Love Tesla or hate it, the company drives expectations in the electric car industry.The company’s frequent pricing fluctuations can make it difficult to know when to dive in, but once they do, AllianceBernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi recently released a peek into why Tesla owners (considered cult members by some) love the brand. Almost 300 owners were polled in summer of 2017 and again at the end of 2018 to see what’s working. Here are five things that really stood out, ranked by the percentage of owners who cited them in the latest survey.
1. Most fun to own: 91 percent
Excitement sells, and Tesla owners feel they’re on a giddy ride into the future. Investors may have chronic agita, but even the pains of long order delays, Autopilot fumbles, service delays and cabin tech that might just a bit too screen-centric have failed to dampen the top-line stat around the Tesla experience.
2. Autopilot confidence: 72 percent
As Autopilot matures, owner confidence in it on the highway seems to be going the wrong direction. This number was 80 percent a year and a half ago. Why the decline? Headlines. Every time a Tesla — or any car with substantial autonomy — is involved in a crash, it’s crucified as if it’s the first car ever involved in an accident. But none of that excuses any carmaker that foists immature tech onto public streets.
3. Excellent mobile service: 70 percent
This stat is up massively from 42 percent in July 2017, and that’s a good thing because only 42 percent of Tesla owners say they get excellent service at a Tesla location. That’s down from an already miserable 57 percent a year and a half ago.
4. Range is as advertised: 63 percent
EV owners, like gas car owners, love to nitpick real world results against EPA estimates, whether it’s range or MPG. But “nitpick” is probably the right word because 73 percent of Tesla owners tell AllianceBernstein they don’t suffer from range anxiety.
5. The Supercharger network: 63 percent
Nearly two-thirds of Tesla owners say that the Supercharger network keeps them loyal and away from a European luxury car with a plug. That number is up from 56 percent a year and a half ago, even in the face of more European brands announcing EVs. Now you know why one of Porsche’s biggest efforts around the coming Taycan is its proprietary fast-charge network.