Sian Proctor made history in September, when she became the first Black female pilot of a spacecraft during a SpaceX mission — but she won't be flying around on Earth in one of Elon Musk's Teslas.
The geoscientist, who was a member of the all-civilian Inspiration4 crew, revealed on Twitter this week that she'd purchased a Ford Mustang Mach-E, causing many commenters to scratch their heads at the decision.
She explained the choice wasn't meant as a slight at the owner of SpaceX, but mostly due to practical concerns.
"Tesla is a great company & I LOVE SpaceX. But there were many factors to my decision. A year ago I was divorced, broke, & living w/my brother. What a difference a year can make! I’m full of #gratitude for my 1st EV & I believe we are stronger working together toward a better," Proctor wrote.
She added that the lower base price and $7,500 tax credit the Mustang Mach-E qualifies for, along with its availability, sealed the deal.
"The overall feel and ergonomics is important and I loved my test drive but availability, tax credit, and overall final price where the three biggest factors," Proctor tweeted.
"You can only order a new Tesla. There aren’t any in stock."
Due to its massive sales over the past decade, Tesla has exhausted its allotment of federal tax credits, while Ford has yet to reach the 200,000-vehicle limit that triggers the phase-out of the incentive.
The Tesla Model Y currently starts at $60,190 while the base Ford Mustang Mach-E is $37,495 after the credit is deducted.
Proctor also made it clear that Ford did not give her the car as a promotional stunt.
"I fully purchased it. I’m flattered that everyone thinks someone, Tesla or Ford, would give me a car. Of course I’d totally take it if they did!"
Musk has not yet commented on Proctor's car, but Ford CEO Jim Farley did congratulate her, posting, "Congrats on your new ride, @DrSianProctor! The Space White was a great choice."