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by Michael Tuday

In November 2012, I put my name on the list for a Tesla Model S and started waiting the 8 to 10 months that the company estimated it would take to build my electric car.

On March 25 2013, I drove my Model S away from the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, Calif. Although I’ve never been one to purchase luxury items, I am feeling absolutely zero buyers’ remorse.

The car is everything they are writing about and much, much more. A guy in a brand new Maserati was stopped at a light with me the other day. He rolled down his window to tell me he’d wished he’d considered the Model S after seeing a friend’s. That kind of reaction makes the investment easier to swallow.

I’d decided to purchase an electric vehicle a while back based on a commitment I’d made with my conscience. I’ve lived in Ventura County since 1984, and for the past 25 years, I’ve conducted tropospheric air samples as part of my job as the Vice President and Principal Scientist an air toxics research firm. I’ve watched the rise in global carbon dioxide levels past the 400 parts per million level, and I know that much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is having and will continue to have serious consequences for all of us, especially here on the coast in Santa Barbara. Committing to an electric vehicle is my way of helping to bring those levels back down and thus ensure a healthier planet for my two children, a daughter age 21 and son age 17.

I also follow science and technology in the news, and I saw a window of opportunity when I read about a new American car company that was taking shape. It wasn’t until the successful launch of a SpaceX rocket to resupply the International Space Station, however, that I made my final decision to buy the Model S. (SpaceX is the other start-up company that Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, has launched.) The successful liftoff of the rocket gave me the last irrefutable evidence I needed that Elon Musk is in it to win, and it gave me the confidence to make the Tesla commitment.

So even though I imagine I’m probably judged on the road by some who think the worst of me in my expensive car, especially as I silently blow past retro muscle cars as if propelled by some rogue blast of wind that suddenly comes out of nowhere, it doesn’t matter. So far, I don’t regret my decision at all.

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