As an early adopter of EVs, I started with a 2002 RAV4 EV, followed by a 2011 RAV4 EV, which was then followed by a 2012 LEAF.
During this time, I also picked up a few Zero motorcycles including my current 2017 SR. I’ve driven a couple of AC Propulsion conversions including the tzero. AC Propulsion’s president Tom Gage and I had a blast silently seeking out Ferraris around Beverly Hills.
At ride and drive events, I drove Volts, i3s, Fords, and many of the now run-of-the-mill plug-in vehicles. All of them perform similarly, great acceleration, smooth and easily modulated operation; including no noise or pollution. Tesla’s Models S & X line up changed everything. In my opinion they are the best in class across the board. The vehicles set new standards in performance, safety, and efficiency.
Being a big mouth EV activist got me invited to one of my most memorable EV events. It was when Tesla invited me to test the Roadster on the small track they’d set up at the Hawthorn Airport next to Space-X and Tesla’s design studio. Of course I jumped at the chance. Now this was a fast EV! After three laps, each one faster than the last, it was now time for the professional race car driver to take me out. He proceeded to take the first 90 degree turn at what felt like 100mph! I couldn’t believe what this car was capable of, as it really hugged the road.
Fast charge to the Model 3. I remember speaking with Elon in October 2011 about the upcoming “Blue Star”. It was going to be the affordable Tesla model to be built after the Model S. He gave me the impression the car would be available in 3-4 years. Six years later, I finally own that very car, a Model 3 in black with the long range battery.
While there was a bit of controversy over the fit and finish of the Model 3, a couple of my detail oriented friends helped me take delivery pored over the squeaky-clean car in search of imperfections. We found no flaws, and we are picky. The uncluttered lines of the dash, and the instrument screen were intuitive enough for this semi-Luddite. It didn’t take long to learn to love the use of my phone as the “key”. Everything about the car is very well thought out and logical.
I can safely say that this is by far the best car in its class, and many classes above its price range. For those who have yet to grasp the promise of electric mobility; when put in this car and not told what it was, you would find it to be the most exhilarating driving experience of their lives. For me, the handing was the biggest surprise, I thought the Roadster was and is amazing, the Model 3 sets a whole new bar. It feels quicker than the stated 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds, Tesla has done their homework and gets an A+.
I’ve waited over 20 years for an EV like this, it is finally here. Those of you on the list or now after 2 years wondering if you made the right decision, you did. I was right there with you and I’m glad I stuck with it. This is not just a great EV, this is a great car. It shatters the myth that you must make adjustments to your lifestyle owning an EV; this car will improve your lifestyle.
*Editor's Note: Check out Paul's website here
Images via Stefano Paris