Enthusiast Spotlight: Tesla Owner Roger Peters
Some assume that I drive an electric car because of it being environmentally friendly, but I actually bought it for the speed.
Tell US A Little About Yourself
My name is Roger Peters. I’ve been a software developer for roughly 20 years, and a tech and video game enthusiast for even longer. I am a widower of two years, and I occupy my time with video games and gadgets. Some of my more recent gadgets are my custom home arcade machine and my 3D printer. I can be found most Saturday mornings washing my car.
What Was Your First Car, Favorite Car and Current Car
I’ve run against some of the loudest and smelliest cars you can imagine – ones you can hear from at least a half-mile away, and they are slower than my quiet car – all show, no go.
What was your first car?
1985 Honda Civic 4-door
What was your favorite car?
2018 Tesla Model 3 (current car) – previous would be my 2003 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII
What are you driving now?
There is nothing that can touch a dual-motor electric car in the 1/8th mile, at least not anywhere near the price-point.
2018 Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor
Tell Us A Little Bit About Being A Car Enthusiasts With An Electric Car?
There’s a pretty serious community that surrounds Teslas, so I spend a lot of time on Reddit in /r/teslamotors trying to stay on top of latest developments and finding out what’s new in the community. Being a Tesla enthusiast is exciting because they are constantly rolling out software improvements to the car – much like Apple does with their devices. Since I’ve bought my car, I’ve gotten at least 8 updates or so. Some added simple things like Backgammon or Stardew Valley video games or YouTube and Netflix, and others actually changed the performance of my car. For example, my car was rated at 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds when I bought it, but now is rated at 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds. I’m looking forward to more features that will be released in the coming year(s) such as reverse-summon, which will let me get out at a store and have the car park itself. The software portion of the car is very exciting, especially as a software developer myself.
What is something car people assume wrong about owning an electric car?
Some assume that I drive an electric car because of it being environmentally friendly, but I actually bought it for the speed. There is nothing that can touch a dual-motor electric car in the 1/8th mile, at least not anywhere near the price-point. Most folks are floored when they experience that instant-torque – always available with no RPM concerns – and I don’t even have the performance model.
Another misconception would be that I worry about running out of energy all the time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I always ask the person if they would be afraid of running out of gas if they had a gas pump in their basement – because that’s the reality – I can fill up every night if I want. I haven’t been to a gas pump in 12 months except twice – once for a U-Haul, and once to refill the last car I was selling. I’ve taken my Tesla from Atlanta to Boulder, CO and back, and it was great – Tesla’s Supercharger network is amazing.
What’s Different About Being A Car Enthusiast With A Tesla vs. Other Cars?
There’s not much mechanically to do to an electric car. You could cut the springs, or swap out the wheels, but that’s really about it. Almost all the other customizations you’d do are lights (ex: colored interior lights or custom puddle lights in the door) or vinyl (ex: blacking out the chrome, or wrapping the car something exotic). Since that’s about it, I find my main focus and passion with my car has been in keeping it as clean and shiny as possible. I wash it religiously every Saturday. I have bought an orbital buffer and learned how to do swirl mark correction. I have watched countless YouTube videos on using paint sealants VS ceramic coatings, and how best to dry off a car without leaving micro-swirls. I’ve also learned how to wrap vinyl as I wanted my car to stand out more now that black Model 3’s are becoming pretty common. Being a Tesla enthusiast is a lot more about cosmetics and software updates than other cars.
How did you get into cars?
I’ve always liked racing video games like Project Gotham Racing and Forza. I’ve also been a hobby Photoshop user for years. So even when I had a 1986 Acura Integra that wasn’t worth $3000, I would doctor it up in Photoshop and imagine how it would look lowered with some sick wheels and a custom paint job. Video games and a friend in college got me excited about the Mitsubishi Evolution VIII, which was my first real sports car after college. I still like to use that car in most racing games I play today, and I still mockup changes I’d like to make to my car in Photoshop.
What is your favorite thing you’ve ever done behind the wheel?
Last year we did a road trip in the Tesla from Atlanta, GA to Boulder, CO. We got to see a lot of the country including staying in Amarillo, TX on Route 66. It was a really fun trip, and the food was great too. I also got to do the Porsche Experience last year, which was very intense, although the whole time I wished I was driving my own car instead of theirs.
What’s the biggest regret you have regarding a car you’ve owned?
When I owned my Mitsubishi Evolution VIII, I lived in Baton Rouge, LA, which had horrible road infrastructure. Then, Katrina hit, and Baton Rouge’s population doubled overnight from folks fleeing New Orleans. I feel like living in Baton Rouge was a big waste of having that car as all the roads were flat and full of traffic. I rarely got to stretch its legs while I owned it. My other regret is not having waited another year on my Tesla purchase – I could’ve gotten the performance model for what I paid now that their prices have dropped a bit more.
What do you wish was different about car culture?
I sometimes joke about how I thought the point of a sports car was to be fast. I’ve run against some of the loudest and smelliest cars you can imagine – ones you can hear from at least a half-mile away, and they are slower than my quiet car – all show, no go. It seems some folks care more about being loud and obnoxious more than anything else, and while I do like the sound of a nice exhaust, I could deal without those that make it obnoxious just to be obnoxious. Similarly, I recently saw a diesel truck ‘rolling coal’ at another guy driving a truck with his window down – he was blowing massive amounts of toxic black smoke right into this guy’s open window and into his face – it was the most ignorant thing I’ve seen in a while. I tend to see a lot of rolling coal when I visit Alabama, and that’s probably what I wish was different – stop celebrating being loud, obnoxious, and emitting massive stacks of smoke, and instead celebrate the engineering, beauty, and performance of all kinds of cars.
If you had unlimited money and 5 garage bays- what would you buy to fill them up?
- 2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance
- 2022 Tesla Roadster
- 2022 Tesla Cybertruck
- 2003 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII
- 1972 El Camino SS