I have no doubts that the future of automobiles is electric . Having seen first hand the experience of several friends and colleagues who bought a model S and/or a model T , and reading about the 180000 people who put down $1000 as deposit for a model 3 – I am sure Tesla will be a top auto maker in future . But despite all my excitement – I have no reason to jump in and buy one in near future . I am going to sit and watch this play out from the side lines for a few years .
I am VERY thankful to everyone who has bought a Tesla already or will buy one of the next several ones to come out . You definitely are subsidizing my potential future tesla and you have my gratitude .
It’s an engineering marvel for sure . When it comes to design – I love everything from the looks , to the lack of mechanical parts (I am a mechanical engineer by training and Automobile engineering was my most favorite subject in college ), to the “software rules” paradigm, to the autopilot , to the safety features (and promises) to the amazing dashboard display …well I like it all !
Musk’s salesmanship is a sight to behold – especially on the big stage for new product intros . 180,000 people parting with their cash (granted, it’s refundable) – several of them even without seeing the car first – is a feat only apple can boast of today . That is 180 million dollars of interest free money . What is not to like ?
So why am I hedging my bets and not buying one yet ?
1. I can probably afford one , but Tesla is still expensive in my mind – especially when I think of how much lower the prices can get once it gets mainstream in future
2. I live in AZ – it will take some time to get the charging network established throughout the state
3. By my rough math – Tesla sells as many cars a year historically as say an established company like GM does a week . Scale is very capital intensive in this business and I am not sure if Tesla will have a sustained advantage when all the established car companies jump in and start delivering at scale
4. Tying the affordability of the lower end model 3 car to a government decided tax break makes me wonder if that is a good idea . Granted – Musk will have the best lobbyists working for him , but I still don’t feel comfortable on this line of thought
5. Tesla will need to sell more X and S models to gain their big margins to make model 3 work . That is largely the top end market that Porche and Merc and others have a stranglehold of today . If these German/American/Japanese luxury brands come out with truly great electric cars – I don’t see Tesla managing to sell a lot .
6. Apple /Google and their car projects – that is a wild card too. No idea if it’s going to be a real car or if Apple/Google does software and car companies just OEM it . Tesla is not the only company to have top talent on software
7. Given the lack of driver loyalty , I am no longer sure if Uber and other companies like that will thrive long term . I really wish they do – and if they do , I can’t wait to get rid of car ownership for good .
8. If Tesla does come up with a safe driverless car – then maybe it’s the uber like companies that will buy all of them . Again – I would rather not own a car at all in that case
9. The car is green and I like that . But I am not convinced yet that the manufacturing process for these cars and their monster batteries are energy efficient . And I don’t really know how long it will take to make the process fully green .
There are more reasons – but my flight is about to land and I need to power down . So no Tesla for me for now . But I hope I find reasons for my heart to over rule my head , or to find my head is just wrong and I should just buy one 😉