Blog: Austin Texas and it’s love for Tesla’s
This past week I made the drive up to Austin from Houston, along my way my mind was plagued with the thought that I could be sitting back in my Model 3 letting the car drive itself while I tune in and out of attention. Never the less as we reached our destination in our non-self driving Prius and was inundated with the sheer amount of Tesla models we were driving past, or should I say driving past us. As we drive through the city spotting some here and there we make it to the hotel we booked on the west side. The Hotel Granduca. The only reason I mention the name is because this hotel shares a parking garage with an Apple Campus directly adjacent.
After we checked in we headed up the parking garage to the self-park for the hotel. Not before traveling up four floors of spaces reserved for Apple’s employees. This is where it gets interesting and bizarre. On the first floor were the charging ports, to which, all five were filled with shiny new Model 3’s and one Model S, and new they were ( temp tags and all ). After seeing what was already the highest concentration of Tesla’s I have seen in my life I wasn’t expecting much more. Boy was I wrong. As we continued up the level to the second the rows were occupied almost exclusively by Tesla’s and primarily the Model 3. Driving past all of these Tesla’s just sitting there in parking spots not doing anything more than just waiting for their owner to get off from work and drive them back home. Or drive the owner home depending who you ask ;). As we continued the Tesla’s began to become few and far between until we ultimately made it to the fourth level, to which there were barley any. As expected I assume for hotel guest, despite the 4.5-star status, there were a couple though! While I didn’t get a picture before the employees left for the day we were able to count them and throughout the entire garage, there were 17 Tesla vehicles. My goodness.
What does this all actually mean or say about Tesla, Apple employees and Austin as a whole? Let’s start with Apple employees. At an average salary of $124,053 per year, it is clear that they can afford the $600 monthly payment on the loan. Also taking the average age of 31 years old into account and the fact that most of the employees working at Apple are engineers, designers, and marketers it is no surprise that they have an affinity for technology. So I mean when you have young, rich, technically inclined individuals I mean what other vehicle do you see that person buying? A Prius? No, they’re not in California. A BMW I8? Pshh.. too many knobs. An F150? *clears throat* No. It’s pretty clear why there were so many when thinking in retrospect. Tesla sure is getting a lot of data from Austin streets and roads!
Another aspect that I think has to be considered is the water cooler effect. Apple, by peering into their offices from our high rise hotel we can see is set up just as any other modern office; cubicles galore, conference rooms and corner offices. As I’m sure you already know water cooler/break room talk is the main source of gossip, chit chat, most commonly bragging and showboating. I can only imagine the first person in the building who took delivery of their Dual Motor Performance version of the Model 3 and the amount gloating that ensued. If you have seen Parks and Rec., think the episode where Jamm takes everyone outside to stare at his car. I can only imagine the envy in the eyes of his lunch group as they took their first seat in the passenger seat of the work of art. You get the point. I believe that this also is another reason why so many of the employees were jumping to their work stations to place their $2500 deposits. Peer pressure is strong, especially when it is from a coworker that you don’t like.
Now even as the weekend began and we ventured out more into Austin the trend continued. Tesla’s left and right. Just leaves me wondering whether our car was caught on any disengagements that the Tesla team reviewed.
On our last day as we were checking out and getting on our way, I texted my brother in law to see if he had any knowledge of my observations. He did, according to him:
“too many people here with money”.
Interesting, is it really just incomes that motivates people to go out and buy a Tesla?
Houston, Texas according to Dept. of Numbers has a median household income of $63,802 compared $60,336 for the entire United States. When taking a look at Austin we see that the median household income is far higher than the national average and Houston at $73,800. With that extra $10,434 in Austin residents pockets, that would amount to $869.5 extra per month. More than enough to justify the extra cost of price for the Model 3 compared to a traditional ICE car in its trim range.
So while it is certainly true that there is a higher concentration of larger salaries in Austin I still believe that there are larger factors at play. Austin for those of you who are not aware is one of the most liberal cities in Texas by a long shot. Possibly in the south. Liberals are some of most concerned with the environment, climate change, and earth. It’s no surprise they are putting their money where their mouth is, directly supporting the transition to sustainable energy.
Thank you for reading, if you are new I am writing these blogs in an attempt to create passive income to purchase my own Tesla Model 3 and document the ever-increasing updates to the Tesla Enhanced Autopilot system. As a poor CS college student, this is not an easy task. If you have gotten value from these blogs or are interested in the progression please support my Patreon and follow me on Twitter.