I wrote last week about how the Porsche Taycan was a worthy competitor with Tesla's Model S, despite the significant difference in price. In fact, in almost every other way, the two cars are closely matched. Some might even prefer the Porsche, because it's, well, a Porsche.
Turns out one person who fit in that category is Bill Gates, who in an interview with YouTuber Marques Brownlee revealed that he bought a Taycan. Of course, if you're Bill Gates, the $90,000 price difference between the top of the line models is probably not a real concern. Still, it does kind of make you wonder why.
Gates has a long history with Porsches, including owning an extremely rare 959 that he fought for over a decade to import into the US (it even required the passage of a special law).
However, Gates gave some further insight, first giving credit to Tesla for the work the company has done to bring electric vehicles (EVs) to the mainstream. "Tesla, if you had to name one company that's helped drive that, it's them," said Gates. And that's a big deal for Gates, who has made climate change an area of focus personally, and for his foundation.
So, why buy the Taycan, especially when you can get a Tesla Model 3 for less than a quarter of the price? "I have to say it's a premium-priced car, but it is very, very cool," Gates said. "That's my first electric car, and I'm enjoying it a lot."
I mean, what's not to enjoy? The top-of-the-line model (Turbo S) produces 750 hp, and is able to hit 0-60 mph in 2.4-seconds. Sure, it's only rated to go 200 or so miles on a full charge, but seriously--it's a Porsche. You're probably not buying one to take the family on a road trip to Walley World.
Here's the lesson, and I think it's one to which most of us should pay attention.
Changing the way millions (or billions) of consumers transport themselves to work, or school, or to their child's soccer practice is more than what one company can accomplish. While companies like Tesla have proven the concept, it takes adoption from the other major players.
Until now, that has meant sticking an underpowered electric motor into a budget car for the sake of saying you have an EV. But EVs like the Taycan, or even the Sony Vision S concept car, means that consumers will be able to drive something they're familiar with, which is important to widespread adoption. As Gates said, it's "very very cool," which makes it a little easier to take a chance on something new.
Or, maybe it's just because he likes the Porsche.
You can watch the complete interview here: