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posted on April 6th, 2016

Last week’s Tesla Model 3 unveiling got us thinking about this remarkable company, and why it’s got such a devoted following. So we caught up with Tesla owner and enthusiast Joe E., who rents out his red Model S in Washington DC and has already preordered his Model 3, to hear about what makes a Tesla so special.

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Electric love

His love affair with electric vehicles (EVs) started on a visit to Portland when he rented Emery’s Fiat 500E. “Electric cars are just the way cars were meant to be — quiet, smooth.” As opposed to traditional combustion engine cars that can hesitate or take a few seconds to accelerate, “electric cars accelerate instantly. You just gotta drive one!”. And it was after that fateful trip to Portland when the Tesla fever really set in for Joe.

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A seasoned owner in the Turo marketplace — he rented out his Mini Cooper for years — he toyed with buying his dream car, the Tesla Model S. “I really, really wanted a Tesla, but I really, really couldn’t afford it,” he recalled. “But then I thought I could use Turo to offset the cost of ownership,” and so he took the plunge and bought the Tesla.

And he’s never looked back. He even has aspirations of creating an all-electric fleet to rent out on Turo, with his sights set on a BMW i3, a Nissan Leaf, and, of course, more Teslas.

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Why Tesla?

Myriad reasons, according to Joe.

For one, you can charge them for free at any Supercharger station. Picture that hole in your pocket that is your gas tank — EVs mend that hole. “You basically drive them for free,” he said. “Just find a charging station, go grab lunch, and 30 minutes later you’re ready to hit the road.” You can also just plug it into any electrical outlet, though it takes a bit longer to charge. The car will even tell you where the nearest charging stations are, how much juice the car needs, and how many miles you have until you need to re-up.

Tesla also periodically updates its software just like phones and computers. “And they’re not just fixing bugs,” Joe noted, “they’re actually rolling out new features. The car is future-proof. The company is genuinely interested in improving” and listen to owners’ suggestions to constantly evolve the technology.

Furthermore, owners can tour the factory. Joe flew out to California just last month to take a tour of the factory — a privilege typically only granted to investors and suits.

He’s so stoked on his Tesla that he preordered the newly unveiled Model 3 last week. He got to the DC store when they opened and was flabbergasted to see upwards of 200 people in line. “I mean, who stands in line to buy a car?!”

Devotees, that’s who. And Tesla has them in droves.

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Teslas ‘n’ cherry blossoms

Joe relishes sharing his car with travelers to DC — “It’s more than just a car rental; there’s a social aspect,” he reflects. Not only does he meet new people and share his cherished car, but he also gets to share his way of life.

Not to mention that DC is currently in full bloom and at the height of its annual Cherry Blossom Festival (it lasts through April 17 this year), where the city of Washington DC celebrates and commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo, and the city is painted with its signature springtime pink blossoms.

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Heading to DC to take in the cherry blossom spectacle? Rent Joe’s Tesla and take in the beautiful sights in something just as elegant.

Megan is the copywriter and content tsarina at Turo. She lives to wander near and far, never met a beach (or dog) she didn’t like, and loves to talk postmodern lit and theory to anyone who’ll listen.

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