When the Model X was first announced, Robert Llewellyn was decidedly skeptical. "Just another over-sized, over-priced luxury vehicle," he scoffed. (I paraphrase, but that's the gist.) So how did he like it once he took it for a drive? Well, it's still a really expensive, really large car, he says. And it's kind of silly to own one in a Northern European city with medieval roads. Pickups and SUVs are taking over the world, after all, shouldn't we be fighting against that? Unsurprisingly, it also uses significantly more energy to get moving than Robert's own Model S.
And yet, if we forget all of that, our host reluctantly admits that he's kind of in love with it. From gushing over the massive windshield to oohing and ahhing over the automated doors (even when they don't always work), Robert's reaction is overwhelmingly positive. In fact, it's kind of a perfect case study of Lloyd's insight that Elon Musk gives people what they want, not what they need. And that's an important distinction. In a world where consumer choices are having such a massively negative impact on our planet, understanding and leveraging those consumer choices is going to be crucial.
We also get to take a ride with Danny John-Jules and family (fans of Red Dwarf will know him as Cat) . And we hear from Pia Peterson, CEO of Evoke Limousines. I'll let you watch the full review to get the, err, full review. But here are a few takeaways:
1) It's not inconsistent to appreciate and understand what people like about SUVs—or even to enjoy driving one—and still wish that there were fewer of them in the world.
2) The way that Danny John-Jules' kids enthuse over the Model X, it's hard not to imagine a future where the gas guzzling Porsche's really do look like the "old fashioned" cars, as they are referred to here.
3) In a (closer to) ideal world, it will be in services like Evoke's that the Model X comes into its own—as private hire and/or ride-share vehicles, not one SUV per driveway.
So yes, from e-bikes and ELFs to fully electric buses and tiny little Smart cars, there are plenty of other vehicles we should be more excited about in terms of sustainability. Yet showing a world that's obsessed with pickup trucks and SUVs that even these hulking beasts can run essentially emission free is one more proof point that we can move beyond fossil fuels.
And that's not to be sniffed at.
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