Pros and Cons of Owning a Tesla
As far as electric vehicles go, Tesla certainly remains the industry leader in terms of battery technology, vehicle safety and a “simplified” shopping experience (no dealerships!) for a car which is environmentally friendly(er).
If you’re contemplating making the switch to an electric vehicle from a traditional gas-powered car, you won’t regret it… especially if you’ve got your eye on a Tesla.
Owning a Tesla has more perks than pitfalls; we’ll share a few of each in this post so you can make an informed decision about whether a Tesla is the best choice for your lifestyle.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Owning a Tesla
It’s essential to do your research before purchasing a Tesla. Explore forums* and message boards to see how owners feel about their vehicles. Pay attention to common pain points or complaints and determine if they are relevant to you.
*Disclaimer Regarding Forums: As with any place on the internet, EV forums can be a tricky place. For every person who LOVES their Tesla you might experience another who absolutely despises the brand. Forums can also be a breeding ground for bad advice and incorrect information, so keep this in mind and proceed with caution when navigating forums.
The Benefits of Being a Tesla Owner
1. Time Saving & Convenience
It’s somewhat impossible to fully calculate the measure of value just in time saved by owning a Tesla. Imagine never visiting another gas station (especially with fuel prices skyrocketing) and simply plugging in your vehicle when you get home to get it powered up for your next drive. You’ll save money on gas and pay a one-time fee to install a Tesla charging station in your home. For people whom the fill-up experience at gas stations is particularly difficult, such as those with disabilities, the ability to refuel at home overnight is invaluable.
Tesla vehicles are engineered to be the safest cars in the world. Models S, X, and 3 have achieved the lowest overall probability of injury by the US government’s assessment program.
Tesla vehicles have also received an NHTSA 5-star safety rating in every category, including its energy absorbent crash structure, rigid passenger compartment and side impact protection.
Tesla vehicles feature tons of incredible technology for owners; these include impressive infotainment and games, a 360-degree dashcam, self-driving technology, security measures like Sentry mode and even a “fart-on-demand” function (you know, for the kids!)
You can also use the app to locate your car’s exact location (keep that in mind next time you’re lost in a large parking lot!), unlock the vehicle remotely, set it to “Valet Mode” or turn on climate control. Beyond this, you can watch Netflix and set the vehicle to “Dog Mode” next time your furry pal is in the car and you have to step away.
These are just a few of our favorite features–there are frankly too many to list. Technology and frequent updates are what makes the Tesla brand so elite. Whereas other brands of vehicle and EVs are outdated within a few years, Tesla vehicles continuously update with newly available features.
4. Driving Experience
Behind the wheel, you’ll find Tesla to be an extremely smooth, quiet and emission free ride. Acceleration speeds are quick and responsive, even in their non-performance vehicles. Most gas-powered drivers who switch to EVs in general agree that the electric vehicle driving experience is far superior to that of a gas-powered car.
5. Easy Service Routine (and a Lack of Regular Service Needs!)
Say goodbye to waiting around at the dealership for service! Oil changes, belt replacements and maintenance are a thing of the past as a Tesla owner. The brakes may need replacement eventually, but with Tesla’s regenerative braking this is more rare than with gas-powered vehicles.
Scheduling a tire rotation, A/C filter change and a number of other minor fixes or repairs to your Tesla is easy, convenient and affordable. While you might have to wait a little for your appointment, this can be scheduled through the Tesla Mobile App and a Tesla Service Technician will come to your home and perform the service call in your driveway. In our experience, these service calls are prompt, quick and usually cost ~$25 to $50 while the car is under warranty.
Drawbacks of Tesla Ownership
It’s no secret that Tesla vehicles are expensive to purchase and can be costly to service or repair. While under warranty most of your routine repairs should be very affordable. Once out of warranty, more major repairs such as the battery or shocks can be more rare but definitely costly. You want to be able to enjoy driving your car without worrying about the cost if you get in an accident. If you aren’t aware of these costs, check out this post where Tesla owners share their repair bills.
With expensive repairs comes high insurance costs. Make sure to get a quote from your insurance provider before purchasing a Tesla. Better to be safe than sorry!
2. Customer Service Pains
Tesla appears to be still hitting their stride in terms of effective and rapid customer service experience. They can be difficult to reach regarding purchase of your vehicle or for service requests. Much is done via email or through their app and service appointments are often weeks out. Tesla is actively working to remedy this issue by increasing the number of service centers they have in popular regions around the US, but for now this remains a possible issue.
3. Longer Road Trips
While Tesla has the largest network of Level 3 (DC Fast Charging) Superchargers in the world, the impact of insufficient EV infrastructure is still an issue. This can make longer road trips a challenge as you have to plan your trip around the location of these Superchargers. The good news is, there are about 7,000 Superchargers in the US at very accessible spots such as Wawa, shopping malls, etc. If you’re driving a non-Tesla you may have an even bigger issue since DC Fast Chargers such as Electrify America are harder to come by. (As a matter of comparison, Electrify America currently has about 3,500 chargers in the US.)
Accessibility: Tesla Charging Stations Around the World and At Home
The accessibility of charging stations out in the world is one of the main hesitations consumers have with going electric. For now, having some sort of charging option at home is absolutely essential if you plan to be among the “early adopters” of EV.
There are three levels of chargers for Tesla (and all EVs); 2 of these can be installed in your home.
Level 1 is 120 volts and can take around four days to get a full charge. This is a standard 3-prong outlet in your home. You can plug your car in just as if you were charging your cell phone. The charge speed is slow (3-4 miles per hour), hence the nickname “trickle charging.”
Level 2 is 240 volts and can charge anywhere from 6-30 hours to be fully charged. Electrical amperages range from 20 to 60, and there are lots of options of chargers to choose from here. The preferred style of Level 2 charging for Tesla is called the Tesla Wall Connector. For your convenience Gulfstar keeps these in stock at our warehouse for you!
Lastly is Level 3, which is 480 volts and is known as the Tesla Supercharger. It can power up a Tesla in as little as 20 minutes. This is not an option that will ever be made available residentially, but Tesla charging stations around the world do and they are easy to find.
Recently Made the Switch to a Tesla? Let’s Talk EV Chargers.
If you’re new to the world of electric vehicles as a proud Tesla owner, congratulations! It’s a brave new world and we’re here to help you adjust to charging a car at home.
At Gulfstar, our Tesla-certified technicians have installed thousands of Tesla Wall Connectors in the Tampa Bay area. But more than that, we’re a customer-focused business that takes pride in offering a concierge-level experience every time.
Our mission is simple: we analyze your current electrical setup and recommend the best EV charging station for your home. Contact us today if you need an EV charging station for your vehicle. We’d love to help you out!