As a kid, I didn’t have an ice cream truck that toured our neighborhood blasting Pop Goes the Weasel. Imagine my surprise when my cousin introduced me to the ice cream truck experience one summer long, long ago. In the great Pavlovian style, the music played, the lines formed and we sprinted away with thawing Push Up sugar pulsing through our veins.
That truck was a technological wonder. It played music, kept ice cream frozen and was an au courant flavor bank on wheels, turning all of our loose change into the cold, hard currency of creamy, lactose-filled wonderment.
Is there any surprise, then, that a little jingle and some snazzy automobile technology gets my pulse pounding every time? I’m not so moved to mania by the ice cream truck as I used to be, but you better believe that there’s some auto-tech that will get me digging in my pockets to pay the piper!
On March 31, Elon Musk and his world-changing design gurus at Tesla Motors introduced us to what is arguably going to be the most important car produced on the planet…ever. And it might be just the eye-popping, soul-stirring vehicle that you’d line up for—over 100,000 did on day one, plopping down their $1,000 deposits for the chance to be the very first owners of the Tesla Model 3 when it rolls off the assembly line in late 2017.
Just years ago, Tesla changed the shape of the electric car discussion with their groundbreaking, future-altering Model It was part of a “top secret” plan to reshape the auto industry and advance the pace of reduced reliance on fossil fuels. The move has been nothing short of revolutionary. From the introduction of an iconic roadster that demonstrated the heartbeat of the company, to designing and deploying one of the most compelling cars ever built, to following it up with a gull-wing SUV extravaganza, to now introducing the world to an affordable, fast, safe and desirable car that can travel over 200 miles on a single charge is nothing short of amazing.
Sure, other manufacturers have sharpened their focus on this lofty goal, but none have delivered the kind of sex appeal, performance and pedigree that Tesla has accomplished. This latest iteration of the Jetsonian dream is nothing short of astounding. For $35K before rebates and under $30K with rebates, your family is able to zip around town, zoom off to college, travel your daily commute or launch over the river and through the woods in a car that comfortably seats 5 adults, races to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, holds a charge for 215 miles, has built-in upercharging to use at thousands of free locations around the country, has built-in autopilot safety features and perhaps most importantly for moms and dads everywhere, has a 5-star safety rating in each tested category.
Many naysayers argue that we are still in the infancy of the electric car movement, that the cars use electricity that is derived from fossil fuels and that the range and price are still not able to be sustainable for many drivers. Yes. All of these are true. The movement is young. Electricity is still largely provided by non-renewable resources. The range isn’t what you can get out of most tanks of petrol. And, yes, not everyone can afford a car that has a base price tag of $35K. Still, the future is here.
Many of you have 4K TVs that you hauled in for under $1K this past Christmas. Just a couple of years ago, those TVs would have cost 10 times as much, at the very least. Early adopters change the marketplace, and we are in a rapidly changing landscape of transportation. The Model S can easily run six figures, but then came the Model 3 at one third of the cost. A bold new horizon is emerging, and there are so many exciting treats along the way.
Not too long from now, Pop Goes the Weasel will be reverberating through the neighborhood, blasting from a vehicle with zero emissions and driven by a vendor with a penchant for providing pulse-changing sugary treats. Lines of children will form, waving devices of various sizes and shapes in front of the scanners and sprinting off into the neighborhood, relishing their cold treat and dreaming about their own futures in an everchanging, ever-exciting world of compelling dreams and ingenious possibilities.
Richard Singleton, MACE, MAMFC, LPC, is the executive director at STARRY in Round Rock.