The Tesla is the one car that Getaround requires its members to be a certain age to drive. Ironically, it’s also the one car that would make a guy like me feel I’m back in my 20s, but this time more responsible.
Meeting the Tesla
It was a cold and rainy Sunday morning when my wife and I drove our Honda Element through downtown San Francisco to Keatley’s Garage where the Tesla was parked. We were greeted by the warm, contagious smile of Matt of the Getaround Ops team.
Matt brought us in to meet our Tesla. The immediate sensation of seeing such a petite and sophisticated car sent us into nervous giggles. In the background, Mozart played.
Matt handed me the keys and followed up with the customary walk-around to show us the more peculiar features, like the push-button gear box and the wall-charging outlet.
Starting it Up
Then we got in—butt first, feet last—and I turned the key. The lights on the dash lit up, but there was no other sound. Matt assured us the Tesla was started.
Now most people at this point might be disappointed not to hear the nostalgic rumble of the engine or the smell of exhaust fumes. But the silence of the Tesla was futuristic and intruiging, and when combined with the coziness of the cabin (just space for two and no more), we discovered a unique level of intimacy never felt in a car before.
On the Road
We started driving just as the rain turned into a downpour. As I fumbled for the lights and wipers and my wife for the radio, we hit our first moment of acceleration. The feeling from that first surge is hard to describe. It must be how Luke Skywalker felt after he hit the magic switch on the speeder bike and shot off through the Endor forest. Pure exhilaration.
We continued through the city—Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, Fort Point, Lombard Street and the Mission to visit a Zipcar-using friend (“Whoa! Now there’s a car I can’t get.”). It quickly became a novelty to see what were now garden-variety BMWs, Lexuses and Porsches at every light, driven by envious onlookers trying to get a peek at us.
The final hurrah was a speed run to Pacifica, a small beach town about 15 miles south of San Francisco. I hit the “gas” on an empty stretch of highway, and in that moment—the electric hum of the engine, the quiet, snuggly space of the cabin and the dangerous thrill of high velocity on a rain-slicked road—all connected and the two of us effortlessly soared with the Tesla into what felt like nirvana.
We returned to Keatley’s and got back in the Element. We really had fun, and all we were doing was acting our age. Not bad for a simple Sunday drive in the Getaround Tesla.