Dreaming of Tesla

Boca's Town Center Mall has a Tesla "dealership".

Boca’s Town Center Mall has a Tesla “dealership”.

Sure, I’m turning 50 in a few weeks and the thought of a mid-life crisis has crossed my mind, but the truth is I have had a yen for beautiful cars since I was a teenager. I don’t think I’m alone.
Back then  I fell in love with old Mustangs, the 1964-67 variety and later acquired a desire for 1968-69 Chevy Camaro’s.
I scratched both those itches before the age of 21 and since then I have had a steady diet of practical cars from Ford Explorers and Dodge Caravans to Honda’s and Toyota Corollas with one exception– a BMW 528I that was so complicated that it took me a month to figure out the radio.
So I thought I was over my car obsession when I wandered into the Tesla dealership at the Mall at Town Center over the weekend.
It was there that I saw the two Tesla’s sitting side by side, sleek, beautiful, sophisticated, sexy. I was instantly smitten.
The red one retailed in the high $80s and the white one was a cool $125k, each more expensive than my first two homes in Delray Beach.
The “dealership” in Boca is also sleekly designed with panels on the walls explaining the amazing technology behind the gorgeous exteriors.
You can even buy Tesla clothing  and in my imagination I did as I day dreamed of driving on A1A and through Big Sur.
For those who may not know, Tesla was founded about 11 years ago by uber entrepreneur Elon Musk and a team of Silicon Valley engineers who dreamed that electric cars could be awesome.
They are.
Not only are they beautiful, but they perform. One model can go 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. It has been said that when you accelerate in a Tesla, you feel like you’ve been shot out of a silent cannon.
Depending on the model,  a Tesla can drive about 275 miles on a single charge, an impressive feat.
The goal of the company is a huge one. To break our dependence on fossil burning fuels and usher in an era of high performance, safe, electric mobility.
The Tesla has been given a 5 star safety rating by the government and has won accolades while turning heads all over the world.
Tesla owners charge for free at strategic locations, enabling long distance road trips in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Of course, in order to gain mass acceptance, the price of the Tesla is going to have to come down with models that will be more accessible to…well….to folks like me.
Friends have told me that Tesla is working on a $45,000 model, which would be much less expensive than the gorgeous Kia we saw parked at the other end of the mall.
The visionary behind the company, Elon Musk, is one of the world’s premier entrepreneurs.
While he’s revolutionizing Electric Vehicles, he’s also disrupting space travel with his company Space-X and solar power with his company SolarCity.
Oh and before that he co-founded Pay Pal and Zip 2.
He just turned 43. Sigh.
But I digress.
A few years ago, I had a chance to visit a nascent car company on Florida’s Space Coast. There I got to meet and talk with a group of MIT engineers, some recently laid off from NASA, who were designing a car I think they called the Rivian, also ultra-efficient and beautiful. Their dream was to build something stylish and environmentally friendly that wouldn’t break the bank.
It is incredibly daunting to compete against well-funded legacy car companies with global supply chains, thousands and thousands of talented employees and oodles of cash.
But as I wandered through the Boca Tesla dealership and thought of the guys at Rivian, I couldn’t help but feel pride in the mentality of the dreamer/entrepreneur.
They make you want to stick around for another 50 years to see what they will cook up.