Not just another happy customer
“I've published almost 50 pieces on Teslarati and have 280,000 views across 30+ videos. I'm known by the name Electric Jen.”
My story starts as a kid. I've always loved cars and in fact, around age 11 I designed a car called the Chinchilla that had a "computer" that would help give you directions to where you wanted to go. I prided myself as a teenager in being able to identify almost every car on the road.
So, when in November of 2012 I spotted an unfamiliar car, I was intrigued. I was attending the Philadelphia Whiskey Festival and while waiting for some colleagues, I noticed a beautiful and sleek sedan parked at the entrance. I asked what it was, I had never heard of it and took notice of at the large screen. But what really piqued my interest was the answer to my question "what type of transmission does it have?" Well, the Tesla employee explained, it did not have a transmission. I made a mental note to research the car later.
In early 2014, my husband was getting the itch to get a new car. He had been driving a Jeep Wrangler but was craving performance. I suggested we go test drive a Tesla. I'm of the opinion that you don't need to be buying a car immediately to test drive one, so the idea of testing out a Tesla was no big deal. This part of the story mimics nearly every other owner story I've heard:
“Once you test drive this car, you're hooked.”
We drove it in May. After that, I just couldn't get the car out of my mind. I started reading and chatting on the Tesla Model S forum, as well as researching the car. I poured over numbers and tried to justify a sticker price that was nearly three times that of the vehicle it would be replacing. The next few weeks saw more number crunching and asking the "grown ups" in our life for advice.
In August, we joined several other owners for a chat at a coffee shop. One of the owners was from Wyoming and had been passing through the East Coast. That night was all it took. 7:15 the following morning, our order was both made and confirmed.
Waiting for the car was excruciating, but I wouldn't change our timing for the world. Then it happened. In October 2014, Tesla announced Autopilot and the Dual Motor models. We were able to change our order from the old "tech package" to the new AP hardware.
On December 4th, we picked up our beautiful red Model S 85. Just 10 weeks later, we embarked on our first road trip using the Supercharger network. When we left our house, the ground was a mess with snow and ice. The car performed wonderfully, and the concept of road tripping with mandatory stops opened up a whole new world. I formerly hated road trips, and always chose flying when I could. This trip, however, brought us from Philly to Savannah and back again in a way that maximized comfort and minimized fatigue. Having to stop to charge anyway meant having built-in bathroom breaks, which fits in well with my desire to keep well hydrated. Walking around a few minutes and switching who would drive at each charge stop was really important to feeling well rested and alert. Traffic Aware Cruise Control had been made available via an OTA software update and I really enjoyed using it.
“My story probably would end there - just another happy customer - but Tesla is so much more.”
First, it inspired my husband and I to add solar panels to our roofs and make small changes in our daily habits to be more environmentally friendly. Most significantly, however, being a Tesla owner opens up doors of opportunity.
Owners on the Model S forum had been anxiously awaiting the software update that would finally make Autopilot a reality. It was due to come in October of 2015, nearly a year after we got our car. Someone mentioned that whoever gets the update first should go out and make a video. Our notification came at 4:45 a.m. Eastern time on the first day of roll out. We downloaded it and ran out to make a video immediately. I recorded my very first time using Autopilot on an iPhone with no experience in speaking or making videos. I posted it to YouTube just to be able to share it on the forums. I expected a few dozen people to watch it.
Since it was one of the very first videos to hit the internet, it was embedded in another web page and garnered thousands of views. Via Twitter, I was linked up with a podcast called Talking Tesla, who wanted to interview me on my thoughts on Autopilot. That led to a website called Teslarati reaching out and asking if I wanted to contribute. One year later, I've published almost 50 pieces on Teslarati and have 280,000 views across 30+ videos. I'm known by the name Electric Jen.
I've also been awarded an opportunity which is and will remain one of the best experiences of my entire life, and that was attending the Model 3 unveiling party in Hawthorne, CA. Being chosen in the lottery was a dream come true and attending the party left me in awe every second of the event. It was there that I test rode in the Model 3 prototype and experienced the Ludicrous launch in a Model X. The next day, I met up with a Roadster owner who let my husband and I each take his car for a drive. That makes my husband and I among the precious few to have ridden in or driven all four Tesla vehicles.
I held a pre-unveiling reservation for a Model 3 to replace my gasoline powered car as my primary daily driver, and am literally counting down the number of visits I estimate I'll have to make to a gas pump for the rest of my life (50). Ownership of this car has been so much more than just owning a car. I couldn't have known how much joy it would have brought, and how many wonderful and interesting people I would have gotten to chat with, if it weren’t for the purchase of our Model S. Not for one second have I regretted making the commitment to buy a Model S.
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