- Reaction score
Well, even though I'm not a big Tesla fan, it's hard to argue with sales-success....even outside of traditionally electric-car-friendly California. In the D.C. area where I live (Northern Virginia suburbs), Model 3s are multiplying faster than rabbits during mating season. In just the last couple of months (never mind the past year or two), the number of them on the streets here has simply exploded. And (finally) there are signs that the long-delayed recharging-infrastructure for these vehicles is starting to keep pace. Just a couple of miles from me, near the subway station, in a big shopping center parking lot, the management has installed a whole brand-new row of white electric-vehicle rechargers, though I don't know if the hardware will actually fit the Model 3 (or other Tesla's) charging-port. Tesla dealers, of course, have their own charging stations, but the local dealership in my area reserves the four charging stations they have for their own service department, and (maybe) for a customer delivery on a brand-new or used vehicle. They will not (I asked) do it for existing customers, even for a charge (no pun intended)....and, of course one would not expect them to do it for free. Given the politics and lifestyles of many of my condo-neighbors, and their line of thinking, my guess is they would also be buying Teslas or other BEVs if we had a charging system in our parking-areas. It could (?) eventually come with time, as our Condo Board, at the last meeting, had some information that the state might be looking into it. (I am not an actual Board member, but am their principal adviser on swimming pool and automotive matters for the development).
But, back to the country as a whole....the world doesn't revolve around just our condo. Perhaps the last true American cult-car was (and still is) the Subaru Outback. At the time it was introduced (1995), being an AWD Subaru Legacy Wagon on stilts, it was expected to be little more then a niche-vehicle. Instead, it became one of the American market's stalwarts, particularly in areas with a lot of snow and harsh weather. And it grew in spite of questionable marketing and ad-campaigns (Paul Hogan/Crocodile Dundee, Love-a Subaru, parent/kid ads, etc...) I myself owned one.
History repeats itself...when the Tesla Model 3 was introduced, the whole Model 3 campaign was laughed at by pundits. The factory couldn't even begin to handle its order backlog...up to two years in some cases. And poor quality-control had some of those long-delayed vehicles starting to fall apart as soon as they left the dealership. The service bays at the dealerships were overloaded with work and warranty-repairs. And some vehicles were getting wrecked because of careless or inattentive driving....that electric motor has an enormous amount of torque at low speeds (I've sampled it), and you can't screw around with it in heavy traffic and expect to stay safe.
But many of those problems and drawbacks have either been (or are in the process of) being dealt with. New Model 3s seem to be built as solidly as anything else on the market, and the factory is obviously cranking out a lot of them each day. Not everyone on the forum may agree wth me, but, IMO, this vehicle currently shows every sign of becoming a cult car. And, unlike the Outback, the Model 3 appeals to a lot of people outside the Snow Belt....in fact, it is probably is at its best and most efficient in warm sunny climates, without the drain of bad weather and the resulting heavy electrical-use from wipers, heating/defrosting, higher-intensity lights, etc.....