Graffi wrote:@jpadc I am not sure where you came up with the statistic that only the " top 1%" can buy a Tesla.
In 2016, the top 1% of incomes was right at $390k nationally (in San Diego you needed more like $428k). The cheapest Tesla is around $75K out the door (fees, taxes, plates) but sales of actual cars are much higher than the base price. So if you are just barely in the 1%, that base car costs almost 20% of your annual income. If you have to borrow money to buy it, it costs even more. People are free to spend their money how they like, but if your annual income is much less than $390k and you choose to buy a Tesla, that's great for you and your wife. I just don't think many families can spend that high a % of their income on a single car. Even the Model 3 looks like will really end up selling for well more
than the base $35K. Most people can't afford a $35K car either, but at least its a car for the top 5%, not just the top 1%.
We are way below the $390k (or $428k) that you stated. I believe you are over-thinking this. Is there anyone in your neighborhood with a Motor home parked in the driveway or beside their home? Any neighbors with a big boat parked in their yard? Do you have one? In our case, our Tesla is our motor home or boat, only we are able to drive it every day, and take trips in it without spending LOTS and LOTS of money on gas. Yes, it was a stretch for us, but we felt that it was a much better investment for our retirement years of travel than a motor home.
One lady we met at a supercharger was a retired school teacher from MA that was on her way home from visiting her brother in OR. Her Model S 90D was only a few months old but already was on her second cross-country trip. This was her second Tesla as she had put well over 100,000 miles on her first one, and wanted to get the latest with the HW-2 and AP-2. As a retired teacher I can not believe she is anywhere close to the top 1%.
It is all a matter of perspective. Those people who justify a motor home or boat for their leisure are no different than someone who will purchase a Tesla. It would be interesting to see the statistics of the financial situation of Tesla owners, but I suspect that a vast majority of them are the working upper-middle class, not the "1 percenters". jmho