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Top Tesla Myths Thoroughly Debunked: Range, Cost, Maintenance, and More

by Claribelle Deveza December 04, 2019


Tesla myths and rumors are aplenty. Despite such a supportive community behind Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk, the general public still doesn’t fully grasp the all-electric automaker’s mission or understand its next-gen vehicles. 

Model 3 owner and YouTube Channel host Tesla Raj tackled the most common Tesla myths and debunked each one with factual statements. While Tesla Raj’s arguments may not surprise Tesla enthusiasts, those outside the community may find it quite informative. 

The YouTuber mainly focused on myths that could fit in the following assumptions about all Tesla vehicles and the company overall:

  1. Tesla owners will experience Range Anxiety
  2. Teslas are Expensive
  3. Teslas are Dangerous
  4. Tesla is Bankrupt


Credit: Tesla

Range Anxiety

Range anxiety is the term used to describe the feeling electric car owners go through when their cars run out of power. It is a common misconception that EVs can’t be driven long distances because charging stations are too few and far in between, unlike gas stations, which are abundant. 

There are plenty of gas stations for ICE vehicles, but there is a growing number of charging stations for EVs, as well. Tesla, for one, has networks of Supercharging stations all over the world, which are continually growing and evolving. According to Tesla’s Supercharger website, there are 1,636 Supercharger Stations worldwide, which are home to more than 14,000 Superchargers across the globe.

Also, Tesla just revealed mobile Superchargersattached to the company’s Megapack batteries, which can be moved from place to place to meet customers' needs. The mobile Supercharger was recently spotted in San Luis Obispo to reduce waiting times during the Thanksgiving rush.


Teslas are Expensive

Tesla’s Models S, X, and Roadster do come with a hefty price tag, but it was all part of Elon Musk’s Master Plan. Most of the revenue that came from Tesla’s first three cars were used to prepare for and produce the Tesla Model 3, which is the more affordable vehicle in the all-electric car maker’s fleet. 

The Model 3 starts at US$39,490 (a Standard Range version without basic Autopilot is available off-menu for around $35,000). This places the vehicle in the same price range as other popular sedans like the BMW 3-Series. It's also more costly than the 2020 Toyota Camry TRD, which starts at $31,040.

However, the Models S, 3, and X make up for their price tag with their low maintenance costs. The expenses of owning a car don’t end with its price tag. Car expenses linger throughout its ownership and maintenance costs can be hefty.

The cost of gas versus charging is one of the most discussed topics when choosing between an EV and an ICE vehicle. To answer Range Anxiety, Tesla—like most EVs—has introduced several improvements including single-pedal driving and regen-braking capabilities to its cars for a few extra miles or kilometers of range. Still, it is much cheaper to keep a Tesla running than an ICE vehicle. According to Energy Sage, the average operating cost per year of an EV in the United States is US$485, while the average cost for gasoline cars per year is US$1,117. 

Besides its low charging costs, there aren’t that many things to maintain in a Tesla, which further reduces its monthly expenses. According to Tesla Raj, the most maintenance Model 3 owners have to worry about is the windshield wiper fluids and the sedan’s tires. Although, even the Model 3’s brake pads are more cost-efficient than maintaining one on an ICE vehicle because of its regen-braking and single-pedal driving capabilities.

Regen-braking and single-pedal driving put less friction and stress on the Model 3’s brake pads, which give them a longer lifespan. Regen-braking is available in all Teslas, so owners of the Models S, 3, or X don’t need to replace their brake pads as often as ICE vehicle owners. 


Credit: Tesla Autonomy Day/YouTube

Teslas are Dangerous

Tesla’s vehicles are “new” in the car industry. Electric cars aren’t new in the world of cars, but the technology behind it is not widely used in the car industry. As such, electric motors have been classified as “new” technology, and people often relate “new” tech to dangerous tech. 

Half the reason Teslas are perceived as dangerous is because not many people understand the tech behind them. For example, Autopilot is commonly misunderstood by the public. Tesla created Autopilot to prevent accidents caused by human error from happening. Ironically, its people's misuse of Autopilot that has led to it being misunderstood. 

Tesla’s Autopilot and the other safety features it puts in its cars has shown promising results in reducing car accidents. According to the company’s Q3 2019 Safety Report, only one accident occurred for every 4.34 million miles driven in a Tesla. On the other hand, the NHTSA’s data revealed that one car accident occurred every 498,000 miles. 

Tesla is Bankrupt

Tesla’s impending bankruptcy has been the topic of choice for most TSLAQ, who seem hell-bent on making this myth come true. However, Tesla’s recent Q3 earnings showed that the company may have passed major financial troubles. In Q3 2019, Tesla reported revenue of US$6.3 billion and announced it was GAAP profitable. Also, recent data has shown that Tesla actually has less debt than legacy car brands like Toyota, Ford, and GM.

Tesla has also shown that it is able to raise money when needed. Earlier this year, Tesla completed a $2.7 billion offering of stock and convertible notes after but a few days, and this resulted in the company having $5 billion of cash, the largest in its history. With high-profile projects such as Gigafactory 3 in China about to start full operations and vehicles such as the Model Y poised for release, there is a good chance that Tesla's business is only going to get healthier in the near future. 

Featured Image Credit: Tesla 

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