Dennis Lo, Jet Black Roadster Sport

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Running a stock trading firm and living in the beautiful Southern coast of Hong Kong Island with his family of five, Dennis Lo is a typical family man and this fact was reflected in his choice of cars, until he met Tesla. In terms of family cars, especially in Hong Kong, nothing is more rational than having a Toyota. Dennis used to have 3 cars: a Toyota Camry, a Toyota Alphard, and a Toyota Previa. He prefers Japanese cars because he demands reliability and he heard too many stories about the long wait for parts for maintenance of European cars. With a gentle voice, and yet a firm and confident tone, Dennis fully understands how dull a family car can be. Yet, at times he also has his own need for speed. Therefore, he had joined his friends for few track fun days in the past, and he enjoyed those experiences.

However, for daily use and with the size of his family, he needed a family car. Even as a second car for his family, Dennis never considered buying a supercar since he cares about the planet and the society that he lives in and simply thinks that those cars are just too noisy and consume too much fuel. For the same reason, Dennis always keeps track of the latest green cars. After doing plenty of research online, he paid his deposit and ordered a Tesla Model S: It's green. It's fast. It's a 7-seater. Perfect. The only concern was that there was a waiting list about 2-3 years long to get Model S into Hong Kong, a right-hand drive market.

Dennis went to test drive the Roadster to get a first taste of Tesla. It was awesome. As a family man, Dennis arranged four more test drives of the Roadster - three rides for his three kids, and a ride for his wife. All of them liked it and Dennis got them to vote unanimously to purchase the Roadster as their second car. Dennis also made a reservation for Model X at the same time, and plans to sell his Toyota people carrier once the larger Tesla’s start arriving in Hong Kong next year. Dennis picked a black Roadster; he thinks it's simple and cool. However, for Mrs. Lo, the Tesla is her husband’s Batmobile - it's not only cool but also good for environment. For their youngest daughter, the Roadster is her roller coaster. By 2014, the Lo family will have a 3 car line-up and all of them will be Tesla. Actually there is something more – not only is Dennis the proud owner of a Tesla Roadster and a reservation holder for both Model S and Model X, he is also an investor in Tesla shares.

Dennis believes in Tesla cars. He also believes in Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla. As a business owner, Dennis believes strongly in technology, having a strong vision, and managing to achieve goals. From what Elon has helped Tesla accomplish so far, Dennis is highly confident in Elon and the future of Tesla. With the Roadster, despite the fact that he lives in the coastal countryside, Dennis’ drives to the office and back home have become fun. The mileage of his commute is around 30km each way. That's why Dennis doesn't need to charge every day and doesn't have the urge to install a high power wall connector at home; he simply charges from Hong Kong’s standard and ubiquitous 13A, 240V electrical socket.

Dennis is also actively involved in charity events. Most notably, he participated in a charity drive which took him and his youngest daughter in their Tesla Roadster on a 202km drive around Hong Kong with a dozen other Roadster owners in 2011. After the event, he found that there was still nearly half of the range remaining in the battery. From that point onwards, Dennis never had another concern about range anxiety and simply concentrated on enjoying his drives in the Roadster. In order to share the happiness of driving a Roadster as well as inspiring and encouraging young kids to dream and to work hard, especially in green technology, Dennis proposes and plans to run a new charity event by taking school kids and university students for rides in his Tesla. Like many Tesla owners in Hong Kong, Dennis Lo is working hard to make Hong Kong a greener, safer place for future generations.

Sonny Chen, Brilliant Yellow Roadster

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The Tesla Roadster reignited my interest in cars. Most men are brainwashed since childhood to like certain cars such as BMW Z4’s and Ferraris. They are probably “taught” at some point that Ferraris are some of the coolest cars to drive. But they are not. Just a couple of months of ownership can disabuse you of that notion. That’ s how I lost all interest in cars until I read and learnt about the all-electric Roadster in mid- September 2010. It was a moment of discovery.

The first car I owned in high school was a Hyundai Santa Fe. I loved it. It was big and I took it everywhere. I also had a Beemer i325, a Beemer Z4, and a Lexus GS450h. The Lexus was the first Hybrid sedan I had. It went from 0 to 100 mph in 5.9 seconds. Not bad for a sedan. Fuel economy was excellent considering the acceleration. It made me appreciate the important role technology played in car manufacturing. I also had a Ferrari California, but I can understand now how I had been tricked by childhood brand imaging again. Now I drive a Lexus RS450h for my family and a Tesla Roadster for my own personal use.

My standards for choosing a car have changed over the years. Initially brand recognition was important. But the more you drive some of those cars, the more you realize much of the brand’ s value is just marketing hype. My first rule today is that a car must be all-electric. Then I’ d look at acceleration and technical specs such as battery capacity, charging speed, motor power, cabin accessories and electronics, and finally chassis appearance and cabin finish.

In terms of “fun” ownership experience, the Roadster also comes at the top of the list. Acceleration is exhilarating. But more importantly, being able to “step on it” knowing that the resulting emissions are actually really low puts your mind at ease. I always hated the way sports cars accelerated. On regular streets you can’ t really hit that “LAUNCH” button. So the acceleration always feels disappointing. To get that back-pushing experience, you’ d have to step on it really hard. As a consequence, you always feel guilty about releasing extra tons of carbon on top of what the car is already pumping out in the air. But owning a car like the Tesla Roadster restored my good feelings about sports cars.

I made the final decision to buy the Roadster in September 2011. My mind was actually made up the moment I laid my eyes on it. But it sounded a little too good to be true at first, so I wanted to check it out for myself. I also had to take time to reach consensus with my significant other half as to which car to let go, as our garage was full at the time.

After actually driving the Roadster, I could see its potential more clearly. It’ s faster than most Ferraris, as most of their owners don’ t even use the “LAUNCH” button on streets. It’ s all electric and emits way less carbon. It also costs less to run and is less hassle to maintain. It looks cool. It’ s compact and highly maneuverable. I wish all cars would move toward that direction.

Noel Becker, Brilliant Yellow Roadster Sport

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I became interested in cars when I was a child playing with toy cars bought by my Dad for me. Basically, anything with wheels has always fascinated me. I went through a phase of racing go-karts, motorcycles and then after several accidents with motorcycles both on the road and on the race track, I decided to move into both road and race cars. I have had cars ranging from Mini to Alfa Romeo to BMWs in my younger days. Now I am a member of the Super Car Club Hong Kong and have a collection of exotic cars such as a Maserati MC Stradale, a Ferrari 360, a Mercedes C63 AMG, a Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 race car and a recently arrived McLaren MP4-12C. I have also lately acquired a Radical SR8 RX race car. I have always desired the best cars that one can buy. But I think I look for rarity and exclusiveness much more than I did 5 years ago.

I didn't know anything about Tesla until one of their sales reps spotted me standing next to my black Hummer on a Hong Kong street. She happened to notice my license plate, which just says "BIG BOY". When they invited me to check out the Tesla Roadster, I did a test drive and was greatly impressed by the instant torque it produced. What matters most to me is that it is a high performance sports car. As an experienced car racer, a pure sports car without power-steering also suited my taste perfectly. Thereafter, my interest in Tesla grew day by day and finally I decided that I needed to have this new electric toy added to my exotic collection.

I am a firm believer in taking great care of my cars and treating them as if they were my own children. I really cannot think of any sad memories when it comes to my driving experience. It’ s hard to pin down the “best” experience I’ ve had with my cars but I've especially had a ball with my supercars, particularly during hard acceleration, braking and hard cornering. I would also expect to drive my Roadster Sport only in “Performance Mode” without having to worry about maximum range.

I have very strict standards when it comes to choosing a car. Basically, my selection is based on my preference and liking for any particular brand and model. I have owned many cars but I could state that I will not choose Japanese or Korean cars for my personal driving, apart from my Nissan MPV that is driven by my driver for errands, dogs transportation and occasionally to drive me and or my friends. As I am single and with no family or children, the Tesla Model S has not presented me with a “buzz” part from considering it as a replacement for my Nissan MPV. The “petrol-free” aspect is a very strong consideration for a switch to the Model S from my current Nissan. My driver would be tasked to drive it, rather than driving it myself, however.

Donald Chan, Glacier Blue Roadster Sport

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Living in the rural area around northern Hong Kong while running his family business, Donald Chan is a veteran horse rider. He encourages young people to start riding as early as possible since he regrettably thinks he started too late. Why horseback riding? Romantic? Classy? Actually Donald thinks that riding creates a sense of responsibilities in youths - something that he thinks the new generation in Hong Kong lacks in general. In choosing his cars, Donald shares the same view - they have to be functional and serve a purpose. He still insists on washing his cars himself and he takes care of his cars personally.

During his school days in North America, Donald bought his first car. It was a Datsun 120Y/140Y. He remembers that this tiny, yet popular, Japanese car trained him how to use a manual transmission. Since then he has owned plenty of cars including a few Italian luxury cars in the 1990's. "Those unpredictable and high maintenance cars really trained up my EQ," Donald smiles. These days, Donald keeps 4 cars – all high performance, yet practical, cars. What led him to the decision to buy a Tesla Roaster?

"I once owned a Toyota Prius (2nd generation), it was the first taste of a green car for me." Donald knew about Tesla for a while but never thought he would be interested in the Roadster, thinking that it was just a Lotus and was overpriced at over HK$1 million. However, he liked the upcoming Model S and thought it was really interesting to order a car by paying the deposit online via PayPal, "this was my first time to do so," he says.

Within a few days, he was contacted by Tesla’s Hong Kong office and was invited to have a test drive of Roadster. Donald knew that it would be a while before he would be able to take delivery of his Model S and accepted the invitation. A few days after his test drive, he bought a Roadster. To explain this about-face, Donald offers some praise to the staff of Tesla Hong Kong, "they were not pushy at all and just encouraged me to have a try,” he explains. Without any pressure to buy, Donald took his time to get to know EV technology and was stunned by the performance and excitement the Roadster showed him. His attitude towards the Roadster changed entirely. Donald drives the Roadster on daily basis for his 80km round-trip commute, and charges it each night at home.

After owning the Tesla Roadster for a year, how has it impacted Donald's life? Besides the fun driving, "it's all about the human connection," he says. Donald said that by traveling with his Roadster everywhere, strangers on the street would come up and talk to him. Those people who don't know much about Tesla are amazed that it is an electric car. Those who know Tesla have many questions to ask and want to know more about it. Given the Roadster’s relatively low price point (it is completely tax free), silent operation, and green creds, no one thinks driving a Roadster is showing off. On the contrary, their attitudes are almost universally positive. Donald loves the fact that his Tesla brings people closer together. Of course, he also stresses that the Roadster has cut his gas bill a great deal. Looking at his electricity bill, he thinks the cost for driving the Tesla is around HK$0.20 per kilometer; his petrol bill was 7 times more! This everyday savings comes on top of the massive up-front savings of buying an electic vehicle of course – the complete lack of a First Registration Tax to pay! "This is the first time I didn't need to pay tax when buying a car!" he grins.

He thinks Tesla has proved that with existing technology, it's possible to drive an electric car daily, while delivering unbelievable performance to boot. No noise, zero emissions, and always-ready powerful torque. Donald feels that everything is in his control when driving a Roadster. Yes, he does want his Roadster to have more unique options, more interior storage, and electronic remote control of the suspension modes, but he is more than happy to wait until he takes delivery of his Model S to indulge in those luxuries. For now, the Roadster is his daily driver and short of a horse, it’s the best transport in all of Hong Kong!

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