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Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF)

Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF)

I got my Model S two weeks ago, and I now find myself taking the long way to work or anywhere else. Feels like I'm driving the future. I won't bore you with the details, those who have received theirs already know. My wife, however, is not a car person. We have three kids, and her minivan looks like it has been beaten with hammers. Based on my research of the Model S, I had put her on the reservation list for a Model X when it comes out. Upon hearing how nice (and expensive) the Model S was going to be, she said some time ago that it just didn't make sense for her to get a Model X. "Might as well take me off the list and get our $5k back."

She drove the Model S for the first time the other day without me. When she came back she said she thought it would get her into trouble. She particularly liked the way it could be cruising along with the other cars then, with a slight push of the accelerator, she would be completely separated from the pack. She said it felt like a video game when you push the turbo button. "You didn't take me off the list for the Model X did you?" Fortunately I hadn't gotten around to it. Now she has a year (or two) to learn how to take care of a nice car before she gets her own....

Kudos to Tesla for facing long odds and lots of naysayers to produce a fantastic car that will hopefully keep getting better with future updates. I just hope things stay on track so the company will be around for the long haul producing Gen III and other cars so that everyone can experience what we now all know.

jat | February 7, 2013

My wife likes the Model S, but neither the S or X is for her -- she thinks the LEAF is too large :).

jbunn | February 7, 2013

Unfortunately, my wife went to work today with my car... she accepted it a bit too easily.

nickjhowe | February 7, 2013

Similar story here. My wife loves her Lexus and had no interest in the S, but after driving it...

DhavalP | February 7, 2013

I'll be getting my Model S in about a month. I have already started working on my wife about the Model X, but haven't gained much traction. She needs a new minivan but I'm hoping I can convince her to wait a year or two for the X (maybe with a lease to bridge the gap).

I would love to hear more about the WAF and arguements used to convince the wife this makes sense. Frankly, with all the running around she does with the kids, an electric car for her makes more sense than my Model S sitting in the parking lot everyday at work.

blurry_eyed | February 7, 2013

My wife gets to drive our Model S every day right now. At first, she was a bit intimidated by the power of the car, but after driving it for just a few days (we now have had our car since November 2nd), she learned to quickly appreciate the instant response of the car and how smooth and quite it is. The way she describes it is that all she has to do is think about where she wants to car to be and the car can be there almost instantly. It helps tremendously with merging on the freeway, getting into tight spaces when cars won't let you change lanes etc.

We did put in a very early reservation for the X (Production reservation #37) and she was a bit on the fence about it when we did it, but now that she has driven the Model S and is comfortable with it, she can't wait to get the X (and I will inherit the S to replace the Leaf that I drive right now!).

We made the decision that she should drive the S right now because she takes the kids to school and drives the most running errands and going to kid activities. Her average daily drive is about 50 miles. Mine is only about 8.

The arguments for the X vs. a Minivan would be: X is a much safer car (yet to be officially tested, but common sense and experience with the Model S indicates it should be: With a lower center of gravity, battery pack to help prevent side intrusion, larger front crumple zone and probably a similar rear structural rail system that the Model S has to reduce intrusion in a rear end collision). The X is easier on the environment (Depending on where you live) than a gas powered minivan. Interior cabin can hold 7 full sized adults and their luggage (I was able to test ride in a Model X at the reveal event in Los Angeles last year and can vouch for the space and comfort of the car even in the early pre-production stage). The X should have superior handling and traction vs. a minivan (again improved safety) and if you have the all-wheel drive version, it will probably handle amazingly well in difficult conditions like snow and rain. Even the rear wheel drive car should perform very well in difficult conditions because the electric motor can be very precisely controlled compared to a gas engine with a transmission and differential.

If you have kids, and small kids in car seats, the X should provide a much better experience with getting kids in and out of car seats because of the Falcon wing door design. From a style perspective, the Model X totally outclasses any minivan on the planet in my opinion. You have amazing tech so you can preheat or precool the cabin with your smartphone and be nice and comfortable from the instant you get in the car (my wife especially loves this feature in the Model S now that the iPhone app is out). The storage in the Frunk is perfect for groceries or for having as hidden storage (my wife is concerned about security and always wants to cover things up in the car or put them in the frunk or trunk hidden away).

If you let your wife drive your Model S as an every day driver with the kids, I'm fairly sure you will be able to convert her to wanting to make a Model X reservation. The driving experience of a Tesla is what makes it so far above all the other cars (electric or combustion) on the market.

Another thing I did with my wife to help her feel more comfortable with the power of the S is send her to an all day driving school that was put on by our local Audi car club. It was $100 for the day and the investment was well worth it. She took the S through a slalom course, practiced panic stops and did other intense driving maneuvers with the car and that really helped her see how safe and stable the Model S is.

I'd summarize all the above as: X should be much, much safer. X should be far easier and more stable to drive. X should be much more functional for holding kids and all their stuff. X should be much more environmentally friendly and once you pay for the car up front, the daily operating expenses should be much lower than running a minivan. X would be a car that you would be proud to drive being built in America and helping us get off our foreign oil dependence. X is a great looking car (I think it is) and way better looking than a minivan.

Hope that helps!

Jewsh | February 7, 2013

My wife was the one who suggested we get our 'S. It's pretty safe to assume she's onboard.

info | February 7, 2013

The model X is a big car. I had a chance to see the prototype mock-up at the Hawthorne facility while I was getting a charge. (Someone was kind enough to let me in to use the men's room--just like an old time gas station) My wife and I split time on the East and West coasts. When we started living in NJ part-time, my wife got an all-wheel drive SUV because she had never driven in snow. She loved her Mitsubishi Endeavor so much that when we needed a new car for her on the West Coast, we got one out here last summer. I thought the model X would be a replacement for our East Coast car and put an order in, thinking that by the time ours is ready, the Mits in NJ will be 10 years old and ready for replacement.

It's much larger than the Mitsu. But that won't matter. It's pretty and innovative. And it will drive like the S. My wife likes the idea, but hasn't really driven the S yet because she's in NJ right now and the car is in LA. After she gets here and drives the S she'll suffer the same anxiety of waiting for her car, they way we all did. And it will be worth it.

robkal007 | February 7, 2013

I set the car up with creep and low regen braking for her first couple of drives and then took out one of those at a time. Now she can't believe a big sedan can feel like or better than the sporty Lexus is300 that is her car. She is liking Model S more and more. Perhaps you don't want to push the WAF or you might find yourself driving the old van.

BYT | February 7, 2013

I haven't let my wife drive mine yet, I like hording it all to myself! :D

tranhv68 | February 7, 2013

Blurry,

I am in the same boat as you. I'm driving the leaf while my wife drives the model s. I too will inherit the s when we get our x.

diegoPasadena | February 7, 2013

Remember when common wisdom was that women were not interested in electronic gadgets? And then came Apple with their iPods and iPads and iPhones. They were sexy and fun and novel, and somehow, they connected with women. I think a big part of Apple's success was that they doubled their target audience by being able to appeal to women on a large scale.
I have the feeling Tesla is generating a similar response. It took my wife, who generally is very down-to-earth when it comes to buying big-ticket items, exactly 20 seconds in the Tesla show room to say: "We need to get one of these!" I was flabbergasted, because not even I had completely made up my mind yet. (Of course, in retrospect, I realize that I, too, was pretty much stripped of my free will the moment I set foot into the Tesla store).
Oh, happy days. About a month to go...

lph | February 7, 2013

My wife tends to be a binary driver. The right pedal is an on off switch for her (no gradations allowed). When I was dating my her 35 years ago she took my Triumph Vitesse to top speed (100 mph) as soon as there was a gap long enough to do it. Likewise when I got another car that could do 120mph a year later she (you guessed it) took it to 120 the first time in the car.
I think she has mellowed a bit by now but it seems that she still has a bit of that devilish streak when driving. Scares me to think what she will do with the S / X when she gets a hold of one. Guess I am glad it will only do 130!

Brian H | February 8, 2013

lph;
I guess she regards the fact that she still lives as validation of her racing skills. Not a test you want to fail!

c.bussert67 | February 8, 2013

My wife drives, but not for the fun of it... until now. She LOVES driving our S. I think every time she has driven it, she always says how it's so smooth, quiet and easy to drive.
A real shocker came when we drove to Vegas. We have gone to Vegas for our anniversary for 12 years straight now and I have been the driver, because she thinks its such a long boring drive. But this time she insisted on driving up there! She couldn't wait to get to Barstow and try the supercharger!
The power of the S still catches her off guard, but she really likes the driver profile function and how she can set the car up how she likes it to feel.
She thought I was a little crazy when I told her I wanted to get one and I sold my favorite car at the time to make it happen. Now she thanks me for having the vision and the guts to make it happen. It took a lot of hard work, selling stuff and saving to get it. Totally worth every penny and it made my wife so happy! That's priceless!

Brian H | February 8, 2013

Be careful what you ask for; you might get it! This thread is turning into the WTF? (Wife Takeover Factor!)

Kleist | February 8, 2013

WTF is good, increases the number of potentional customers. The key to mid term success is the soccer moms wanting the Model X and seeing the added convenience of starting charged every morning ready for another day.

TheAustin | February 8, 2013

My wife was very skeptical of the Model S, but now loves driving mine, although she wouldn't want one herself because she's tall and doesn't love bending down so much to climb into it on a daily basis...She's in a Range Rover, and likes being able to climb in easier and sit higher up. Naturally, I'm thinking that she's a perfect candidate for the Model X, but she's not a big fan of the Falcon doors. So, we'll see how that goes.
But having said that, it's fun to see her go from being skeptical to being an advocate...Often people ask me questions about the car, and she answers them before I can even say a word! And she ends every conversation about the Model S with "This car is the FUTURE!"
Swoon :)

Brian H | February 8, 2013

Yeah, the MS and MX address just about all the concerns and interests that women have about cars ... even purse stashing! Some of them must have infiltrated the design teams.

Brian H | February 8, 2013

The Austin;
Only the paying passengers have to use the Falcon doors; the driver gets a regular but tall one. :) So just tell her the Falcon Wings are for efficiently loading human luggage.

Brian H | February 8, 2013

Or rather, luggage humans. :D

dstiavnicky | February 9, 2013

I guess we all have this in common... my wife thought I was crazy when I suggested we look into electric. Started with the Fisker, that was an easy 'no way, no space, no value' response. Then we went to the Telsa store, sat in the car, played with the screen, and talked about the car. On the short walk to the test drive parking lot she turned to me and said, 'I love it, let's get one!' During the test drive I was fully sold too but I still cannot believe how quickly this car has changed her mind and 'struck a chord'.

We have enjoyed many very high end cars over the years and our last purchase took nearly 10 months to agree on. (full size Range Rover which we both love)
I can honestly say that I know I will never but another new ICE car. Maybe a classic hot rod as a toy but never another everyday driver.

I'm giving my wife 1 week to either 'steal' the MS from me (she did this once before when she had a Benz wagon and I brought a BMW 750 home...) or at very least put a deposit on an X.

Liz G | February 9, 2013

I would like to point out that it is not always the wife that needed to be sold on the S. In our family, I was the S enthusiast. I sold my husband on the 40kwh and then slowly worked it up to the 85kwh. Now, after a couple of tense marriage moments, we've worked out how to schedule which days I'll take the S to work and which days he will.

Meanwhile, my husband is selling his Mustang and socking away money for his own Tesla.

DouglasR | February 9, 2013

I had my Pearl White Model S in front of Starbucks corporate offices yesterday, helping to sell raffle tickets for the Garfield High School PTSA (they are raffling off a fully loaded Metallic Blue S). I had the trunk, frunk, and front doors open, and the car drew a crowd. The interest from women was about the same as that from men. However, more men than women said they needed to ask their spouse before purchasing a raffle ticket.

lolachampcar | February 9, 2013

I'm 90% performance and driver feel leaving 10% for interior and comfort. My wife is the polar opposite.

Stepping up to MS would not be a problem. However, a 90% bias on interior, comfort and accommodation combined with a familiarity of/for 750LI and S Class is presenting a problem. I'm not sure I can move my wife over and I have a 2012 Finalize date that is expiring soon :( I'm still working on it.

Brian H | February 10, 2013

lola;
Work on smoootthh. That's the absence of hurky-jerky transitions and vibrations. How can you ever feel comfortable in a putt-putt after feeling that? ;)

paulwireless | February 10, 2013

My wife is forcing me to give my ICE vehicle (2005, 144k mi) to the kids while pushing my purchase of a 60kW Model S as the replacement daily driver. She has hinted that she might want a Model X to replace her ICE (2003, 43k mi) but I told her she has some driving to do before that can happen. The kids have been offered Gen IIIs predicated on their college scholarship/ financial support. I guess you could say "we're all in" for Tesla.

Brian H | February 10, 2013

lola;
Check out this thread:
http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/observations-travel-radius-and-f...

"The drive that refreshes"

lolachampcar | February 10, 2013

I have no problem. I know within three miles if something is right for me. My wife, on the other hand, has made many a decision based on the current state of her heart without an understanding of how she will and can evolve those tastes. In one respect, I should be glad for that :) However, when it comes to cars, she has missed the mark and lived to regret it (MB wagon, Volvo SUV and XKR just to name a few). She will come to understand the wisdom of MS but, as of today, she is not there.

When she does come around, my 2012 reservation will be gone and the 21s will be a $6K adder. I will no longer by willing to make it happen which means she stays with the 750il type cars. It's her choice and she has till Wed. to make the call (Finalize expires for 2012 pricing). We will see and I am keeping my fingers crossed. One thing I have learned is it is better to let her follower her heart than be responsible for putting her in something she does not want. That NEVER works.

Brian H | February 10, 2013

I meant to point out, the thread indicates energy/health benefits of "silent driving". That may appeal to her.

kafahsholtz | February 10, 2013

We've had out Model S now for 6 weeks, and my wife drives it the most. She was skeptical as well, now pities me when I have to drive one of the SUVs (she has the commute).

Had to purchase a new furnace last month, but she's wanting an X is the worse way. So $5k will be heading to Tesla soon. She loves the 'falcon' doors. It would be nice to get 'my' car back...

Kevin

NKYTA | February 14, 2013

Three and a half years ago, when I put down the $5K on my birthday, my wife was a little unsettled. But we both had jobs and I was passionate about the car and the concept. Thought about a Roadster, but I was going to replace an aging Jetta and needed more space.

When it came time to design online, she let me have full rein. She even did her own design for fun, but after I had finalized mine. We differed on the wheels, mine grey 21", hers chrome 19". Spolier for me (still not installed yet), none for her. Pano roof for her, none for me. 60Kwh for her, P85 for me.

When we were asked "do you want your car in 2012 or 2013" her immediate response was "as soon as possible!". Since I'd been waiting so long, I was still trying to tone down my excitement and anticipation - and I did so up until the point that she rolled up on the trailer at my house.

My wife couldn't have been more supportive during the whole process. It was her idea that the car needed a name, and that it needed to be female. And needed personalized plates.

I came up with the name (what's the female form of Nikola?), she came up with the tag.
NKYTA

Thanks honey!

ian t.wa.us | February 14, 2013

This gives me hope that my wife will soon see that we need an S or an X (both?). She could commute for a week on a single charge (and I could probably go 2 weeks depending on time of year). She's not super pleased with the BMW she bought a couple years ago (hates the interior lighting and there are lots of rattles and squeaks). She wants me to replace the 8 year old Subaru Wagon I drive. The replacement needs to be able to go on trips though and I like to travel with a bicycle or 3.

I think a test drive would convince her but she's reluctant to put in a deposit. I guess I need to find a local willing to let us take one for a spin. If any one is in the Seattle area willing to do this let me know! ;-)

Cheers!

Brian H | February 14, 2013

2 passengers and folded seats allow bike storage. After-market rear bike racks are also available.

ian t.wa.us | February 14, 2013

Both of which I'm aware of thanks Brian. ;-)

I did forget to mention though that she thinks the falcon doors are ridiculous.

Brian H | February 14, 2013

Wait she sees them in flight, stooping at 200 mph! Or thereabouts.

NOPetrol | February 15, 2013

How about we drive the S for a year than give it to the wife and get a second hand Roadster Sport for $50K.

earlyretirement | February 15, 2013

Great posts. I'm getting close to putting down the $5,000 to get on the list. My wife looked at me last night and asked if I was really serious in getting one. I told her yes. I have a feeling if we get it, I'll be fighting her for it. LOL.

kyleket | February 15, 2013

@earlyretirement I agree with you. Just signed my paperwork last night. I suspect my wife will fall in love with it as well. She has a history of poo-pooing my many tech purchases, usually mocking my desire for them, writing them off as frivolous or lacking usefulness. This progression inevitably follows: Her curiosity surfaces; she begins using my product; she wants one for herself; finally, they become part of her life.

I'm a tech guy. Always looking for gadgets to make my life simpler and more enjoyable. I suspect most of you feel the same. You think she'd learn to trust me (us)! Below are the many items in question.

- Cell phone
- PDA
- Couldn't understand why I'd want AWD, heated seats, electric this and that on our new minivan 10 years ago - she's since fallen absolutely in love with EVERY feature
- Laptop
- iMac
- iPhone
- iPad
- Nest thermostat

- Model S ???

I'm guessing yes. WAF forecast...favorable.

DonS | February 15, 2013

My wife first saw the S in the mall with my college age son. He's been following Tesla for years. She was curious what had him so enthralled, and didn't expected to be impressed at all. Cars are not her thing. Even Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche are just ... ho hum. She called me and spent 20 minutes talking about the S. Delivery next month. I think she will let me drive it occasionally.