Prior to owning her brand-new Tesla Model Y, Chris Page had never considered owning an electric vehicle (EV). In fact, she had been a loyal Nissan Armada owner for more than one generation and happily drove the three-row SUV while raising kids and running her Topeka-based realtor business.
Since her husband Wayne convinced her to invest in a Model Y, that decision has already started to pay off big in fuel savings. An early adopter of technology and a Tesla fan, Wayne doesn’t have his own EV yet (but he does have Tesla Cybertruck on order). Having tracked the changes in energy production in his former job, Wayne says he could “see the writing on the wall” in terms of the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Why did you choose to buy an EV?
Chris: My previous car was big (a Nissan Armada). The fuel cost alone was insane, and when I sat down and really looked at what I spent in gas, I decided to look for something smaller. But what was it going to save me? If I were to go to a smaller gas car, the safety really wasn’t there. Wayne had talked to me about Tesla a few years ago and I just wasn’t ready for that kind of change. I saw it as futuristic and I would be stuck to a cord. Turned out, that is not the case. Our insurance only went up $17, fuel and maintenance cost nearly nothing, and with the screen of the Model Y and Wi-Fi — my car is now my mobile office.
How do you use your EV in your daily work as a real estate agent?
Chris: The Model Y has been absolutely perfect for my business. With the 316-mile range, I can do all my showing and listing appointments. I no longer worry about stopping at a gas station in the middle of my workday because I charge up every night at my home.
Does your Model Y fulfill the needs of an SUV driver?
Chris: I liked having the Armada because of the size. It sat up higher, so I felt big and safe. After realizing the cost savings of an EV and the safety features of a Tesla, I felt like it was a no-brainer. I haven’t missed the size and haven't even noticed not sitting up and feeling larger. It is a very comfortable car. I don’t feel like I have lost storage area, considering the additional “frunk” (front trunk), the seats that fold flat, and two additional storage areas underneath as well.
Does driving electric make good financial sense for you?
Chris: The savings during my first month of having the Tesla Model Y were shocking to me. Previously, I would fill up the Nissan Armada sometimes six to eight times a month at an average of $55 per fill-up. In the first month, I had the Model Y, I figured I saved over $500 in fuel. Even if I use the Tesla Supercharger six to eight times, it would still have been less than one gas fill up. Once, I ran the Tesla down to a 7% charge before stopping at the Supercharger to charge up, and it cost $6.38 for a full charge. That is a lot better than $55 each fuel up!
What are the most common misconceptions you run into about EVs?
Chris: I have felt and experienced that people think buying a Tesla in particular is expensive, but when I actually show them what I paid for the car, they see that a new SUV or pickup would actually be more expensive and not have the features that a Tesla has.
The other misconception is that EVs are slow and sluggish. When I show them how this car can go from zero to 60 in less than four seconds, and they feel the power by being pushed back in their seat, they are like WOAH! It is truly an unbelievable feeling.
What’s it like being an EV driver in Topeka?
Chris: I just hope to see more EVs around here soon. It is fun to connect with other drivers when you see them.
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