Over the last year we have been doing extensive research into the electric vehicle (EV) market for the purpose of becoming the leading pre-owned EV dealer in our area. Recently, we acquired a 2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD to expand our knowledge and give us hands-on experience. We have had the Tesla for three weeks and here is some of the knowledge we have gained since we obtained it.
We love the roar of an internal combustion engine, the feeling of the engine working to increase speed and the feeling of the transmission shifting. I believe most car people have what I call mechanical remorse. To explain, mechanical remorse is that feeling after you have floored a car, while the engine is doing all it can to provide you all the acceleration and power it can, as fast as the engine can, while screaming at its red line rpm before it shifts, and then continues this pattern through each of the gears of the transmission until you let off the accelerator. You feel the performance of the vehicle which makes you happy while at the same time you feel terrible for putting this poor vehicle through this torture. You quickly forget about these things when you feel the instant torque, unmatched performance, and the somewhat eerie quietness of an electric vehicle. There is no mechanical remorse, there is no engine screaming, no red line rpms, just your foot to the floor as your head gets pushed back into the seat you are so comfortably sitting in, and the next thing you know, a few seconds later you decide to look at the speedometer and quickly realize you are now doing 100mph without even a thought that you were at that level of speed. The feeling is unbelievable until you experience it yourself.
We are car people. We love driving! We didn’t think that having a vehicle with autopilot would be that big of a deal. We were wrong! I have a 40-mile commute to work from home that I make 3 days a week (I spend 2 nights a week at our shop to cover the 24hr. towing division of our business). When I drive the Tesla home as soon as I leave the driveway, I typically engage auto pilot and allow it to navigate through the two small towns that are in between my home and our shop, allowing it to stop or go through the traffic lights, reduce and increase speed based on the posted speed limits and navigate the curves and passing lanes all on its own during my commute. Initially, this was an uneasy experience (having a vehicle control itself), however, once you gain trust in the Tesla (which honestly only took a couple trips for me) my commute was much more enjoyable and required much less effort and stress. If I am being honest, when I drive any other vehicle without autopilot, I wish I was driving the Tesla.
Nearly, scratch that, everyone that has driven our Model 3 has been overly impressed by its features and performance. Most had misconceptions about Tesla and electric vehicles that were quickly dismissed during their experience driving and listening to us explain the features and specifications of the vehicle. My favorite part is the new driver’s reaction when I tell them to “floor it”. They typically glance at me and say “you sure? “And I in turn say “yep”. They stomp their foot to the floor and their eyes open wide as a smile as big as you imagine appears on their face. Some have broken out in full on belly laughter as the experience overwhelms them. It gives me great satisfaction to provide someone else this amazing experience.
After the initial purchase, the cost of ownership is very low. There are no oil changes, no transmission services, no coolant services, only a cabin air filter that periodically needs to be changed. The brakes are rarely used because of the battery regeneration that takes place when letting off the accelerator. With fuel prices now exceeding $4 per gallon owning an electric vehicle is a huge advantage. In our area the cost of electricity is about 11 cents per kWh (kilowatt hour). We have driven the Tesla 1,456 miles since we acquired it and have charged 620 kWh. We have had a mix of charging at the shop and home, as well as at a Tesla Supercharger. In our estimation it costs about 2.5 times as much to charge at a Tesla Supercharger as it does at home however, time is your trade off as the Tesla Supercharger can charge the Tesla approximately 16 times as fast as at home with a 220-volt power source or 120 times faster than charging with a 110-volt power source. If we would have charged 100% at home or our shop our cost for “fuel” would have been $68.20 or 4.7 cents per mile. With a gas vehicle that averages 30 miles per gallon it would have consumed 48.53 gallons of gasoline to go 1,456 miles. At a cost of $4.00 per gallon for gasoline the total cost for fuel would have been $194.12 or 13.3 cents per mile, $125.92 more than the Tesla. Another thing to take into consideration is we have not been driving the Tesla as efficiently as possible as we have had many test drives displaying the performance of the vehicle so in our opinion the actual number of kWh used is higher than under normal driving conditions so the savings could be greater than they are for us. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation the average person drives 14,263 miles per year. If you drove a Tesla under the same conditions as we have driven the Tesla it would cost $670.36 to drive those 14,263 miles compared to $1,896.98 to drive 14,263 miles with a vehicle that has an average of 30 miles per gallon saving you $1,226.62 per year in fuel alone.
In the three weeks that we have had the Tesla we have not been disappointed in the least and it has exceeded our expectations in pretty much all areas. There are many other areas we could dive into on electric vehicle and we probably will in the future but this is all for now.
Thank you for taking the time to read our short article and if you found this interesting and would like us to do more articles like this in the future let us know on our Facebook http://facebook.com/milleratrllc or twitter https://twitter.com/milleratr or leave a comment below.
If you are in our area, feel free to stop in and take the Tesla we have for a test drive. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about electric vehicles, and if you are interested in purchasing a pre-owned electric vehicle that we don’t have in stock let us know and we will work with you to find exactly what you are looking for.