UPDATE, August 2019:
It's finally here! Click here to read and watch our first full Australian drive of the new Tesla Model 3.
Soy lattes, a vegan lifestyle, reusable shopping bags and car companies forced to kill the beautiful whine of a supercharged V8 in the hunt for lowering emissions.
These are things I honestly couldn't care less for.
So, why did I buy an electric car? Well, it's because I like the way they drive. Actually 'we' like the way they drive – that'd be my wife and I. Because, if your relationship is anything like mine, 'we' generally both like whatever she likes (something I learned early on).
So I'm sure you can imagine my pleasant surprise when we took delivery of our long term loan car late last year, the Jaguar I-Pace, and she fell in love with the way it drove and all the fancy gadgets attached to it.
It was at that point that 'we' (and this time I really mean we) decided to put in a reservation for a Tesla Model 3. Why not the I-Pace? Well, 'we' love that car too, but with the budget we're allocating, we'll be able to buy a Model 3 and another car that burns fuel and makes noise for the price of an I-Pace, or thereabouts.
Why not another EV? If you lay out the available options at this price point, you don't really have many choices. The Hyundai Kona is a brilliant EV, but at top-specification price point it doesn't feel like a premium car. Go further north and you land at the new Mercedes-Benz EQC and Audi e-tron. Both fall short on range and both are markedly more expensive than the Model 3.
The other thing I love, in addition to the way electric cars drive, is the technology crammed into Tesla products. Tesla is a tech company first and car company second (despite what Elon Musk may try and tell you). That's not a bad thing, because it means it does all the tech things about a thousand times better than any other car company.
Now, at this point I'm sure you Tesla shorters are sitting there on your keyboards logging in to Disqus ready to tell me about how badly built they are, how they all catch fire, and how Tesla is about to go bankrupt.
Sure, some of that may be true. But after driving the Model 3 in the USA on a 2000km road trip a few months ago, I was not only blown away by the car and the technology, but I was mighty impressed with the huge leap forward in build quality.
It's now at a level that I'm comfortable to open my wallet up and spend cash on it. And, you can bet your bottom dollar if the car I've bought arrives to Australia missing door panels or featuring panel gaps big enough to park organic salt crystals in, I'll be telling you all about it.
But what about electric cars charged on electricity produced by black coal that pollutes more than equivalent hybrids? Well... to be totally honest with you, I don't really care. If it wasn't the Model 3, I'd likely be buying something else that's equally as quick, but a lot louder and fuel-burnier.
But, I will be making the extra effort to offset my home charging with green energy – just to make all of you happy.
We've also installed a charging box in our parking spot at our apartment, which means we can charge the car at home (but I'll probably just end up sneaking it down to the CarAdvice office on weekends for a free charge).
That brings us down to the car I chose. I mean, the car 'we' chose. The $66,000 entry-level was probably a bit short on range and I wanted the cracking sound system, plus all-wheel drive.
So we wound up with the Model 3 Performance and because 'we' might want to take it to the race track every now and then, 'we' also ticked the performance pack option with Track Mode, 20-inch alloy wheels, bigger brakes and other pointless things likely to be stolen by a rebellious 13 year old (carbon fibre lip spoiler and a dual motor badge with an underline).
Because we live in Victoria, one of the nastiest car tax holes in Australia, a big chunk of the car's drive-away price is lost in meaningless taxes and fees such as the Luxury Car Tax (you know, the one designed to protect the local car industry that no longer exists). But that's okay, it's the cost of living in the second-most liveable city in the world (according to The Economist (suck it, Sydney)).
En route with the car are a nerdy set of custom number plates. First one who guesses what they mean when the car is delivered gets their choice of something inexpensive from my desk.
Anyway. That's why I – damn it, 'we' – bought an electric car. I genuinely hope cars like the Tesla Model 3 (and the new onslaught of EVs that are now here or are soon to arrive) start setting the path for a greener motoring future.
All jokes aside – the closer we get to producing cars that emit nothing into the air (in collaboration with greener energy), the closer we get to a world that's still likely to exist in the future. I also hope that in the future there will still be room for loud, tyre-frying sports cars for our great rock-walled coastlines.
If you do take the plunge and buy a Tesla, feel free to use my referral code to get some free supercharging. I may also give you something inexpensive from my desk. Shoot through a request in the comments and I'll reply with the code.
Update (15/08): For the sake of clarity, as confirmed in the comments section here, Paul is donating $100 for each referral made through the link above to the Drive Against Depression charity he is an ambassador for.