Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Tesla Model S Hits 300k Miles with less than $11k maintenance costs (tesloop.com)
181 points by bspn on Aug 31, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 135 comments

Sadly, if you are not a company with a name like Tesloop, but a normal user, the issue is not cost of service but time wasted on waiting for it. Unlike a real car, teslas can only be serviced by tesla...so....







Oh, and forget doing your own maintenance or buying parts to do so. No such luck - Unlike a real car manufacturer, Tesla won't sell them to you.

Want a real electric car with real support? Buy a Chevy Bolt, maybe?

I've had a model s for 3 years now and spent a total of 2 hours at a service center for 1 maintenance appointment. Compare that to previous bmw or range rover for which I owned for around the same time and would have been at a service center for at least 2 or 3 times yearly - sometimes needing a temporary car for longer service visits... I'm sure this is not everyone's experience... but I'll never even consider any other car than a tesla ever.

> Compare that to previous bmw or range rover

Congratulations you've managed to buy two of the most unreliable brands before buying your Tesla. Both are generally known as tremendously unreliable cars (with the exception of BMW 3-series). The Range Rover in particular being known as one of those "buy two of them, one for the shop one for the garage" brands. BMW owners hide behind pre-purchased repairs being covered for 5 years via soon to be well worn warranty repairs.

If you care at all about reliability here's the rules:

- Do you want mechanical problems? Buy American, French or British/Indian brands

- Do you want Electrical problems? Buy German or Northern European brands

- Do you want none of the above? Buy consumer Japanese brands and avoid the Luxury brands except for Lexus. Korean cars are a close second.

- Do you want all of the above? buy a Jeep or an Italian car.

If only there was some place potential buyers could search for car reliability information.

I largely agree with you, although you are condescending. American cars are pretty reliable these days (albeit not as reliable as Toyota at their best). Having wrenched on both, Ford and Chevy are excellent at making good cars as cheap as possible (or cheap cars as good as possible). Their engineering is just good enough for the vehicle to work, with no effort to go above and beyond.

And to tigershark, Ferrari and Lamborghini are both notoriously unreliable. It's just the price you pay to have good performance. If you make things more reliable, it tends to mean more metal and bigger bearings, which makes it heavier and reduces handling.

Refences: http://www.reliabilityindex.com/manufacturer http://www.dashboard-light.com/reports/Mid-size.html

IMHO there's no excuse to buy an unreliable car these days and complain about it not being reliable. We're literally drowning in information and reliability information is perhaps 5-30 seconds away from any human on the planet. Anybody who buys an unreliable car in the modern age either did it knowing the car was unreliable but wanted something else from it (usually some kind of image) or is trying to be ignorant.

One of my friends just bought a car with an incredibly well known mechanical issue and got to complaining about it. When asked if he bothered to look up the reliability of that make/model he answered "no".

He has a smart phone, knows how to use Google and works in I.T. Zero excuses, zero sympathy. After pressing, turns out he liked it because it was red and a hatchback.

When I bought mine the problem was that there is no reliability data for that specific model(not surprising,considering that in 3 years it's been available only about 1000 have been sold in this country) so I had to go with the general reliability rating of the brand, but that's telling me very little. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and hope for the best, very happy with the purchase so far.

Sure, reliability is not the only reason people buy cars. If you're after something specific, you're probably going to buy it even if you have to tape the fenders on to get it off the dealer's lot.

Why would you not use reliability data from other countries?

Mostly because I wasn't able to find any. The best I could do was sign up to the forum for enthusiasts and ask, but I only got a few replies saying "yeah I had it for 2-3 years and it's fine, no problems so far" - that's not exactly statistically significant in any way. They all might develop a catastrophic failure after 3 years, but there's no way to know that.

Ford and Chevy both build limited run, very reliable 600ish HP cars. It's just that the exotic builders don't produce at scale and can brute Force problems due to their margins.

Ford is mostly okay these days, other than two of their most popular cars made in the past 5 years (2011-2016 Focus/Fiesta) having such horrible reliability issues that they're now paying out huge sums of money to a class action settlement. To be fair this was the result of their attempt to "innovate" by making a very cheap dual clutch transmission and seems to be a one-off (extremely expensive) design flaw. These transmissions last ~20K miles.


You don't need a Ferrari or Lamborghini to get an unreliable Italian car. You could also get a Fiat or Alpha Romeo.

For the record, my Toyota, being one year old, has been 3 times already for repairs, due to the Diesel Particle Filter. 25K Euro spent on the car, and 300€ in maintenance and repairs on the first year, with 21000 Km driven.

What sort of shitty dfp filter is Toyota using? I've had a Nissan Qashqai with the 1.6 diesel, used it for 3 years pretty much only in the city, and haven't had a single problem with the DPF filter, absolutely none.

What about Consumer Reports?

So I guess that a Ferrari is totally unreliable looking at your post..

I'm shocked by that. I had a Honda Fit for five years with about 50,000 miles, besides smog tests and getting new tires I never had to take it to a shop. I would expect more up-market brands to have even better reliability. Is this common that cheaper cars have better maintenance, or was I lucky?

If you have the money to buy a luxury car, you probably aren't scrutinizing cost of ownership as much as someone buying an economy model. Plus the dealers want the extended business and high end cars are more likely to be serviced at a dealership. Thus, high end manufacturers do not focus on reliability. Another contributing factor is cutting edge features. The motorized lift gate won't go bad in your economy car because it doesn't have one.

Japanese cars are famously reliable. German cars are not. A Toyota Corolla is miles ahead of a Mercedes S Class.

This is shocking to me. Do you have any insight? Mercedeses newer than 2010 are considered incredibly reliable here in Europe. They had a rough decade before that, but since the introduction of W212 E-Klasse, they're back on track. Is that different for USA models?

How can you call any car newer than 2010 "incredibly reliable"? There's not nearly enough data on it. I would certainly expect a car less than 10 years old to be reliable, incredibly reliable to me implies at least 20 years of reliable operation. I own 2 Japanese cars that are both over 20 years old and have over 250K miles/400K km each, one of which is a Corolla, and they still run fine.

I'm of course talking about high-mileage applications. These newer Mercedeses (specifically W212 E-Klasse) are popular among taxi drivers and often have more than 800000 km on them - and still going strong. I'm going to buy this car for this exact reason - because taxi drivers are so happy with it.

How many Japanese vehicles were compromised (and had resulting loss of use) by the Takata airbag debacle?

While other answers have touched on some of the reasons for this, another one I always assumed is that the econ-o-box car will sell in far greater volume than the luxury car, meaning costs of R&D can be spread over more cars.

I would guess a Honda Civic actually has way more $ in R&D spent on developing it than a new Ferrari, or even a relatively common luxury like a Porsche. Someone correct me if that's wrong.

Yes. Upmarket brands are known to be plagued with various electrical and "feature" problems that don't bother other cars - the lone exception appears to be Lexus, which tends to rate about as high as Toyotas.

But Acuras tend to be less reliable than Hondas

Infinities tend to be less reliable than Nissans

and so on.

Basically, fewer moving parts means better reliability in general. In addition, lower level cars are much cheaper to repair for various reasons.

Want a car that will run forever on the cheap? You're probably driving it.

I have had a 1996 R33 Skyline for 7 years, more than 100,000km and haven't had a single issue asside from a worn suspension boot. Given its age, that should be remarkable, but it is my second R33 and the first was just as uneventful maintenance wise. I am not particularly kind to them either.

The first one was rear ended by a Suzuki Vitara, which wrote off the car, in case anyone was curious why I have had two.

They do admit they have a problem on that front and are addressing it, so there's no reason to think it's a permanent issue that will still be around in 3-5 years. Mobile deployment trucks, e.g., are handling the easiest issues that do not require a visit to a service center.

Tesla's service centers are all corporate-owned, so unlike traditional dealership model, all the startup and operating costs are born by the company, so I'd expect the initial rollout to be slower, subject to cash on hand and general priorities (invest in battery production? or ramping up model 3 production? wider supercharger availability? or service center coverage?)

There's a silver lining though - it's pretty clear the service centers are not Tesla's money-makers and the company is not in the business of devising devious ways to screw you out of more money via expensive maintenance service and various scheduled repairs.

If I am a Tesla owner who has paid more than $70,000 for a car then I'd at least expect my time is not wasted in waiting for my car to be serviced. All these "cash-on-hand" and "they do admit they have problem on hand" and "it's not a permanent issue" are not my problem. AFAIK, Tesla keeps investing money they make in their projects like Tesla Semi and building 4 new Gigafactories. So at this point it seems to me that for next 10 years, the "cash-on-hand" will always be short. Agreed?

From your tone, I'm guessing you're not a Tesla owner. You're right, in that it is not your problem. If you wish to ensure it remains not your problem, don't buy a Tesla.

It's fairly new tech that's being made in small quantities. You'll face the same sorts of problems if you buy a Porsche. The Bugatti Veryon is recommended to have tire changes done by shipping it back to the factory.

Tesla is not ready for the mass market. It is not yet made in mass market numbers. Buying a Tesla today, and expecting to not suffer the consequences of being an early adopter, is silly. Maybe don't do that?

I disagree, and I am a model S owner for 18 months. Tesla vehicles seem to follow the "Microsoft in the 90s" trajectory where a 1.0 is a rushed and unstable product, 1.1 is a "service pack" fixing most issues and 1.2 is a reliable workhorse.

There is much more than that to be a mass market automobile. They can't even produce enough cars to qualify. They don't have enough repair techs to even cover that many.

I should probably disclose that I actually own a bunch of Tesla stock. I'm happy with where the company is headed but they still aren't ready to be a mass marketing automobile supplier. That's probably just a few more years away, however.

> From your tone, I'm guessing you're not a Tesla owner. You're right, in that it is not your problem. If you wish to ensure it remains not your problem, don't buy a Tesla.

Except that's not an option for most people, because their taxes are used to subsidize Tesla. If you're a working American you've already bought a part share in a Tesla, you just don't get to drive one.

I didn't get to drive an M1A1 tank, either.

For your $0.003 contribution to those subsidies, you get cleaner air and maybe less global warming. New tech has obstacles to overcome. Qualified service technicians will be here eventually, hopefully.

> New tech has obstacles to overcome.

Yep, definitely. And it should do so on the dime of investors and early adopters, not the public.

Do you know who developed and paid for the early years of the very device, and network, you're using? How about GPS? How about vaccinations? How about police, fire departments, and libraries? Where do you draw this line?

Look, you've paid a trivial percentage of a penny to subsidize them. You want me to PayPal you a dime? I don't mind. I already pay an enormous amount in taxes. I'll send you a dime. That should cover your costs for the rest of your earning years.

I'm the owner of an EV who benefited to the tune of 10k and I have to admit in this specific case I agree with the parent comment (but maybe not the tone).

I feel like the rebates should only apply to EVs under 30k.

And maybe be a percentage off the price of the base model, since there is no reason the taxpayer should have subsidized my EV by 10k when I spent 7k on features that are completely optional.

I don't think subsidizing 90k EVs is going to bring EVs to the mainstream. The people spending 4k on FSD while AP2 struggled to catch-up with AP1 are usually not people who would have balked at a 100k Model S.

Subsidizing a 30k Nissan Leaf on the other hand, which can be a 15k used car in a few years helps get the people buying in the segments with the most cars being sold into EVs and normalizing the idea. I think EVs will really take off when people connotate EV with entry level mid-size sedans instead of top end luxury sedans.

I really don't mind the extra couple of bucks. The value of subsidies is the increased adoption. The actual cost is probably lower than the cost for toilet paper for all the federal prison inmates.

I hope my taxes encouraged you to upgrade to ludicrous mode. That would make me happy.

To put it another way, I also don't mind if someone buys a candy bar with their EBT/SNAP card. Of all the tax dollars we spend, this pretty much falls into the couch-change category.

It's not about whether you mind, it's whether people who do mind should be forced to contribute.

Yeah, no. That's not how society works. Rand was an idiot.

> Where do you draw this line?

Well, if it were up to me? I'd stop it entirely. Pare Govt. back to 'core business': courts, embassies, Police, Defense (actual defense, not invading foreign countries on a whim), that sort of thing.

There's a grey area around public funding of defense-related technologies; it's hard for several reasons, especially the tendency towards such systems becoming incredibly corrupt.

I disagree, but can respect your opinion. I am actually probably best described as a libertarian socialist. I'm in the lower left of the political square.

I was a libertarian before the rise of Rand and the usurpation of the moniker. We used to be the crazy left, actually. I prefer to think of it as pragmatism.

If you want to put it on a bumper sticker, I basically want to ensure as much individual freedom as I can, while ensuring protections of the commons. As an avid hunter, fisherman, and gardener, I certainly consider the environment to be a part of the commons - and don't mind subsidizing things to improve it.

It's pragmatism and an awareness that humans are not rational actors who operate with complete information.

Note: I am not asserting that I am correct and you must change your views. I'm expanding to show why I believe as I do. I also don't mind taxes. I actually pay more than I use, but I am paying for the system that enabled that.

All our taxes are used to subsidize gasoline too.

Yep. But two wrongs don't make a right.

Want a real electric car with real support? Buy a Chevy Bolt, maybe?

Production runs of the Chevy Bolt are reported to be limited in size because they lose a lot per car. This does not sound like a vehicle which will ever be produced in quantity that mechanics will learn how to do a good job of maintaining.

I'd prefer to take my chances with Tesla than to take my chances with a niche discontinued product.

This does not sound like a vehicle which will ever be produced in quantity ... take my chances with a niche discontinued product.

You heard it here first guys... the #1 selling electric vehicle in the US last month [0] is not popular enough to risk buying it.

Chevy's investing heavily in expanding production [1], in preparation to shut it down and discontinue it.

Everyone stay away...

0. http://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/

1. http://insideevs.com/chevrolet-bolt-production-to-double-aft...

That's somewhat misleading. The Bolt is not competing against the Model S, but the Model 3, which is going to be produced in vastly larger numbers.

Let me add I am disappointed Bolt sales are so low. I want to see EV's entirely replace ICE's, and that will happen faster if there are more different popular brands and models for buyers to choose from.

> Let me add I am disappointed Bolt sales are so low

Well, they are also sold out in most places.

Bolt sales would be higher if they were actually in stock and available to purchase in every state.

Interesting. Do you have any citations handy? Thanks!

https://www.inverse.com/article/32239-why-gm-loses-money-che... claims a loss of $9k/vehicle, but the manufacturer does it to keep their average emissions/vehicle under legal limits.

It's a CARB credit play by Chevrolet.


No, it doesn't. They're taking Tesla's corporate loss and dividing it by sales to say that Tesla loses money on each vehicle sold. This is incredibly poor reasoning. It's like saying Amazon lost money on every product it sold until 2016. Tesla has a net loss because they invest very heavily in R&D for new vehicles, battery factories, etc. Their per-vehicle profit margins are actually very high, often quoted as around 25% [1][2].

[1] https://seekingalpha.com/article/3972238-tesla-manages-make-...

[2] https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/03/27/how-tesla-...

I had a bmw 5 series under lease, I also could not take it to other than bmw service center and can't fix it myself ( I am sure 99% of new premium car owners don't fix their cars themselves ) and everytime I went to a bmw service center it was a minimum of 2 days. One time it took 2 weeks to get something related to electronics fixed. My friend owns Chevy Bolt and he sends it for a service almost every other month, something new keeps breaking and he is very i satisfied with his car. So every case is different I guess

Maintenance and repairs have been a big issue with Teslas, but they are rolling out a new program that might improve. With the launch of the Model 3, it's important that they make service cheaper and significantly more accessible.


As far as the Bolt is concerned, it's a nice commuter EV, but not nearly as great as a Tesla for road trips due to the fact that charging is much slower, harder to find, and more expensive.

Noticed that you framed the debate as a zero sum game between "Tesla" and "reason".

Doing so diminishes the possibility for an open discussion.

Edit: thank you for updating your post. Your understandable frustration is still clear but now the discussion is much easier.

Not trying to troll or be rude, but I actually can't find any problem with the original post. Could you elucidate?

It originally ended with a line saying something like, "I realize that Tesla is popular and reason is not, so bring on the downvotes"

That's basically saying "most of you are unreasonable," which is a pretty dickish way to start a conversation.

Thank you. I was just dismissing that last sentence without much consideration. I see your point.

correct - making people wait for months to get required service is NOT reasonable (And you can make no excuse for it). Other car companies (including those that provide electric cars), do act reasonably in terms of their service capacity matching demand. The fact that Tesla did not plan for this does not make it excusable.

The way I see it is that running businesses as complex as building, selling, and servicing a car with many unique innovations (high-end electric-only, charging stations, skipping dealer-only system, presales, iterative features, etc) that they very likely won't get everything right the first time.

Particularly the type of things big companies who move slowly do best.

You may find that unreasonable, but I believe this is a perspective that drives many poorly thought out regulatory laws which punish experimentation and companies which fail to execute with an (unreasonable) expectation of perfection. Another perspective is that these are growing pains of an immature company that many people took a (known) risk betting on, particularly people from a high-income bracket who could afford their early models.

Tesla should certainly be held responsible for their failures so they fix them - not fixing them would be what is unreasonable in my books.

There is a popular business concept called 'crossing the chasm' [1] that applies well here. Jumping from startup -> mainstream company is a significant leap which many companies fail to do. Tesla has not yet crossed this market gap and their ability to consistently provide support services such as these, rather than simply an innovative new product that people want, will likely be their primary challenge in the future.

[1] https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Crossing_the_Chasm

Edit: I see you've made an edit on the subtext predicting downvotes from Tesla fanboys which I believe was the sentiment OP was referring to

I never said I wish to punish them regulatorily. I disprove of such tactics in general.

I said that I (personally) will punish them financially by not buying their products until I can be sure they can provide the level of service that I require.

Then you were likely never an ideal early adopter for their products anyway, which is how they should be perceived if you want to compare them to Chevy and Ford. It may not be polite to say this but it's the reality of business.

Tesla's ability to solve this problem will likely be their greatest challenge going forward. They've proven repeatedly that they can get their product and marketing right to get customers. But there's far more to a long-term large scale automobile company than that.

I believe the most rational perspective is trying to look at companies in the context of the development stage they are in. Tesla is a bit unique as they went public fast and made big promises, where they come off as a mature company... when they really aren't.

> Then you were likely never an ideal early adopter for their products anyway, which is how they should be perceived if you want to compare them to Chevy and Ford. It may not be polite to say this but it's the reality of business.

There's no way to phrase "wait 1+ month for needed, at times limiting, service on a $100,000+ vehicle" as being acceptable in any shape or form, not even "oh well, I guess you're just not an ideal early adopter". Especially as Tesla was claiming their disconnect from the dealership model was a good thing (which I agree upon).

I mean, if you have a $100,000+ vehicle, you probably also have a couple other $40k-$60k vehicles you can drive for that month, right?

Most people jump on the fanboyism of Tesla spouting nonsense like, "electric cars don't require maintenance." Seems like everyone believes this and rightly expected them to work. There are enough negatives with them being EV to cover adopter risk. Part of the getting buy in was the assumption they worked...

It could be solved overnight with a partnership. If the model 3 starts to really eat into mid-price automaker's share they will be clamoring to lock down an exclusive service agreement.

Tesla, Nissan Leaf, or Chevy Bolt - any electric car should have similar benefits in reduced maintenance costs.

I had a Leaf for 2 years. Maintenance costs were practically nonexistent (more than covered by the wildly overpriced, and still low, up-front prepayment). Seems all they did was change an air filter a couple times.

EXCEPT the tires. A surprisingly under-reported (hopefully because it may have been resolved) issue with EVs is they can wreck tires in a hurry. IIRC, I had to replace "65,000 mile" tires in 17,000 miles because they were near bald. That glorious incredible acceleration EV owners so enjoy when taking off from stoplights? the enormous torque tears that rubber up fast. Fortunately there are now tires built specifically for EVs and their intense strains, but I've not seen reports on how they're doing and expect they're relatively much more costly per-mile than tires for ICE vehicles.

Tesla and Chevy have sophisticated cooling systems for their batteries. The Nissan Leaf does not. IIRC Nissan has had considerable battery degradation issues in hotter climates, like Arizona. And a failed battery is one heck of a maintenance cost.

Yup, and only one of those makes you wait months for maintenance appointments

I'd still rather buy a Tesla.

Edit: look up how many people GM killed with their ignition switch recall (124). I'm not putting my wife and daughter in a legacy automaker vehicle just because those cars get fixed faster


11 cars had zero fatalities over a 4 year period.


How many are manufactured by an auto company that's attempting to accelerate the transition to electric mobility? Zero.

Your list provided is composed primarily of poor fuel mileage SUVs.

> Oh, and forget doing your own maintenance or buying parts to do so. No such luck - Unlike a real car manufacturer, Tesla won't sell them to you.

That might be a legitimate criticism of an economy priced car targeted at a very cost sensitive market, but a Tesla Model S is not that car.

I doubt a significant fraction of owners of recent model year $100k+ luxury cars are doing their own maintenance, or there are enough who want this to justify the business case for owner self maintainability.

I believe that a market for a cheap owner repairable EV exists or eventually will, though. Perhaps Tesla will offer something in that segment but if they don't other manufacturers will.

If the alternative is waiting over a month for a service appointment I think a lot of people would be willing do do a home repair.

I know a few Tesla owners (I'm not one myself). The Tesla's a fun car for them, and a daily driver for one of them, but in no case their only car.

None of them has any interest in doing their own repairs, and never will.

More than that, if you could buy Tesla parts and service Teslas yourself, people who didn't want to do a home repair could still go to a local repairman who wasn't booked solid for a month.

The price of a car is not inversely related to the likelihood that its owner does maintenance and repairs himself or herself. Sports car enthusiasts do more of their own maintenance than the average car owner. As an example, check out rennlist.com for Porsche owners, many of whom have cars that are well over $100k in price. If anything, shelling out that much cash for a car should entitle you to priority access to parts for the vehicle.


>During the first 300,000 miles the total combined maintenance and fuel costs of the Tesla Model S were $10,492, with a total of 12 days in the shop. Had this been an Mercedes S class, the scheduled routine maintenance and fuel would have been $86,000 ($52,000 maintenance and $36,000* fuel) with 112 days of servicing, or for a Lincoln Town Car $70k,000 ($28,000 maintenance and $42,000 fuel) with around 100 days of servicing.

Not sure why they mention the fuel cost of these cars without citing the electricity cost of the Tesla. It does make the numbers bigger.

> The electric drivetrain, when coupled with a vast supercharging network...

I took that to mean that the car exclusively refueled on Superchargers, so the fuel cost was $0. That is a legitimate apples-to-apples comparison to the ICE vehicles.

I don't think that's apples-to-apples -- you have to go out of your way to always use a supercharger, so you'd have to account for the value of the time lost in traveling to a supercharger station compared to doing all the same journeys and using nearby gas stations. (Refueling at a supercharger is slower too, so that's extra fillup time.)

Alternatively you could use the electricity cost of recharging it at home, plus the cost of the occasional missed journeys that are out of range from not always being full. (Say, book their cost at what you'd pay for an Uber for those legs.)

(I don't know if charging a Tesla at home overnight is enough to get to 100% -- anyone know?)

This is a comparison of the vehicle for their business, which is a "city mobility service". I imagine any business like this is either going to have on-site fuel, or an agreement with a fuel depot with good rates, and drivers would stop by that location on the way home anyway, so this is probably comparable for this type of service use.

> I don't think that's apples-to-apples -- you have to go out of your way to always use a supercharger

For average person - yes, Tesloop, however, is Culver City - based, also known as home to the Culver City Supercharger, so there's a bit of a hometown advantage for them.

In fact, Tesla's recent penalty fee for hogging a supercharger spot long after the vehicle has finished charging is related to Tesla owners' complaints (on TMC, Twitter and Facebook groups) about Tesloop vehicles parked overnight in Culver City supercharger spots.

Okay, but then the comparison should be marked as a TCO comparison just for Culver City, which is, for that reason, atypical.

The other thing is this is just a data point for one car. If the results were for a dozen cars or more it would be useful. Imagine if Backblaze gave failure rate based on 1 HDD.

Exclusively refuelled using proprietary infrastructure currently provided by the car's manufacturer is not an apples-to-apples comparison to anything.

Supercharger cost is $0? Apparently only for the first 400kWh per annum for models S and X, which Tesla says is good for about 1000 miles [1].

Electricity is not free, even if Tesla is subsidizing it.

[1] https://www.tesla.com/support/supercharging

All older S and X have free unlimited supercharging, and new ones do as well if brought via a referral.

It is very misleading - I would call it deceptive - for the article to say "total combined maintenance and fuel costs of the Tesla Model S..." [my emphasis] when the fuel costs are covered by Tesla, especially as this is a loss-leader that you can no longer take advantage of.

True but the more relevant question for someone making a decision today is how the economics change if you include the cost of electricity.

> Not sure why they mention the fuel cost of these cars without citing the electricity cost of the Tesla. It does make the numbers bigger.

The article didn't break the fuel number out for the Tesla, but it does state it is included in the total.

It says that, but the math doesn't leave any room for fuel.

> During the first 300,000 miles the total combined maintenance and fuel costs of the Tesla Model S were $10,492, with a total of 12 days in the shop. Of these costs, $6,900 was scheduled maintenance and $3500 was headlight damage due to driving through deep water.

I guess maybe they're including fuel costs in "scheduled maintenance"?

My God, those must be some special headlights.

They cost more than any car I've ever owned.

The headlights in my 2003 Acura CL were $1000 apiece in parts alone (in 2006).

Unfortunately, most new luxury-ish cars come with fancy LED headlight units which cost several thousand dollars to replace. It's no longer a bulb replacement, but essentially replacing a computer attached to digitally directed LED arrays with sensors and gyroscopes to assess lighting conditions and leveling.

That sounds.... Really complex. What problem is being solved?

Self-leveling and washing are required by law for lights beyond a certain brightness. Older tech halogen headlights aren't as bright and don't require the fancy actuators and wipers. Brighter lights, of any source, require both.

So the problem being solved is "I'd really like to see oncoming traffic go blind and crash as I pass by"? Use dimmer lights.

Full dynamic LED headlights are actually a pretty cool innovation. They're brighter, they can illuminate corners, and they can avoid blinding opposing traffic by selectively deactivating or dimming parts of the light field. (I don't know if the Model S specifically has that latter feature though, but it's one of the big selling points of the technology.)

Keep in mind that these are high-end luxury cars we're talking about. Folks don't buy a new Mercedes to get halogen headlights. They know it's expensive and are okay with that.

The problem being solved there is being able to see further in the dark.

Including time spent refueling (charging for Tesla) would make the comparison more fair.

Reminds me of the argument made in https://shift.newco.co/this-is-how-big-oil-will-die-38b843bd... a few months ago:

Gas powered vehicles require many more (and more complex) parts, which inevitably need to be replaced throughout the lifespan of the car. There's a big incentive for services like lyft, uber, and future autonomous driving companies to move to electric vehicles because they have much fewer moving parts, and therefore are cheaper to maintain on a per-mile basis.

That is a big incentive for everyone who likes money, not only for services like Lyft and Uber.

I am surprised people are trying to poke holes in this article. You're arguing with data. This isn't an extrapolation or a estimate, this is numbers based on actual use. You can say you don't think it will work like this for you, or you don't think Tesla has good service, but clearly for at least one set of people they are getting a massive ROI by buying Tesla's.

It's not about poking holes, is about showing the ones that exist. It's only one data point (with unusual circumstances, like paying $0 for charging all the time).

Its not unusual at all. Anyone could have had these same circumstances.

So they saved a bunch of money by putting a ton of miles on before age related problems started showing up. In other news the sky is blue.

It's component deterioration from age that really gets you on a luxury car. Seat motors fail, wiring harnesses deteriorate, etc.

It's also worth mentioning that they didn't crash one. With enough road hours eventually it will happen. The vehicles that can be serviced by a normal shop will be cheaper to repair.

The lack of downtime is very impressive but if it's really that much cheaper than running a fleet of town cars then why do they need to twist the numbers?

Components are much more likely to fail from being used consistently than due to the sheer passage of time. I would take a car that has been kept untouched in a garage over many years before I would take its equivalent model year that had been driven 300,000 miles.

Plastics and rubbers degrade over time.

For example, rear and side window motors tend to fail first because the mechanical components are used the least, become more full of dust, the rubber tracks harden, motors work harder and burn out.

The garage will help a lot but when a vehicle is on the road for 10-20yr issues specific to it's service that can't easily be foreseen or simulated in tested pop up.

> So they saved a bunch of money by putting a ton of miles on before age related problems started showing up. In other news the sky is blue.

Even if that's true the comparison to the maintenance and fuel coats of other similarly driven luxury vehicles is still valid.

Except the fuel costs.

They used subsidized electricity costs through Tesla charging network at 0$ cost.

That would be like saying MB giving 0$ gas if u fill up at their designated gas stations.

Tesla still comes out on top, but I have never heard of that lengthy repairs for MB. General maintenance a few hours, big issues a few days max.

U can take it to any MB dealership or authorized repair shop, or local shop. Courtesy pickup, drop off and or loaner vehicle. Don't even need special status.

If MB gave gas for free, Tesloop could have removed the fuel costs from the S-Class total. But MB doesn't give gas for free. On the other hand, Tesloop have benefited massively from Tesla's subsidized charging. I'm curious why you think it should be ignored.

For tesloop specific results, it shouldn't be ignored, but if u are taking the results and applying to general public buying model s today, you only get a estimated 1000 miles of energy for free.

There are costs to new general consumer for fuel on Tesla network, no unlimited free charging

At least the aluminium body of the Model S and X won't rust the way most cars do in places that use road salt in the winter. Can't say the same for the Model 3.

But is not mechanical damage to aluminum more expensive? Aluminum stretches much easier than steel and you cannot just stretch it to fix bends and dents. It's probably cheaper to replace external panels but I don't even know what you do to the monobody's damage.

> "the total combined maintenance and fuel costs of the Tesla Model S were $10,492 [...] of these costs, $6,900 was scheduled maintenance and $3500 was headlight damage"

So the fuel costs are only $92? (10,492 - 6,900 - 3,500)

A Mercedes would spend 112 days out of two years in the shop? I know some people with MBs, and they aren't in the shop one day per week...

Most normal people dont put 300k miles on their car in two years either.

That's ten 30k mile services and probably 20-30 oil changes on a gas car.

Yeah, though if you're running a car like that, you'd combine services and adjust the schedule a bit. Rotate the tires and change the oil. There are gas vehicles with heavy duty cycles, so it seems a bit apples to oranges to compare to the MB service book for noncommercial consumers.

I imagine the author took all required maintenance and the time required and added it up. I imagine some maintenance can happen concurrently which was not accounted for in the article.

To me, no part of that article was that surprising (impressive nonetheless) except for the $6500 headlight repair from "driving through deep water".

Wonder how exactly that happened, and what damage was caused to the car.

Minor typo here, article states $3500 for headlight repair ($6900 for scheduled maintenance)

And a definition of deep.

So, did anyone put in their email to get the service records? Please repost. I'm interested in the cost of the tires.

A metric fuckton each, four metric fucktons per vehicle.

They're special and IIRC have a liner to reduce NVH because that's one of their selling points.

Yeah I know how much the tires cost. I want to know how many times they've replaced them because if they drove like me they would have spent all that money and then some, just on the tires. I'm a little skeptical of their total.

I just posted about tires. My single data point is that "65,000 mile" tires lasted 17,000 thanks to high torque. Decided to replace those "eco-friendly" tires with "made for EVs" tires which cost substantially more, and I expect would last only a "normal" distance.

Between Nissan, the tire manufacturer, and contending the "factory spec" was defective by mis-design & thus at least partially covered under warranty, I managed to get the price way down.

Totally depends on the wheel type. Our 19" was ~1k for all 4 and lasted ~35k. It's a bit but not as bad as you make it out to be.

Interesting podcast on Tesloop [0]. A youngling like him starting the company with his dad running it.

[0] https://gimletmedia.com/episode/tesloop-s02-ep11/

What kind of battery lifetime does Tesla expect, and how much charge capacity is actually left after 300k miles?

On the homepage rn: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15144315

Upshot, most of it.

Makes sense. Less moving parts means less to break. I like the trend towards (mechanically) simpler vehicles

Not terribly impressive to me. I have about $15k in my 2003 Honda Pilot.

The Model S is a luxury car. A much better comparison to your Pilot will be the Model 3, though of course it will be a good while before we have the long-term data for it.

Touché. I forget my friends BMW, which was a real hanger queen.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact