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$600/year kills the beauty of 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

Mr. Rickard,
You don't seem to understand the difference between Lexus and Kia. They copied a 70-year old technology that had nearly all of the early bugs worked out on it and everyone knew how it performed.
Tesla is starting with a fairly clean slate and building something completely new. New things need to be looked at fairly closely since there are unknown unknowns and nobody knows the trends yet.
Think about it: How do we know that it is good to change the oil at 5,000 mile intervals and the belts at 30,000? Its because we have millions of vehicle years of experience. Tesla doesn't have this so they need to closely watch their vehicles.
This means they have 2 choices: Pay for these inspections using borrowed capital or allow their early adopters to help pay.
This issue came up early on with the Roadsters and it was determined that the regular inspection cost about $1,200. Remember Tesla mechanics aren't your average grease monkey, they're top-notch technicians and it takes quite a while for the inspection. The decision back then was for Tesla to absorb half of the cost and pass the rest on to the customer.
Sure, we'd like to have it free but this seemed arguably reasonable.
You, then, have the choice to wait about 70 years, until the KIAs and Lexus's are able to cheaply copy Tesla or get on board now and join the visionaries who are leading our society into a sustainable world in style. Nobody is telling you how to spend your hard-earned money but I really think you'd love a Tesla Model S.

Dear Mr. Rickard,

I am really sorry for your loss. Of $35,000 +. That you would have earned if you sold your TSLA today instead of Friday.

This pretty much summarizes your business savvy.

pretty funny, 600 bucks is the deal breaker on a $100,000 car! yeah, I know it's 600 a year, but really that will be the deal breaker? and how many folks with $100,000 cars doing their own oil changes?

Fog +1

$600 is pretty much what any low maintenance car costs for service (and many cost way more). Remember--it's not free just because it's included in the vehicle price. You still pay for it. Tesla is just paying the PR price for being honest.

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