“You sit in it and it feels like you’re in the cockpit of a rocket ship,” Shimizu told The Post of the $55,000 car. He considered the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, but the Model Y won out.
“The Tesla looked better. It had better range, it was a more established player in the game. The white on white just looks so good,” Shimizu said enthusiastically of his initial rationale for the purchase.
But he’s no longer feeling quite so cool in the compact sports utility vehicle. Ever since Elon Musk took over Twitter and started spewing conservative viewpoints on the platform, Shimizu loathes being in the driver’s seat of his once-beloved car.
“His behavior is really confidence-shaking,” said Shimizu, who typically votes blue and is seriously considering selling his former pride and joy. “Over the past week or so, I’ve very much considered pulling the trigger.”
With Tesla, Musk revolutionized the electric car. The company sold a record 343,830 no-emission vehicles globally during the third quarter of 2022. Now, however, Musk and his conservative viewpoints in conjunction with his Twitter takeover have sparked outrage among the very same demographic that made the billionaire the world’s richest man. Liberal Tesla drivers are facing a quandary — do they ditch the pricey eco-conscious cars they once felt so proud to own? Or simply ignore Musk’s actions and keep their eyes on the road?
In a piece on the Wrap, entertainment journalist Benjamin Svetkey put it succinctly in the headline: “Hey, Hollywood! Elon Musk Is Turning Your Tesla Into a MAGA Hat on Wheels!”
Twitter fans and celebrities such as Shonda Rhimes, Mick Foley, Toni Braxton and Gigi Hadid have fled the social media site in the days since Musk took charge at the end of October, but those enflamed by the tech titan have been slower to part ways with their smug-mobiles.
Some are definitely considering it, though.
“I have owned my last Tesla. My next electric vehicle will be anything but,” Bill Weber, of La Cañada Flintridge, California, wrote in a letter to the Los Angeles Times.
“[Musk] uses his wealth to promote hate, disparage folks who disagree with his self-serving politics, and do great damage to ethical society,” continued Weber, who once proudly owned four Teslas.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx, Queens), meanwhile, has been wanting to sell her Tesla for months. In May, said she wanted to ditch her Model 3, which she purchased back in 2020 to zip between her NYC district and Capitol Hill.
“At the time, it was the only EV that could get me from New York to Washington on like one, or one-and-a-half charges,” she told Bloomberg News following a spat with Musk on Twitter in April in which she apparently referred to him in a tweet as a “billionaire with an ego problem.” She noted that she wanted to drive an EV made by a unionized company, saying, “I would love to switch.”
Financial advisor and YouTube creator Kevin Paffrath believes Musk isn’t doing himself any favors by turning off a major demographic of buyers.
“When you lose that one Democrat, you’re not just losing them — you’re losing 10 more. For every one of these people who dumps their Tesla, that’s probably killing 10 more additional sales,” said the money man, who owns two Teslas — a 2017 Model X and the 2021 Model S Plaid.
As for Shimizu, he may soon be driving off into the sunset in a Ford Mach-E and selling his Model Y for $10k more than its sticker price, thanks to supply issues.
“There’s definitely a stank attached to [the car],” said Shimizu, who used to geek out over his car with fellow Tesla lovers at every chance he could. “I don’t talk about [it] anymore.”