First of all, the auto industry has been relatively stagnant for the last 100 years. Sure, a car from today looks much different than a car from 100 years ago, but it took them 100 years to get there! Now, Tesla has turned the industry on its ear, changing the powertrain to something new, changing the driving experience to be exhilerating yet quiet, changing the purchasing experience to get rid of the god-awful car dealers, changing the ownership experience by continually updating the software and giving the car new features over time. This has been a huge leap in a very short period of time, and will be looked at by history as an occasion as momentous to the industry as the introduction of the Model T was. Speaking of the Model T, the reason that was momentous was that it would allow “everyman” to afford a car. Tesla’s Model 3 will do the same thing for practical electric cars.
Second, they’re exciting. They have a smart, charismatic CEO with a wonderful vision and the tenacity to make it happen despite some daunting odds. This was the case with Steve Jobs and Apple, and it’s now the case with Elon Musk and Tesla. And in similar fashion, there are a lot of fanboys and a lot of haters, which means Tesla news gets a lot of clicks, so it gets a lot of coverage.
The Model 3 is driving a lot of excitement because it’s a car that will finally bring all of the amazing things Tesla has done within financial reach of a LOT more people. It will start at $35,000, but total cost of ownership will be much lower – A similar car with a gas engine that is designed for efficiency would get around 30 miles per gallon. The Model 3 will take about 7.5 kWh of electricity to go 30 miles, which costs about 90 cents. When was the last time you saw gas selling for 90 cents per gallon? In addition, there are only a few moving parts on an electric car compared to thousands on a gas car, so the maintenance cost is almost nothing on the electric car, saving you that much more money.
Finally, Tesla has cleared the backlog for the Model S and is producing them at a greater rate than before, and the Model X backlog is pretty well under control as well now. I believe a Model S that you order today can be delivered within a month, and a Model X within two months. Because the cars are getting in more people’s hands, and because they really are that amazing, there are more owners talking about them. The 373,000 people who are on the waiting list for a Model 3 are certainly talking as well, and when those Model 3s are on the road, everyone will be talking about Tesla!