“The police car came right up behind me,” Cindy recalls. “But by the time I pulled over, he was so apologetic!” She was driving her Tesla S, and had fully legal green licence plates. But the cop didn’t realize she was driving an electric car. He simply hadn’t seen anything like it. She giggles at the memory. “He couldn’t stop saying how sorry he was.”
Still, driving a racy dark red Tesla puts a girl in the spotlight. Although Cindy hasn’t been stopped since then, she keeps an eagle eye on her speed. “It’s extremely fast, and can go from zero to 100 in four seconds,” she says. “The acceleration is unbelievable. But I know I’m going to be scrutinized, so I stay within the speed limit.”
This is the second Tesla for Cindy – the first, a sexy Tesla roadster, is driven by her husband. “We love the roadster, it’s great for Sunday afternoon drives with the top down,” she says. But the Model S, well, you can fit the whole family or even furniture in the car. Cindy drives 100 kilometres a day, from her home in Grimsby to her job as an energy consultant in Oakville. And the drive is rarely boring.
People will zoom past her, and then realize it’s a Tesla. They slow down, check out the car, go behind it, go in front, pull out their phones, try to take pictures, or get their passenger to take pictures. “It can be unnerving,” says Cindy. “You have to remember, they’re not looking at you – they’re looking at the car.”
She’s careful cruising through parking lots, especially around pedestrians, who might not hear the super-quiet electric motor. Carmakers are using sensors to alert drivers to pedestrians and cyclists, and as far as Cindy’s concerned, the more the merrier. “I’m a big fan of options for commuting and getting around,” she says. “People should be able to use whatever works for them. We need to figure out ways to better share the road.”
With two Teslas in the household, it’s understandable that there’s a supercharger in the Grimsby home. But although Cindy can charge at 80 amps, a slower charge is set between the two Teslas overnight, at off-peak hours.
She clearly adores her Model S, and doesn’t miss anything about a regular car. “I don’t miss trying to find a gas station, or pumping my own gas,” she says. “We’ve been to Ottawa, to London, and never worry about running out of power.” Cindy recalls the days of driving to Florida with her children. “I would always plan my stops. You can’t go gas tank to gas tank because you need to have pit stops. Nine hours in a car? That’s crazy.”
Her husband is an insurance broker, and is chuffed at Tesla’s safety rating. “It’s one of the safest vehicles on the road,” says Cindy. “They couldn’t crush it, they couldn’t roll it – they had to artificially roll it to see how it would respond. It’s so stable on the road.”
But come on, Cindy, what do you really like about this car? “I can drive a really hot looking car. I love the big graphite wheels, the muscular look, the performance,” she admits. “I love driving. And with the Model S, I get a comfortable sedan with power and amazing good looks.”