Working at a car dealership, I have access to almost every car there is, and I have the unique ability to be able to drive and compare these vehicles. I thought I would share this here for anyone considering jumping into a Tesla/EV (Electric Vehicle.) I thought I would share my insights on EVs compared to gas powered cars, specifically performance/sport cars. This is just my opinion of course, and your opinion could vary greatly. I just thought I would share my experiences as someone who drives a stick shift gas operated vehicle. Here is my feedback:
Teslas really are fast. Like, throw you into your seat fast. You can be going 65 and still goose it, and it throws you back into your seat. The torque is incredible, and it feels like you’re being launched off the deck of a carrier. The interior is super clean, although I would argue that the fit and finish of the interior does not match the price tag. They are coming down in price a bit, and I sold two model 3’s right around the price of a newer 2021 Subaru STI (the last year they made this vehicle.)
Here’s the thing though: EVs lack personality.
Yes, the power is unrivaled. We could probably never build our gas operated cars to get to this point, at least in a reliable way. The power is also instantaneous, so there is no lag. This doesn’t even mention the reasons many people opt for EV, which is the ability to move away from gasoline and emissions. But, and here’s the big but: (insert joke here)
It feels like there is no specific character to the cars.
When I drive a Tesla, I love having that power, but I feel like I’m in a very expensive golf cart. Not hearing any engine, exhaust or mechanical sounds is almost unnerving. It makes me disappointed, and generally unenthusiastic about the whole experience. All that available power is lessened because it doesn’t give me the whole “experience”. I want to feel something, to be inspired, to be excited. It doesn’t really happen in EVs.
This is how I would explain it: You can have this amazing long distance online relationship. You can chat all the time, FaceTime, and do any other manner of electronic messaging. It would feel very new, and exciting. You would even convince yourself that this other person is perfect, and is perfect for you. It would excite you on that surface level. But it’s not fully real, and you’re missing something crucial and important. Eventually, you would feel unfulfilled and lose interest.
That’s how I feel about Tesla’s and EV’s.
There’s something missing from the whole EV car experience that makes most of love our cars. Something emotional. There’s a connection that you feel with your vehicle. There’s a whole personality that is completely missing from the EV experience. When I send customers out on test drives, and they love the vehicle, it is usually for one of these two reasons:
1. They look at the vehicle and it makes them smile. They can picture themselves in it, and it projects the image they want others to feel about them. The vehicle we drive is a reflection of our spirit and personality, and to them this is important.
2. The vehicle elicits some kind of positive emotional response. Maybe it’s the way they feel sitting behind the wheel. Maybe it’s the rumble of the exhaust when they cold start the car first thing in the morning. Maybe it’s the power they feel when the car launches off the line after you let the clutch out. Whatever it was, there was something that made them excited and made them connect with the vehicle.
For those of us who choose to drive manual, you also have the added benefit of bing in complete control over how your vehicle runs. It’s one of the last bastion of humans controlling machinery left in the world. In an EV, you lose that connection to your machine. You feel that the machine is totally in control of you in every moment. There are also no mechanical, physical controls inside the car, and everything is controlled through a computer screen. It strips you of most of your ability to control your vehicle directly.
To me, all the instant power and technology in these new EV’s can’t make up for that. They can’t replace your connection to your car, or the emotional responses you get when you see it and operate it. They can’t make you feel alive. I still smile when I hear my custom exhaust thunder to life, and I get excited as I downshift and feel the torque carry me through the S curves. I need to feel that excitement and enjoyment, otherwise, what’s the point?
Just my two cents.