Published on 18 October 2020 |
by Jesper Berggreen
October 18, 2020 of Jesper Berggreen
I have now crossed the 30,000-mile (49,000 km) milestone with my 2019 Tesla Model 3, in just over 1
Previously on My Quest For Net Zero
Quick summary to explain the chart: It has a history axis and a liquidity axis, with a key number: “0” The price of the Tesla Model 3 Long Range RWD was a major blow to my economic capacity at the same time as I paid for the car. The mission is to get back to zero as fast as possible. Remember, it’s not yet (but may soon become) a quest for a completely eco-friendly zero-zero family, we’re just talking about money on hand here.
Either way, due to unexpected developments, this chart is no longer entirely useful to anyone trying to figure out the true costs of owning a Tesla, because I got it all wrong when the Covid-19 pandemic screwed up the financial market in March. I bought some technological shares….
Let’s summarize to see how I got here. The following numbers correspond to the periods in the graph above:
- Driving an Audi A2 a few years ago wasn’t a bad idea in financial terms. Not enjoying a large income, I needed to save where I could, and the sheer mileage on this little 3-cylinder diesel was phenomenal. Ending the period by selling it brought me to zero. Great!
- The Nissan Leaf was everywhere in this country. AVIS had bought hundreds and I rented a couple, as well as a Nissan e-NV200, for a reasonable price. Later, AVIS also adopted the BMW i3. This was my chance to try electric vehicles for real, not having the ability to buy an expensive Model S, which had the range I knew I needed in the long run. Electric vehicle leasing was a little more expensive than operating the Audi A2, but it still resulted in a stable financial situation.
- My final lease of a BMW i3 expired and I did a stupid thing: I bought an old 1987 Volvo 240 and thought I’d electrify it, which luckily I realized over time would ruin me, so I fixed it. the original engine and I drove for a year waiting for the one and only. The repair and management of this old gas hog has resulted in a downward trend financially. Go figure.
- Eventually, I had a Tesla Model 3 in the driveway and a huge dent in my finances. However, because the running costs are so low, the recovery has become clear as day. Electric rocks!
- Then this crazy pandemic happened. I was struggling to make sense of what was happening, then I saw my chance, took a big chunk of my savings on my house, bought as many tech stocks as I could, mainly Tesla, and bam! I had a 5x return in 6 months and sold enough stock again to get back to the point before buying the Model 3. What can I say? Was I just lucky? I suppose it was a bet, but I still consider myself an investor as I intend to hold a lot of stocks over the long term. In any case, I think it’s clear that the low running costs show that switching to electricity is the sensible thing to do in the long run.
I guess it depends on the financial situation. From now on I will enjoy those low running costs and support the electric future in general, which will also be easier in the future due to the cheaper electric vehicle class coming to the market, such as Peugeots and Citroëns, and eventually, but not at least – the mysterious $ 25,000 Tesla in a couple of years.
Part 5: The long run
Odometer of my Tesla Model 3: 49,174 km (30,555 miles).
Before deciding to fit all-season tires, I took the first long car rides. The most incredible trip was to the IAA in Frankfurt last year where I saw the final design of the VW ID.3 and concluded that it would be very popular!
I wonder if we will ever see snow in this country again, but just to be safe in all conditions, I chose the Michelin CrossClimate +, which I loved very much. They are comfortable, snug in all conditions and, apparently: extremely durable. I haven’t rotated the tires yet, so the rear tires have a little more wear than the front tires, but I’m really surprised it doesn’t make a difference anymore, because I like to pave it once in a while, and I only have rear wheel drive. Either way, here are averages over a number of measurements and it looks like I won’t be looking to replace them until the end of next year at the earliest.
By the way, I sold the original tires at a fair price, so the extra cost of doing this step is negligible in the overall picture. With my Model 3 being the super efficient long range RWD version, this is a recipe for the lowest possible cost per mile, but how low is it?
I must also remember to mention that I chose a size 245/45 on the original 18 ″ rims over the original size 235/45 because I think they are a better match. This also results in a slightly larger circumference of the tire and, coincidentally, this means that the car’s speedometer is very close to real speed. I like it a little.
Charge and autonomy
After 16 months, I see a drop in the suggested range at full charge of nearly 5%, but different conditions can affect this. The downsides would be general battery degradation, removal of aero wheel caps, tire replacement, less economical driving style? (Er …) The positives would be software updates that improve system efficiency.
I think it goes without saying that the car continuously monitors mileage (i.e. measures the distance actually traveled per kWh used) and predicts the range accordingly. So, this lower number isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it’s definitely not proof that the battery is degrading. The range indication is very reliable on a daily basis.
To be honest, I don’t think about efficiency as often. I did it with Nissan Leaf and BMW i3, because I had to do it, otherwise I just wouldn’t have arrived at my destination. With the Model 3 Long Range, I have definitely overcome the barrier of autonomy anxiety.
I drive a lot on the freeway at speeds of +120 km / h (75 mph), which is a good benchmark for not over-promising what this car can do. After a full year, the all-season tires produced an average consumption of 177 Wh / km (285 Wh / mile), which translates into 5.65 km / kWh (3.51 miles / kWh), which is really good!
This is 6,142 kWh used in a year. At the standard price of DKK 2.2 per kWh in Denmark, this equates to DKK 13,512 ($ 2,134), which is ultimately DKK 0.39 / km ($ 0.1 / mile). Not bad. However, in my case, I have solar panels and very generous people who use my referral code from time to time, so I’m the lucky guy to be able to say that the cost of energy simply isn’t an issue right now.
On vacation this summer, we passed a new Supercharger station, and after reading about V3 chargers, I noticed the thin cable from a long way off. Oh boy, this is really a step up. V2 charging speeds up to 150kW aren’t bad, but it was often a problem with crowded chargers that the speed was cut in half as multiple people connected as a main cable was shared by two stalls. Not anymore. 250 kW dedicated to each stall is simply fantastic! Timing a charge at exactly 5 minutes a day gave me a 75km (47 mile) charge. Anyone who thinks charging is a bottleneck for transportation electrification simply hasn’t contemplated what current technology can do.
Anyone new to the subject should know that with current battery technology, these charging speeds are only possible for the first half (or less) of the charge (ideally around 10% to 50%), after which the speeds decrease. . However, with a large enough battery, often no more than 50% is needed and that’s it.
But everything is about to change. After what we heard on Tesla Battery Day, I think it’s safe to say that the new 4680 cell will be able to sustain very prolonged aggressive charging rates. But we’ll just have to wait and see.
Aside from insurance, road taxes, monthly fees for Tesla premium connectivity, home charging when the sun isn’t shining, and occasional third-party charging (ironically, like when I saw the giant wind turbines), I didn’t pay. nothing else for vehicle maintenance since I wrote part 4 of this series 8 months ago (odometer: 25.104 km).
Before that, I had expenses, such as windshield replacement, which took a hit on the freeway. I forgot to check the box that says free glass cover in my insurance, but got a discount from Tesla, so I ended up paying only DKK 6,200 ($ 906). And as mentioned, I got the new tires but sold the originals for a reasonable price, so it set me back a total of DKK 4280 ($ 673).
Total operating costs for the first 16 months of ownership are DKK 36,953 ($ 5,811). By subtracting rental income (via gomore.dk) of DKK 8,090 ($ 1,272) brings me to DKK 28,863 ($ 4,539) in total for the period. This is DKK 0.59 / km ($ 0.15 / mile). Not taking into account depreciation.
When all is said and done, there is no doubt that the Model 3 is destroying the otherwise very cheap Audi A2 that I have owned for 8 years. One thing is the very low running costs of any electric car. Another is whether a Tesla car in particular can completely eliminate running costs by other means.
I know I’m lucky that I’m already in a position where I can actually make some money with my Model 3. Not enough to pay the depreciation, I guess, but enough to keep it running. Well, maybe luck is only part of that, because I’ve been planning it for a long time. I haven’t bought a relatively expensive Tesla a to increase my expenses. I bought it because it was one way decreasing my expenses.
The free Supercharger miles I get with my referral code help a lot, so thank you everyone for that. I also entrust it once in a while and also use it as an example when I am lucky enough to be invited to give talks on electric mobility in general through my business, Lifelike.dk.
It’s not easy to get into the hard core of electric transportation and really understand why it matters, but I go very deep in my talks and one of my key points is to make my audience understand what a kilowatt hour actually is. My take-home message is this: “Lift an apple (102 grams) by 1 meter and 1 Joule of energy has been converted, which corresponds to 1 watt-second. The rest is math. “
In the not so distant future, I see hailstorm racing as a real opportunity. The hardware is there, so all I really need is a software update that says, “Confirm that you want to use your Tesla as a taxi. The income will automatically be deposited into your Tesla account.” Are you listening, Elon? I’m fine! Regulators are a pain, you say? Oh good…
In the more distant future, I want to believe robotaxi will become a reality, which simply means that I will remove the steering wheel from my Model 3 and let it run and make money while I go fishing with my Cybertruck. Oh, how sweet it would be!
Is that so? Could be. I just like to drive. This machine is a tool. Not a car that needs excess tools. Incredible, really. Unless something radical changes in my daily life with this car, like the revolutionary robotaxi scheme, that’s all for now. Of course, there will always be the occasional adventure of Mr. Me and his noble steed Colin. I will try not to disappoint you.
All photos and graphics are by Jesper Berggreen. If you choose to buy a Tesla, feel free to use my referral link to get many free miles: https://ts.la/jesper18367
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