My Tesla has two modes

Raymond Meester
6 min readSep 29, 2020


Is the ludicrous mode great or ludicrous? In comments, you are either for or against Tesla. It doesn’t matter if it’s a news website or a car, tech, investment or clean energy forum. You always have two kinds of people. I would like to say that I am rational. Dissociate me from that kind of people. Try to have a balanced opinion. Critical, but fair. Tesla is just a company. Surely I am above such feelings.

But I’m not. I must admit I have feeling towards a company. And these feelings aren’t even neutral like I have towards a company which makes shampoos. No, they are all over the place. Making my personality split.

It’s like an Elon Musk paradox. He makes revolutionary things look ordinary. Without him the revolution wouldn’t happen, but he didn’t tighten one screw. Elon can’t do anything without its engineers, fans and customers, and they can’t do anything without Musk. Is the Tesla fandom terrific or toxic?

All the time the left and right side of my brain quarrel with each other. Quarrel which Tesla mode takes the upper hand. The rant mode or the fan mode.

[Rant Mode]

Tesla was founded in 2003. A year later Elon Musk came to the company as founder (?). Then it took another 4 years before their first product arrived. This was a niche product that was not practical, of bad quality and too expensive. From then on, they never held promised release dates. From then on, they were several times on the edge of bankruptcy.

Their quality in 2020 is still substandard. The cars today are still too expensive. They promised a model 3 for 35000. In my country the Netherlands the average price is 48000 thousand euro (56000 USD). A colleague decided to purchase one. He only could do this through the internet. He had to test drive with a Tesla from another colleague. Then he needs to go to the Amsterdam port (60 miles from his home), got his keys and find the car between thousands of Tesla's himself. Attempts to pick up the car at a later time failed. Tesla was unreachable by mail or phone.

He took the car only because the EV’s are heavily subsidized. That’s the only explanations for success in countries like the Netherlands and Norway. The car would be too expensive otherwise. My colleague finds the entry too low and the quality also low. He misses buttons for air conditioning or mirrors.

He thinks adjusting this while driving through a screen is just dangerous. “The autopilot is also downright dangerous”, he added. “Why do they call it the autopilot?”, he said, “if it’s hardly able to drive at level 2 for autonomous driving! It’s just an assistive technology combining adaptive cruise control with lane assist. Without Lidar, it won’t work anyway”.

Autopilot is just a marketing term. Just like battery day, ludicrous mode, Gigafactory, supercharger and all of those tweets of mister Musk. Everyone who visited a car factory knows that they are big. Actually Tesla uses an old GM factory and doesn’t even use it full capacity.

And what’s up with this ludicrous and next year the plaid mode. Who needs a car accelerating under 2 seconds? Who needs wing doors? The only thing they do is made the car insanely heavy and expensive. It brings the purchase price well above $100.000.

What we really need is a cheap, lightweight and energy efficient car. Something like the Renault Zoe or the Volkswagen ID.3. Where is this affordable car 18 years after founding? Tesla's are heavy cars with less range than any second hand petrol car you can buy. They are just like all cars bad for the environment. The COVID-19 crisis showed we better work from home and don’t buy cars at all.

Ludicrous mode

[Fan mode]

In 2008 Tesla introduced the Roadster. This was a brilliant car and a brilliant first move of the company. Electric cars at that time looked like shit. They were at most proof-of-concepts. With a limited range and dull to drive. The Roadster looked amazing. Fast accelerating and a decent range. Tesla made electric driving cool.

Most of all they proved not only that they could convince car lovers, but they also proved that EVs were better in a lot of aspects. Better acceleration, better weight distribution, fewer parts, less maintenance and better for the environment.

That Tesla really became successful was no coincidence. It was all part of the master plan of Elon Musk. He wasn’t there for the money. He knows people love and need cars. There was just one big problem that needs to get solved. Natural resources are limited, they pollute the world causing health issues and climate change.

The master plan consists of

  • Design good-looking cars that people desire.
  • Agile approach of incremental developments like software companies do in Silicon Valley.
  • Add the latest technologies to cars. The development is open and completely patent-free.
  • Make core technologies part of the company self
  • Start high-end with a sports car, then create a luxury sedan and then a premium sedan. Scaling up and bring prices down.
  • Solve multiple challenges at once (charging nework, solar roofs, EV, batteries)

Tesla started as an underdog. Critics were skeptical and say it was impossible. What did they do? They innovated and delivered. Today they are the most valued car company in the world. Their EVs are years a head of the competition. First the competition laughed at them, then they were skeptical, now they get praise and recognition.

With the model Y and the Cybertruck other popular body styles have been added to their line up. Battery day show they also have the greatest vision and will remain in the lead. A no cobalt battery. Battery technology with 16% more range. Producing the batteries themselves. Like electric motors, software also batteries will be a core technology of Tesla self.

One great thing is that supercharging is free or affordable. With ranges well above 300 miles we said bye bye to range anxiety. And with the new batteries and better chargers this is getting better and better. And even during driving with over the wire updates your car gets better.

Next year they will produce the model S in plain mode. Amazing 500+ miles range. A zero to sixty below 2 seconds. At a price range of 140000 USD they will shame supercar makers with prices above a million.

Tesla is always next level. Cars that are safer and less maintenance. Cars that are faster and fun to drive. Cars with the latest technology and autonomously driving.

And the affordable car of $25.000? For sure, they will deliver it as well. And when they do they disrupted and transformed the car industry forever. While others are talking, hating and ranting Tesla is changing the world. Great that we can both fight climate change and still have the freedom the cars gave us.

[Silent mode]

Going back to silent mode again.



Raymond Meester