Sally Hardy as told to David Waterworth
One drive and constant encouragement from her son, James, was all it took to get this fiercely brand loyal Subaru driver into a Tesla Model 3. Sally Hardy has driven 1,300 km in the first week and loves her new toy. This is her story:
My husband and I watched and waited for the Model 3 to come to Australia, and fall within our budget. A friend bought one in March 2020, and once we had been in it, and driven it, we were sold
I’ve driven Subarus since 1997, and have had five. My dad bought his Subaru Liberty in 1991, and it was the Wheels Car of the Year. That was my first, as I bought it from him in 1997. I then had a Forester, two Outbacks and an Impreza. I weighed up getting another Liberty, but the Tesla won out by its superior safety, handling, and, to be honest, the fun value. Abandoning my Suby wasn’t easy, but once I sat in that Model 3 in March, 2020, that was IT! No more Suby!
It’s like driving the future! My son James told me about Tesla in about 2017 and said they were bringing one out that would suit the driving I do.
I was skeptical, but he collated and presented me with facts about the car that made sense, and when we had solar panels installed in 2018 he said, “You’ve got no excuse now, mum.”
This would be the replacement for our Subaru when the time came. We would have liked a model Y, but waiting for it was costing us money in the continued running costs, service and repair of the Subaru, so we gave up waiting.
When I originally called Tesla in June 2020, the rep must have written down some of the things we talked about, as, when I rang back in October 2021, Jerry had at his fingertips what car I wanted, what my solar system at home was, etc. After paying the deposit, Jerry continued to help me navigate the nerves of doing bank transfers, and the paperwork of the trade-in.
The night we paid the deposit, my son sensed it was ‘really going to happen’ and he hung around us and made sure we ‘got the hedgehog’. Once it was done he was so excited, and his mates knew the next day. He said it’s the safest car on the road, and my insurance company agreed, with a premium that was cheaper than what I paid on the Subaru.
As James is not a listed driver, he won’t be allowed to drive it till he’s 25, but he’s very happy we got it at last. He knows more about it than we do, but that’s kids for you. They always know more about technology than their parents!
Then the email arrived saying, ‘Ready for you to book in your delivery’, once that was done, I received a call two days prior to confirm everything was OK to go, and to remind me to bring in my Subaru, the keys and the service book. We drove to the delivery centre, and played with the car for a bit, then thanked the staff and left. Was very easy and an enjoyable experience.
Never having had a non-Japanese car, it took a day or two to get used to the indicators being on the left, and even after a week, I have to confess to occasionally reaching for my ‘invisible gear stick’ to pop it in reverse. I was surprised how quickly I adjusted to no dashboard, and it’s very nice to not be distracted by those lights anymore.
I do find the seatbelt slightly annoying, as it appears to cut into my neck, but I’m not sure if it’s just me needing to get used to a new seatbelt, or get my seat in the right position. If I can’t get it right, I’ll buy a fluffy thing, and that will solve the problem.
My daughter discovered CARaoke and is in love. Trips to school are now singalongs.
I like being able to control the inner temperature by the app. If the car is parked in a hot place, five minutes prior to getting in, I can program it to be at 22°. That is a blessing in Qld!
Our friends are all very excited too, and we’ve had many requests to be allowed to ride in it. Which we love, we are thrilled to share the love of this car with anyone else. It was being in a Tesla that demonstrated to us how good they were, so we are more than happy to pass that experience on to our friends.
It’s a week old and has 1,300km on it now. I imagine that will drop down a little once we stop showing it off! My usual daily runs are under 100km, but my husband will probably start taking it to work and so will he get to drive it more often.
We picked the car up, and then entered a solidly wet week where our solar panels didn’t generate as much electricity as they would do on a sunny day. However, we both work from home, so by adjusting the charge rate, we were able to keep it charging from the panels, and only rarely dip into the grid. We generally charge during the day while it’s on the solar, and turn it off at night. If we have a big day of 200+km, we top it off on the grid overnight.
Cost estimate: 75c per 100km on solar, $3 per 100km on grid.
We are looking forward to driving to Sydney and trying out the supercharger network! All depends on work and borders being open though.
And the name for the car? Red Five of course! [Luke Skywalker’s X Wing at the Battle of Yavin. – for the non-nerds amongst us].
David Waterworth is a researcher and writer, a retired school teacher who continues to provoke thought through his writing. He divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla.