Wednesday I spoke with a Tesla sales manager on the phone and made it official, that I'm canceling my order for a Tesla Roadster and getting my deposit back.
So. . . What happened to the dream?
The biggest thing that happened was that time and waiting dulled my enthusiasm. At the time I ordered, I was expecting delivery in about a year at the longest. At the time I cancelled I'd had my deposit in for 18 months and was still 6 months away from getting a car. You've got to understand, these high-performance sports cars are never about logic -- there was never a truly rational reason for getting one. It's all about passion. Unfortunately, passion has a shelf life, and mine expired.
The Tesla Roadster is still my dream car. It's God's chariot. But looked at objectively, it was never really a good fit for me or the way I live. I'm country folk, not a movie star. I don't have expensive tastes. To give you some idea. . . Last night I had canned spinach, baked beans and grilled Spam for supper -- and I liked it, because that's how I was raised. I was enthralled by the Tesla Roadster for a while, so that my fascination with it overruled my usual sensibilities, but now that's over and I'm going back to my comfort zone.
As my enthusiasm ebbed, I also had some anxieties that didn't ebb. So. . . What happens if Tesla goes out of business in a few years? Right now they appear to be doing great, all the stars appear to be aligned for Tesla, but even the people at Tesla would admit, I'm sure, that starting a new car company is a risky thing. (That's part of the reason why I admire them, for taking such risks.) The company's future rests mainly on the Model S now, which none of us have even seen yet. So, I could imagine being stuck somewhere down the road with a $100K paperweight that nobody can service, full of aging batteries that nobody can provide a replacement for.
Canceling wasn't without risk either. I was in line for a $92K (plus options) car, but the price has since gone up well above $100K. I could have taken delivery and then turned around and sold it for a profit. That was tempting. I can easily imagine myself years from now crying into my drink about that first-year Tesla Roadster that I almost had "for a song" until I got cold feet and let it slip away. However. . . Sales taxes would have eaten into the difference, and after two years of being wound up over this car, I just wanted to be done with it.
So. . . Where do I go from here?
I am selling my Lotus Esprit V8, I have it up for auction now. I've had an educational -- and expensive -- three years with it, and it's time to move on. Now I'm in a position to take a fresh start and reevaluate what I want in a "fun" car. I still want a fun car, but it's time to reconsider what kind of fun I really want to have.
I'll also be keeping an eye on electric car developments. I'm still totally convinced that our country needs to make a move to electric cars, we need to get off the oil drum. It's fascinating to see how this field is developing, and I expect to keep watching it closely and commenting on it. However, logically, I was never the best person to spearhead that movement. I don't drive much. There are an awful lot of gas guzzlers on our roads, and many of them are going to be around for years to come. Logically, those cars ought to go to people like me, while the electric cars should go to people who commute and put a lot of miles on them every day.
To help save our country from oil addiction, I should drive a Hummer. If I got it from someone who drives 12,000 miles per year, and I'm here driving 3,000 per year, that's a big improvement. It's just too bad that I despise Hummers. That doesn't fit my idea of a fun car.
Then again, from a purely pragmatic standpoint of getting from Point A to Point B on a daily basis, my 1995 Pontiac Bonneville is still running strong and has many years of service left. It's comfortable, it's dependable, it's spacious. Yet, it's not my idea of a fun car either. So, we'll see what I figure out.