$600/year kills the electric car!!!

I'm a technology enthusiast and also have some Tesla stocks. I was very interested in Tesla from the beginning of the company.

And I've planned to have the model S for my next car, but after walked out from Tesla's showroom in Santana Row after learning about the maintenance cost, I'm really disappointed.

The real beauty of electric car technology compare to combustion engine is cleaner, simpler, more reliability, better performance. Why isn't maintenance cost getting lower?

What if I'm happy with the current software version and don't want any new updates?

What if I really know how drive the car in such a way that could save the brake pads for a longer time?

What if I want to do all the basics maintenance by myself: windshield wipers, tire rotations, brake pads,..

I know Tesla company is still a young company and really need money to keep things going, but i think the mandatory $600/year maintenance cost is not reasonable.

Why don't Tesla:

* Allows customers to decline software update (if it is not a major update). If it is a major update, it should be free since that is equivalent to a recall.

* Allows car owners to perform some basic maintenances without voiding the basic warranty (battery, motor, transmission..). For example, owner could replace brake pad by himself if he want to. Tesla could sell parts and also provide tutorial video on youtube...

* Customers who don't want to maintenance by himself could just pay $600/year.

I own a Toyota, and usually decline many services offered by the dealer since I knows many of them are not necessary.

Many simple things such as changing air-filter, windshield wipers, tire rotations...are always be done by myself.

I know the Model S is not an economy car, but it should have options for people who has less money, who want to drive it and spend time to maintain it (instead of spending money).

If I spend $50k on an electric car, I really want it to beat my Toyota Camry in all aspects: cleaner, less maintenance, less operational cost (electric).

With $50k, I could just go with Mercedes, BMW, Lexus... if I really want a luxury sedan with all the stupid gadgets and a huge engine.

I think to help reduce the warranty cost for Tesla, it should provide an environment to help owners to reduce maintenance cost in long-term (DIYs, tutorials, parts...). Since it is not about the 4 years of warranty and maintenance, people will expect to own and drive this car for ten, fifteen, twenty years.

Hope this will help.


Phillip Phan
San Jose, CA

600$ + mileage fee 1000$ or 1200$ for some people and 2 times a year if u use your car

Or $475/yr if you buy the 4-year plan up front.

If you don't think 600/475 a year is needed, it's pretty simple. DON'T PAY FOR IT. If you don't think your car is going to need the maintenance don't pay for it. If you don't want to pay for the piece of mind of having your car looked at (because you think electric motors won't need maintenance) guess what? You guessed it, don't pay for it.

Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. You talk about DIY, but it requires a lot of equipment to monitor the Tesla Model S. Notice I said monitor. That is what you are paying for. The equipment to make sure your car doesn't break down. The time for a trained technician to look at it. If you don't think this is necessary DON'T PAY FOR IT.

Hypothetical scenario: You don't take your car in to get inspected, and the battery goes bad because the coolant was off. This is your own damn fault, and you deserve to pay for it. Ditto for the electric motor. Ditto for a small structural problem that turned out to ruin your car. You shouldn't expect Tesla to pay for a problem that could have been fixed for less if you would have brought it in a year ago.

Let me just say one last thing. If you don't like it, DON'T #*($@(*#$(*) BUY IT. The news articles about this being a big deal is starting to irritate me. 475 a year for a 60-100k dollar car is just not a big deal. If you think it is, then don't buy it. America is about risk.

This is the 3rd copy-paste of the same nonsense. Stop!!

$600 / year is low when you consider what it includes WHEN you take into account your significantly reduced energy / gas cost.... Only 15%!

No one knows what it includes, including tesla at this point.
You don't have an option to not pay if you want to maintain your warranty.
If you didn't order your car and don't agree with that charge, don't order the car.
If you did order the car, you're stuck with it, although you can try to cancel and get your money back.
With the number of delays, I think they might be willing to do it for you.

I think $600 per year would be reasonable if the 4G access was included. If need be there could be a limit on the amount of data.

+1 Brian. We've been through this more than enough times.

phtphan | OCTOBER 17, 2012

Didn't you hear? GM killed the electric car! They even made a movie about it!


Maybe you simply should have said it kills the electric car for you. (and kept your complaining to yourself)

The rest of us are here because we believe in what Tesla is doing and want to be a part something bigger than the sum of its parts.

no one cares what you are not going to do. if you dont want the car, dont buy it.

@jhall118: +1

Stop your whining already, people. If you don't like it, start your own EV company and make your cars better and for less money. I dare you.

I paid about $600.00 per year to maintain my last Infiniti (under warentee). OEM oil changes were about $60.00 every 3.5k miles. A required tire rotation at 6k miles $100.00, and I think it was about $350.00 to $400.00 for the scheduled 10-15k service (air filter, fuel filter, cabin filter, etc). All in all, not much difference for the Model S, other than the fact that nothing improved in my Infiniti, after all the services (software was the same, etc)

Like I have said many times over and over, the Model S is not for everyone. However, for me and my lifestyle, it's well worth it! :-)


Ignore and he will go away. Doesn't own a Tesla and has no intention of ever buying one.

It is a free market, people. If you don't like it, you don't buy it.

This is not your run-of-the-mill Toyota. It's a first gen all-electric Sedan with tons of new tech that no other car in the world has. It happens to be made by a not-so-experienced but an immensely talented car company. I would not buy a car like this without a multi-year service plan from the manufacturer.

Its just a generalization at this time without any empirical proof, that its annual maintenance cost is "very low". Until that is established, I would happily pay $475/yr for 4 years. Also the free brake pads, wind-shield wipers, tire rotation, s/w updates, etc that come free with the plan are not mere icing on the cake.

"Everything but the tires." Not itemized? So sorry!

Annual inspection maintains the warranty. So "payment" is NOT required. You seem to be refusing to acknowledge this. Howcum?


Yes, it's not itemized and is an arbitrary number they came up with to cover whatever expenses they may have, or to meet profit margins they are trying to make, and that is absolutely fine, btw, if customers agree to pay the price.
"includes everything" without an itemized list is not something measurable you can use to assess the value as a customer though.
On the contrary, it leaves people guessing, comparing to ICE and service/inspection items you'd do on an ICE car, or comparing to other EVs that cost less to maintain than Tesla.
Annual inspection is MANDATORY to maintain your warranty, and can only be performed by Tesla (at this point anyway), that will charge you $600 if you don't pre-pay for a service plan or $475 if you do, so it IS in fact required.
So I absolutely refuse to acknowledge that "payment" is not required since it's simply NOT true.
Whether or not market (other than early adopters) accepts it, only time will tell.

Duh. The annual inspection is not the same as the $600 annual fee/plan.

Wow I am shocked how aggressive people on this form are. For a group of, I presume highly educated well off people, the comments are rather crude. If you do not agree with a post it does not mean you need to make personal attacks. If you were talking face to face each other the conversation I hope would be more civil. When you post online please give others the same respect as you would in person.

Phtphan makes some very good point that have been echoed many times before by many people.
The media has also criticized the decision by Tesla to have this required service.

As well as on this form and others.

Spammers tend to get people irritated. This is the fourth copy of this post from this jerk. Once would have been enough.

Spammers tend to get people irritated. This is the fourth copy of this post from this jerk. Once would have been enough.

I post only twice: here and in general discussion. At first I think it should be in General section, but then I like to move it to Model S section. I was tried to delete the older thread but it already has some comments from people, so that's why I didn't remove it.

But why so big deal, this is not a game/iphone's app forum, I didn't try to up sell anything to you guys. , all I want is to contribute some ideas to Tesla.

If we want our dream come true (electric car dominate the market on the next 10-20 years), that should be the place where Tesla wants to go.

As I mentioned, if you want to pay for maintenance, you could just pay $600/year and do nothing.

Why changing windshield wipers, tire rotations, air filter are so hard on a Tesla? Why does it require an trained expert to do it?

Why did I compare it to Toyota Camry? Because Toyota does the right things: the car last long, simple to maintain, affordable price. That's why lots people have Toyota, take a look on the freeway, there is a Toyota pass by in every second.

Take a look on Toyota history, at the time they introduced the first Camry, their company was also struggling as well. They were not well known and the sell was very low. But they tried to do the right thing, build the right car for the market.

Tesla should not be a car for rich people who just want to show off "I'm green, I'm hitech". It should be for middle class families who would say "we are not going to spend 25k on a Camry, instead 50k for the model S because after 10 years of driving the model S will total cost will be less than the Camry".


If it "Should be this or that" then go out and as Picard says "Make it so". You are free to do as Tesla is doing and make your own car. Oh that's right, you would need to put your money where your mouth is. Either accept what Tesla is providing or not, just stop ranting about the same issues over and over again.

The arguments don't change, but neither do the facts. They introduced an unreasonably expensive mandatory service fee well after people had put their money down. It is moderately more offensive than the mandatory prep and delivery fees. The car costs close to an extra $4000 with this nonsense. They are not at all ashamed to do this, and I wouldn't be shocked if some more blood is let from me before I they will even give me a delivery date.

Of course, the worst, and only failed, attempt was the 2K for the "free supercharger hardware" in the 60 kWh models, which they had to reverse due to the outcry.

Clearly, they need money and are willing to stick it to the customers as much as they can for the good of the institution.

I resent it, but of course I am still getting the car. Can't wait. It will be totally awesome.

This thread is much like the presidential debates. I feel like I've seen it all before.

@phtphan, Grant910: thanks for bringing your points up. I don't mind paying the $450 because I agree that normal car service is about this anyway, pls I'd rather do something more fun than change my own air filters/wipers and like the assurance of an experienced tech looking at the whole car @ the time of making these easy fixes. At the same time, I respect and appreciate your bringing the point that it should be optional. No need to get as worked up as some here are doing IMHO. Knowledge is power ;)


I think you can tell from everyone's reaction that this topic has been hashed to death. Go read the other threads for a full, exhaustive, excruciating account of what the $600 fee will do to us and to Tesla.

As an early adopter, you have to expect problems. I see this fee as a $600/year insurance plan that my car will remain current, viable and usable. This is new technology. I personally purchase Applecare for my iphone because, more often than not, I'll use it. This new car technology is the same: it's there if I need it, it's insurance payment if not. I'd rather pay Tesla than some insurance company.

We're all pioneers of a sort at this point. It's not perfect, but that's the price you pay to be a pioneer.

Yes, it is easy enough to justify the amount considering how great the car is. But the timing of the fee disclosures, both service and delivery, was indeed problematic. It is hard to justify the timing. There is no getting around that.

I am sure that I will forget these issues within my first 100 miles of enjoying the vehicle.

If you feel that the topic has been hashed to death, then don't open the thread. My understanding is that this is a forum, not a white paper to be reviewed.

But I'm not even good at reviewing white papers. Too wordy... :)

X Deutschland Site Besuchen