy a Model S or X, you can even set the air suspension completely the way you want it and also save it in your profile. You can even indicate when the ride height should be changed based on a location, like at speedbumps. It may sound a bit complicated, but it really is easy. Forget about that dial to enter the navigation destination letter by letter. Just enter or even pronounce the name of the store or restaurant and the navigation is set. You can even set your route at home while sitting on the couch via Google Maps or Apple Maps and send it to the navigation of the car. If you can handle a smartphone a bit, it will also be easy to operate some functions of your Tesla. Via the app and in the car itself. Speaking of navigation. At Tesla you get (satellite) navigation with beautiful clear images on the big screen. The maps are updated at least once a year. Just for free and you don’t have to go to the garage. So it is easy to see and it is also pronounced clearly, if desired.
High seat and easy access
The Model X and Model Y have a high seat. In addition, the Model X has gull-wing doors at the rear. That is not only very futuristic, but also practical since you have a huge passage to the back seat. On all versions, the tailgate opens and closes automatically at the touch of a button. Recently also on Model 3. In addition to the trunk (trunk) at the back, all Teslas also have a trunk at the front. A frunk. Quite deep and enough space for the charging cables and other things. The Model Y (from 2021) and Model X can also be ordered in a 7-seat configuration. The Model 3, X and Y can be equipped with a tow bar. Always enough to take the bikes. The X and Y can also easily pull a somewhat heavier caravan.
Full Self Driving
The best option on a Tesla, especially for a senior, is the full self driving option. No other car manufacturer offers this. In the showroom at the other brands, they will say that it is comparable with adaptive cruise control, lane-assist and auto-steer. Full Self Driving goes further and is actually a “mobility guarantee”. It includes all the software that will bring driving to what the word says: automatic driving. Soon you will only have to watch and help the car a little if a situation arises that it still needs a little practice. Just like your 18-year-old grandchild who just got his driver’s license. He can do it safely, but needs a little more routine to move smoothly through traffic. But before you know it, it is safer to stop driving the car yourself.
We cannot imagine now that we may not know any better that cars can drive themselves in 10 years’ time. It may even be forbidden to drive yourself in 15 years’ time. The best example in recent history is still the reaction in 1998 to the arrival of the mobile phone.
In 5 years it is normal that you do not have to do anything yourself. The car comes to you, you sit in the back seat and you are taken to your destination. You get out, the car will looking for a parking space itself. And if you want to go again, he will pick you up again with one press on the phone. And if it is not within 5 years, then certainly within 10 years! It’s really going to happen. The economic and social benefits of autonomous driving are so great that governments, after a somewhat hesitant start, will eventually clear the way. Less traffic accidents and fatalities. And they save billions because they have to build less complicated roads. For yourself it will mean that you always stay mobile. Your world remains big. You can go anywhere you want. You can have someone picked up. By remaining mobile, social participation remains high. Loneliness because the children and grandchildren live far away does not have to be a problem anymore.
Topics of conversation
And that brings us to perhaps the nicest aspect of a Tesla. There is always a topic of conversation. Tesla is and remains a novelty. Even though the number of Teslas on the road is increasing rapidly. It is and remains a desirable car. And there is a lot to tell about it. Just look at all the arguments in this article. And also on the internet you find something new every day concerning Tesla future updates, the construction of the new factories. Reviews against new EVs from other brands. Sometimes also (and unfortunately often unjustified) negative news. Don’t be fooled by people who have never driven an electric vehicle and don’t be fooled by people who have an interest in not buying an EV. If you can do it financially, just take that step to electric!
By buying a Tesla you step into a world you never thought of experiencing again.
An acceleration of a sports car, faster than a Ferrari Testarossa of “yesteryear”.
The luxury of charging at home instead of refueling in the cold.
Always new functionalities instead of buying a new car every three years.
And there is a good chance that you will still experience being driven around sitting in the back seat instead of giving up mobility.
And if it doesn’t come through full-self-driving there’s always a grandchild who will want to drive you around in grandpa’s and grandma’s car. Always a lot to talk about! Save money on consumption, maintenance and depreciation. In short…. Go to a Tesla store. Or maybe even better, check out a Supercharger. Tesla owners are always charging there, and almost everyone will proudly tell you about their car. And it will not be a Tesla but a different EV…. how fantastic to be able to experience the evolution of electric driving!