A surprising look at who buys the Tesla Model S
We recently ran a series of stories about Tesla Motors and its coming Gen III mass-market vehicle. In one of the stories we used the term “very wealthy men” to describe Tesla Model S owners. This was partly because Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, had recently used a similar term. While referring to the Model S, he said “…this could be misinterpreted as Tesla believing that there was a shortage of sports cars for rich people.” Also, Edmunds had recently done an analysis of the Tesla ownership and found that more than 80% were men, and nearly 80% earned over $100K per year.
A reader contacted us to challenge our perpetuation of the stereotype in that prior story. That led to a dialogue between us that we found very exciting and educational. Here is our interview with a Tesla Model S owner, Ms. Charlotte O.
Hello Charlotte. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
In regards to information about me, I earn less than $100k per year. I am a Professor of Biology at Washington State University, Pullman, WA soon to retire. I am over 60 and Japanese American. I know of couple of other professors, i.e. not uber rich guys, who own a Model S, too. I heard of
similar buyers of Model S who previously owned a Prius or Nissan Leaf. So I don’t think I’m unique in not being rich though maybe not fit theprofile of the average Model S owner.
You brought up the other most popular green cars available. Did you have other green cars in the past? Why not a more affordable Volt or Leaf instead of a Tesla?