<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Ditching Gas, My Tesla Story
Tesla Blog - Ditching Gas - My Tesla Model S Story
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Ditching Gas - My Personal Story Continues

Telsa Model S - 85 kwhGiven my complete experience, I was not wowed. In my wildest dreams I never expected to come home to indecision. I called Jennifer and she was shocked by my response. Unfortunately, we didn’t have endless time to make a decision. I immediately reassessed my options. I inventoried what cars were out there that could make me happy; another Z4 perhaps? Yes, but it would be a selfish decision now that I am married and with a 50 lb dog that goes everywhere with us. Although our dog voted for the Z4, as she loves the front seat and top down, there was also no room for my wife and dog at the same time. In addition, while I averaged 28-29 mpg in a significant amount of city traffic over the last 10 years, the environmentalist in me didn’t like the idea of not moving forward. On the environmental side, the options were a Toyota Prius, Ford Fussion, Ford EcoMax, or the Chevy Volt.  Having previously driven the Prius, that was a non-starter. It’s a fine mode of transportation, but not an automobile for enthusiasts. When my wife needed a car we tried it and settled on a VW turbo diesel in which we average over 40mpg. I test drove the Volt before as well and found the interior to look cheap, the radio horrid and the performance reasonable, but uninspiring. I test drove it again and found they improved the stereo, but it was still far from joy inducing. Ford was my only hope. Previously, I tested the EcoMax and it seemed peppy, but I couldn’t get much over 35 mpg while driving. Far from the EPA rated 47 mpg, I discounted it as an option. I hopped in a Fusion hybrid and had the same experience. The salesmen tried to BS me and say it had to break in to achieve the EPA rated mpg, but I wasn’t buying it. I could see 1-2 mpg, maybe, but certainly not the 12 mpg difference I was experiencing.

I called Tesla the next day and peppered the rep with questions concerning energy utilization and battery charging/discharging. The rep was patient, answered every question, and gave reasonable detail. I hoped my conversation would appease my fears. The only problem was, what he said wasn’t syncing with my understanding of science. I went to bed very troubled. My mind raced trying to resolve my scientific misgivings. However, the next day I received an incredible email. It was from the Tesla rep I talked to the day before. He stated that everything he told me was wrong and explained the correct way the Tesla operated. It was entirely refreshing to have such honesty. If Tesla’s integrity can be measured by the employees I interacted with the company has a very bright future.

Given my lack of enthusiastic choices, I refocused on my analysis of the pros and cons of EVs. There are many arguments about whether electric cars are better environmentally. This is really a no brainer, unless you are funded by big oil. My #1 environmental concern is global warming and our CO2 emission level. If you don’t believe in science you should just stop reading now. I will not enter a debate that really isn’t a debatable. For my wife and I, reducing our CO2 emissions is a fundamental goal. We significantly lowered our electric and natural gas usage, added the solar panels to the house, and made efforts to buy locally produced food whenever possible.

It would be an easy argument to say we are powering the car via our solar panels, but since we already had them before getting the car this would be a bit disingenuous. Certainly, if we bought wind powered electricity we could make the statement we were definitely cutting emissions, but what if we used just the regular electric company mix. It turns out it’s not that bad. 9.4% comes from renewable sources and 42% comes from nuclear (sure it has own problems, but not CO2 emissions). That means that over 50% of the electricity produced to power our car is done so without the CO2 emissions. This percentage, at least in NJ, is only improving as time marches forward. When you consider how much more efficient electric engines are over internal combustion engines, I think the answer weighs heavily in the EV camp. If you don’t like my math you can also opt to pay for your car via completely renewable sources via NJ’s energy choice program.

The story continues ...