The first time I saw a Tesla in Boulder I nearly rear-ended it. I’ve been on the lookout for them ever since.
That was four years ago. At first, I’d see the all-electric car every two or three months. Now it’s two or three a day. So I finally called up the Boulder County Clerk and asked just how many Teslas are registered in Boulder County. As of July 14, it was 1,585. By now there are probably a lot more.
Who are these people? To find out, I went to the Tesla supercharging station in Boulder, just east of Trader Joe’s. (For geezer alumni like me, that’s just south of the old Arapahoe Chemicals plant site, which is now Target.)
I hung out for about an hour. There were always four or five cars charging.
So how did Tesla owners — many of whom are CU alumni — like their rides? They all said: “I love it.”
And for lots of different reasons.
Kyle Liss (MMus’21), who lives in Westminster with his wife, saves $150 a month on gas commuting to his teaching job in Frederick.
Brian Cairns (Comp-Sci’09; MS’11), who works at Google, likes the autopilot. He said it takes 10 to 20 minutes to top off his batteries with the supercharger. “I’ll just sit here until I finish my burrito,” he said.
Jack Ursetta (AeroEngr’18) and Monica Maly (IntPhys’18) had just returned from Breckenridge in a Model Y, Tesla’s latest model.
“It’s super smooth,” Jake said. “It actually handles like a sports car. It doesn’t drive like a hatchback, that’s for sure.”
“I love the instant torque,” said Saber Boudjada (MCDBio’14), who’s driven a Tesla for three years. He said it costs “five bucks to [charge] from dead.”
I called Sean Mitchell, president of the Denver Tesla Club, who has about 225,000 miles on his Model S, which he bought four years ago. He said three years ago the club had 75 members. Today it has 1,500.
“It reminds me of the early days of Apple computers,” he said.
Bruce Comstock (Econ’66) — my former CU roommate and now-retired hot air balloonist extraordinaire, who lives in Ashland, Oregon — has been driving a Tesla Model 3 for about a year. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds.
He said: “I’m really glad I got it, because it means I’m connected with the future of automobiles.”
Will 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds shut down a gazillion Boulder Subarus? As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions. Especially about the future.”
But a shift certainly seems like it’s here.
Disclosure: Paul Danish owns Tesla shares.
Photo courtesy Denver Tesla Club