A Tesla Model S 90D dubbed “eHawk” has covered 644,000 kilometres (400,000miles) in 3 years, making it one of the highest mileage Tesla in the world today. This car is a part of Tesloop a Shuttle service between South California and Nevada in the United States. Tesloop was launched in 2015 and “eHawk” was their first car. This service was started by a 16-year-old Haydn Sonnad, when we wanted to own a Tesla and needed a way to pay for it. Since then the Company has shuttled thousands of passengers between these places. They claim cars in their fleet average 27,000 Kms a month.
Over the course of 3 years and 644,000 kms, the total maintenance cost incurred on the Tesla Model S 90D – eHawk was roughly 19000$ (13Lakh INR). Equating to about 0.05$ per mile. The breakup of this cost reveals $6,700 for general vehicle repairs and $12,200 for regularly scheduled maintenance. Tesloop estimates, A Lincoln Town Car and Mercedes GLS used in place of Model S and Model X respectively, would have incurred significantly higher maintenance costs at 644,000Kms – Lincoln at $88,500 ($0.22/mile) and Mercedes GLS at $98,900 ($0.25/mile).
What about the Battery? Afterall an Electric Vehicle is all about its Battery. There were battery replacements, Model S 90D’s High Voltage Battery was first replaced at 312,000kms. The company says the battery replacement was not required as the average battery degradation at 312,000kms was only 6% with multiple Supercharging (Tesla’s Fast Charging Tech) stops through the day. A Firmware update could have solved the issue, but since Tesloop operates its vehicles to ferry people waiting for the firmware update could mean a loss of business. The Second battery replacement was carried out when the car was sent to service for an unrelated issue. The mileage at second battery replacement – 521,000kms with Average Battery Degradation at 22%. At both times the batteries were replaced by Tesla free of cost under Tesla’s Standard 8year warranty.
Other vehicles from Tesloop’s fleet have covered high mileage without any problems
June 2018 – Tesla Model X 90D dubbed “Rex” at 500,000Kms in 1.75years on the original battery and drives units with 10% battery degradation.
This article is not about Tesla or Tesloop, its more about the Reliability aspect of Electric vehicles. Manufacturer support with warranties and proper charging Infrastructure in place an Electric Vehicle is probably better and cheaper at mile munching than traditional internal combustion engine (I.C.E) vehicles. Many of us will never drive a vehicle to a 6figure mark on the odometer, yet knowing that when the Earth runs out of Fossil Fuels an Electric Vehicle with the current battery technology can do it, is very comforting. The future could only be better.