Shipping delays, fires, crazy autopilots, and loading times that are not yet comparable to filling up a gas tank are just a few of the problems that Tesla has had since it was founded as a mass car manufacturer. Despite all these problems, people seem to love these electric cars.
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If there is one thing that even Tesla skeptics would agree on, it is that Tesla has changed people’s views of electric cars. All electric vehicles before the Model S were, to say the least, unsatisfactory for every driver. They were just ugly, they were heavy and it took ages to be attacked. No wonder that interest in electric vehicles was sporadic at best.
Then Tesla came on stage and made the Roadster and Model S, and everything changed.
Model S had the design of a sports car, the safety of a Toyota, and could be charged in minutes instead of the hours that previous electric vehicles needed to be juiced. In fact, the S model was safer: it became the safest car ever tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and received top marks in all categories.
The Model S was also fast, faster than any EV before, and this proved to be critical to the success of Tesla vehicles overall, by gaining thousands of transmissions that, while not contradicting the environmental benefits of an electric car over a gas eater, Above all wants speed and performance.
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Range was and is always the top priority for drivers when considering switching to an electric car. Everyone who is used to a gasoline car is also used to the freedom to drive as much as they want or need to. Occasionally he shows up at the gas station to refuel. Tesla probably knew that, so it made a special battery and built a supercharger network.
To date, Tesla’s battery is better than its competitors’ batteries. Tesla models have a maximum range of 370 miles. That’s 370 miles you can travel on a single charge. The closest competitors have a maximum range of less than 300 miles, with some of the most popular challengers, including the Audi e-tron SUV and the BMW i3, having a range of only 200 miles.
But batteries alone would not have been enough to make Tesla the brand it is today. That also cost charging points. That’s why Tesla has built a supercharger network in which charging is not only fast, but also free of charge. At some point, Tesla began to phase out the unlimited free charging option. CEO Elon Musk said this is not sustainable. But last year Musk seemed to have changed his mind and Tesla brought back the free unlimited option.
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Elon Musk has called Tesla’s laptop on wheels, and Tesla owners seem to share this opinion. In this Quora thread, for example, a Tesla owner calls the technology in the car “out of this world” and does not even mean the autopilot function. Over-the-air updates, charger location, almost complete driver control of vehicle features, sensors in the Model X Falcon doors, the list can go on and on.
Interestingly, people are even crazy about features that need to be added to the Teslas. They are crazy enough about them to pay them in advance and wait for years to receive them. A typical example is the full self-drive mode that Tesla announced in 2016 but delayed in 2018. In the meantime, people have spent $ 3,000 to $ 5,000 on the upgrade. When Timothy Lee of Ars Technica asked Tesla owners for their response to the delay, he found that it was still mostly positive.
According to some fans and some analysts, Tesla is no ordinary car maker, and it shows. It works more like a software company, as a Tesla owner said in the Quora thread. They develop a product, record customer feedback, and immediately improve their product through their software features that enable instant updates instead of waiting for a new model to fix the problems they need to fix. For most, Tesla is the car of the future that is already here.
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The question of whether Tesla would be where it is today without the internet is interesting and the answer is probably no. The Internet is the only place where you can buy a Tesla directly from the company. Incidentally, this is another unique Tesla view of the manufacture and sale of cars. There are Tesla stores around the world, but they are information centers and not retailers. You can find out everything about cars in a Tesla store, but you can’t buy a car there.
Tesla fans don’t seem to mind, as they have the ability to conveniently configure their own car in a location of their choice instead of haggling over the price and waiting for hours to sign all the papers that go with a traditional car purchase . There is even a relevant survey: Deloitte found a few years ago that up to 60 percent of car buyers would rather buy directly from a car manufacturer, which completely excludes the dealer.
The things that annoyed people most in traditional car dealerships were the paperwork, the bargaining, and the fact that buying a car overall just took too long. However, Tesla doesn’t have these problems. You go to the company’s website, configure the desired car and pay for it. For preliminary research, you can visit a Tesla store in a nearby mall.
The shops are also unusual in that the people there would not encourage you to buy a car: something that Tesla recently put on a Pied Piper auto sales index. The representatives of the Tesla stores, according to the secret buyers participating in the survey, behaved more like museum curators than like car dealers. This would have been bad if it hadn’t been the result of a conscious effort by the company to use its stores to only let potential buyers know about its cars, rather than trying to convince them to make a deal like a dealer.
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Even the toughest Tesla critic would admit that it is boring if there is one thing these cars are not. The S model became the world’s fastest production car in 2016, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. Even the Model 3, the affordable model that should make Tesla a mainstream automaker, accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
However, acceleration is not everything. It’s the entire driving experience that Tesla fans give as reason to love their Teslas. Sure, there are people who love the sound of a redesigned engine and wouldn’t replace it with a “quiet racer”, but there seem to be a lot of people for whom noise isn’t the main thing.
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Many become lyrical about how Teslas deals with it, but even more have fun with the Ludicrous mode – the mode that the Model S could accelerate in 2.3 seconds and whose name was inspired by Mel Brooks’ classic spaceballs. A Tesla or at least the Tesla CEO has a sense of humor and this is an essential part of the attractiveness of the cars and consequently their success despite all the delays and unrealistic expectations.
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It’s no secret that Elon Musk is at the heart of Tesla’s success. Undoubtedly a controversial figure, but the man who, according to most, made Tesla what it is today. Tesla is the first – and so far the only – car company with a mission. This mission was described by Musk in his secret master plan, which he published in 2006.
Critics have referred to Musk as a snake oil seller and masterful marketer. While car reviews have shown that Teslas is indeed not a snake oil, Musk has indeed proven to be brilliant in marketing and took every opportunity to promote Teslas. In the meantime, he doesn’t even have to make a conscious effort anymore. Every company that the Tesla CEO starts sends pings back to the electric vehicles.
For example, a few years ago, Musk founded the Boring Company, which drilled tunnels under large cities with congestion problems to alleviate these problems by laying some of the traffic underground. The best car to use the tunnels? A Tesla, of course, since it is emission-free.
A few weeks after Musk introduced the latest in the Tesla range, the Cybertruck, the Tesla online store started selling bulletproof T-shirts from Cyber Truck with the image of a broken glass. The company mocked itself on stage after the supposedly bulletproof window of the Cybertruck was preserved.
Aside from the fun, Musk has become an icon for many with his sustainable future agenda, his ambitions for colonizing Mars, and last but not least, the fact that he made all Tesla patents available to everyone in 2014.
“With the annual production of nearly 100 million new vehicles a year and a global fleet of around 2 billion cars, Tesla is unable to build electric cars fast enough to deal with the carbon crisis,” Musk wrote at the time. “For the same reason, this means that the market is huge. Our real competition is not the trickle of non-Tesla electric cars, but the huge flood of gasoline cars that pour out of the world’s factories every day. “
This paragraph summarizes everything that is important for a large part of modern society: the business magnate, who is there not because of the profits, but because of the environmental impact. Critics and analysts struggle to deal with the recruitment, since by definition every company exists to make a profit.
However, Tesla’s main target audience is the new generation of environmentally conscious people, for whom it seems more important that companies are also environmentally conscious and not profitable. It’s a growing group, which means a growing group of potential Tesla buyers. Tesla has made several quarterly profits over the years. It could be a fully profitable year at some point, thanks in large part to its CEO’s unconventional stance on making and selling cars.
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Last year, Tesla became the car maker with the most satisfied customers for the third time in a row. According to consumer reports, Tesla at the time had received 98 out of 100 points in terms of driving experience, comfort, value and design as well as things like audio and air conditioning systems.
Another ranking of consumer reports shows how meaningful the brand loyalty of the Tesla owners is, this time in terms of reliability. A year before the third most satisfactory car title, Tesla was placed second to last in terms of reliability. The Model X was even named one of the 10 least reliable cars. Apparently, reliability is not as important to Tesla owners as all of the things that make up the satisfaction index.
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Interestingly, this loyalty seems to have a lot to do with the simple fact that Tesla is an electric car. According to an Experian study, EV buyers develop deeper loyalty to this type of vehicle as soon as they buy their first. If they decide to buy their next car, 62 percent of them choose an electric vehicle again.
For Tesla, however, this percentage is much higher: 80.5 percent of Tesla owners buy another Tesla if they decide that the time has come for a newer model. This is also the highest level of customer loyalty in the automotive industry and exceeds that of Subaru and Ford.
Given all the factors discussed above, this level of brand loyalty should come as no surprise. Journalists and editors know that the words Tesla or Musk are the best clickbait in the headlines and guarantee thousands of hits. And Musk himself was pretty productive in creating content with his Twitter account. This productivity even put him in hot water with the SEC some time ago after he said he had plans to take Tesla privately and secured funding.
The Tesla CEO makes so much noise around him that it’s easy to forget that he makes cars as well as noise. He sets unrealistic deadlines, complains about unfair competition from the Big Three and makes fun of short sellers and offends people. It is also an icon for millions. Many of these millions are in the driving age. They buy Tesla and have a very good reason to believe that they are buying more than just an electric car. For many of them, buying a Tesla means the vision of a better and more sustainable future.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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