The Twin Mobile

Greg Petti, September 19, 2016

Our Tesla story starts about 3 years ago when I decided that I wanted to buy a “performance car”. I had virtually no opinion about which brand or type of car, just that I wanted to buy something exciting unlike my usual trend towards buying practical vehicles.

I sought advice from a few car enthusiasts and (as is my way) I started a process of research and analysis. Although not initially part of my process, I began including fuel and emissions efficiency in my decision-making and decided that, all other things being equal, practicality was still a factor for me. I didn’t really want to have a car that I would hardly ever drive. At some point in this process a friend introduced me to the idea of buying a Tesla - a pure electric car! This seemed crazy to me. Nonetheless, I initiated the first of thousands of visits to the Tesla website and related forums. I loved the look of the Model S and was impressed by the range and performance numbers, not to mention the huge green potential of the car; however, it took me some time to embrace the idea of a battery electric vehicle. My first test drive pushed me (almost literally) past any remaining doubt.

Rather than share the results of my research, here are some of our own experiences of owning a Tesla.

No more fueling, our Tesla is always ready to go

A concern sometimes raised about electric vehicles (EVs) is “range anxiety”; however, the reality for us (and most EV drivers) is that an electric car is more convenient than a gas car for day-to-day driving. We plug in the car at home, and every time we drive we have a full “tank”. Fuelling is no longer part of our lives! For our occasional travel to a summer home (a 600 KM journey through the mountains), Tesla Superchargers mean that the trip takes us no longer than it ever did. We take a stop for a meal while charging in one location and a short comfort stop in another location. Additionally, we enjoy the journey so much more than we did before.

Easy winter driving

People often ask about winter driving in an electric car but again the reality is that winter driving in our Tesla is more convenient than any gas car we’ve owned. Of course our range is reduced during extreme winter conditions as it would be in any car but this has never been an issue for us. We love being able to remotely warm (or cool) the car no matter where it is. No starting required, no exhaust generated! The heater is electric and instantaneous, the car always starts, and traction is incredible thanks to the dual motor all-wheel-drive.

Driving Tesla is awesome

The fun of driving a Tesla is difficult to communicate – you really have to try it to appreciate the awesomeness of an electric drivetrain. Obviously the fact that a daily driver car can go from zero to 60 in about 3 seconds makes it exciting to drive but it is much more than that. Probably the best way to illustrate how much I personally enjoy driving the car is to note that since buying our Tesla:

  • - I hardly ever ride my motorcycle anymore;
  • - I volunteer for any and all driving errands;
  • - I sometimes choose to drive long distances rather than fly.

Being part of the Tesla Community

Having bought a Tesla in a city that originally only had about 20 Teslas (among 600,000 vehicles) we quickly discovered what people call “Tesla time” – the experience of excited bystanders (from virtually every possible demographic) coming up and asking about the car. This has led to us incrementally becoming more knowledgeable about Tesla and related topics so we can address people’s questions and misconceptions about Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Tesla. As we started to meet and talk to other Tesla owners, we also found that they shared experience of being part of something new and exciting, creates camaraderie in a common need to share and compare our experiences. While not a necessity for owning a Tesla it has become a perk of ownership for us and we are now members of a local Tesla Owners Club – in fact I’m now the club president!

This could have been our entire Tesla story but there is a second part...

Here comes the Twin Mobile

Almost exactly one year ago we became the proud parents of twins (affectionately nicknamed “Tink” and “Tank”). Imagine my delight in the knowledge that my “performance car” was also a hugely practical and extraordinarily safe (5 star in every category) vehicle with ample storage for our family of four including strollers and other gear. Our car had become the best of all worlds: fast, exciting, 5 passengers, lots of storage room, low maintenance, cheap to operate, green, no noxious exhaust, and very very safe! The only downside? Our gas powered SUV became irrelevant. It was our second vehicle when we needed one, but any time we wanted to take the twins anywhere, particularly over a distance, we wanted to take the Model S. Despite the utility of the Model S it seemed stupid to have an SUV sitting in the garage gathering dust and only ever having one passenger. Our solution? We decided it was time to go fully electric and fully Tesla. A couple of months ago we became the proud owners of a Tesla Model X! While the Model S was extremely usable, even with twins, we love the ability to load car seats and kids in virtually any situation, regardless of how close a car might park to our SUV. This summer we picked up the vehicle in Vancouver and then drove back to Calgary with Tink and Tank safely ensconced in our ultra safe, ultra roomy and bright “Twin Mobile”; the calm and quiet of the cabin only disturbed by the sounds of Peppa Pig playing from an iPad.

In summary: my personal decision to buy a performance car has led to a step change improvement to our family’s transportation convenience and safety. It has led to a new hobby and the opportunity to meet many excellent people. We now think more about the environment and we now have solar panels that provide as much power as we use for our local driving. Buying solar panels is not a requirement for driving a Tesla but it is pretty cool to drive on sunshine!

My main concern with our all-electric fleet? Will the twins freak out the first time they hear a gas car start?

Tags: Model S, Model X, family car, Tesla Community, winter driving