The people here are not Hollywood stars or billionaire tech entrepreneurs who could own Ferraris and private jets. But they’re okay, the median household income in the area exceeds $ 165,000, and half of the homes are valued at more than $ 1 million. Eight out of 10 residents have at least a college degree. As high-income first-time buyers, they can easily take advantage of the federal electric vehicle tax credit.
The incentives are, in effect, “subsidizing my luxury,” said Teglia, who also has solar panels at his home. The Model 3s he owns sell for around $ 40,000 before government incentives.
Dr. Jack Hsiao, an OB-GYN, had avoided buying an electric vehicle for fear of not being able to drive very far before having to plug it in, a phenomenon known as range anxiety. But her sister, who moved to California from Texas and bought solar panels and a Tesla, convinced her father, who lives with Dr. Hsiao, 54, to buy one as well. Following his family, Dr. Hsiao bought a Tesla and solar panels.
“Gasoline prices have skyrocketed and since I have the solar panels, it cost me next to nothing to charge,” he said. “For me, it was a perfect fit.”
Elaine Borseth, a retired chiropractor, is another convert. Before buying a Model S, I had never spent more than $ 20,000 on a car. But after seeing several of the big, sporty sedans on the road, he drove one about seven years ago. “I thought they were stylish and sexy,” said Ms. Borseth, who now heads the San Diego Electric Vehicle Association.
“It’s almost one of those cases where the more you see, it just reproduces on its own,” he said to explain why his neighborhood has so many electric cars.