Buying a new car is always exciting and even more so when it has novel features.
It started in 1999 when I saw the first iteration of the Toyota Hybrid in a parking lot on the Cape. I had already seen and examined the GM EV-1 while I was volunteering at the Crawford Auto Museum in Cleveland, OH. The EV-1 was the first attempt of General Motors at production of an all electric driven car. The Museum’s car was one that GM disabled the motor so it could not be driven but be on display to illustrate the concept. It was a new very neat looking coupe and fired the idea of a “green” car supporting the environment growing in my mind. As a side note, as with the EV-1 GM has often found itself having leading technology coming out of the engineering only to be killed by the financial domination of HQ.
In 2005, my first wife’s car gave up the ghost unexpectedly and she needed a new car pronto. The Hybrid Toyota Prius was starting production and we (actually I) drooled at the design but the delivery was out almost a year, so we settled on a Camry that came off the dealer’s floor. As time went on, I followed the emergence of the Prius, but my wife’s deteriorating physical condition and need for transporting a wheelchair dictated a larger car with adequate trunk capacity. After her death and the need for reorienting my life’s direction, the idea of another car took a back seat.
Arriving at Marquette, the twin ideas of a new car and latest technology began to slowly bubble up in the back of my mind. Just about the time I started to become serious about a hybrid however, cars with all electric drive started to show up. Tesla introduced a roadster but that was way too expensive for my pocketbook. Then came the Mod S, but still the cost was far beyond any conceivable justification. Tesla next recognized that to be a viable manufacturer they needed a more affordable entry. Hence, the Mod 3. Also, Chevrolet, Nissan and others introduced fully electric driven cars and the race seemed to be on. The flame was growing within me, but I needed to exhibit caution and be sure the technology as well as the price was right. Sometimes being an engineer gets in the way of dreams! I needed a push.
At last Christmas, Nancy’s son David visited as did my daughter Sarah. While both were here, we had a brainstorm “let’s go look at a Tesla!” Both thought that was a good idea. Little did they know that the dam was being breached. Each suggested, “‘Isn’t it time to shake loose some of the money that had been gathering over the years?” So, shortly thereafter, Nancy and I arranged for a test drive. Do you know what happens to an old codger when he is thrown back into the seat by mere slight depression of the throttle? Especially when your wife says, “Quit that!”
Well, all caution was gone. All prudent ideas of financial payback calculations were gone. All discretionary spending ideas were out the window. The insane idea of buying a Tesla as a birthday present for my 90th Birthday seemed the most logical and sane thing I have ever done.
The Tesla Model 3 delivery was on March 20.
Contributed by: Ed Koskie
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