Demystifying A Tesla

The company does a “cost-based” business model; if they reduce the cost of production/features, they pass on the cost to the consumer.

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You have probably spotted Tesla vehicles more and more frequently on your daily commute. That’s because the top-selling electric vehicle for the month of June 2019 was a Tesla Model 3 (accounting for over two thirds of sales). Many rumors surround the Tesla vehicle brand because Tesla doesn’t run commercials or “Summer Sales” like other automakers do. The company doesn’t even have dealerships; everything you buy is directly from Tesla. Here are some top rumors and questions regarding a Tesla Model 3:

The Car Itself:

Is it fully electric?
Yes, all Tesla vehicles run completely on battery. Typically ranges vary from 200-300 miles per “charge.” There is no “gas backup” if you run out of charge.

How long does it take to charge the vehicle?
It depends. There are three types of charging:

  1. Basic wall outlet: This can provide about 10% battery in 8 hours.
  2. Tesla Wall Connector (typical for your home): It can between 3 and 5 hours to reach a full charge. Equate charging an electric car to charging a cellphone. How long does it take to charge your cellphone? Most people just charge it overnight and it’s good for the morning.
  3. Super Charger (the equivalent of a gas station): At a super charger station, a Tesla charges from 10%-90% in about 30 minutes (assuming it’s a V3 super charger).

How safe is it?
It’s probably the safest mass-produced car in the world.

How fast is it?
The “Performance” version of the car goes from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. The “pick-up” or acceleration is much better than a combustion engine because it has higher “torque” which helps drivers to avoid obstacles and instantly accelerate when needed.

The Technology:

The technology of the Model 3 is so far ahead of any other car that just having the intuitive interface is enough of a selling point. With “over-the-air” updates every month or so, your car seems “new” with each update.

Can the car drive itself?
A lot of people think it can (probably due to Elon Musk’s tweets and over-promising), but this isn’t so. The Tesla Model 3 currently has attained Level 2 Autonomy; the system can take full control, but you need to be ready to “jump in” at any moment and monitor the car. It can highway drive very easily (accelerate, brake, steer, lane-change). Eventually, it may be able to read stop-signs and red lights.

Video games?
The Model 3 has a tablet that allows drivers to play a bunch of classic arcade games. Netflix and YouTube are scheduled to become available soon as well (but only while the car is in park).

Other cool features:

  1. A 24/7 dashcam (it uses 3 of the cameras on it) along with “Sentry Mode” allows the car to alert you of a break-in.
  2. “Find My Tesla” shows the Tesla on a map in case you forget where you parked it.
  3. “Summon” allows you to pull the car forward and backward from your phone. Tesla is currently working on devising a way for users to summon the vehicle from a parking space to pick them up.

The Cost:

The general cost of a Model 3 varies almost monthly. The company does a “cost-based” business model; if they reduce the cost of production/features, they pass on the cost to the consumer. The standard range (lowest-end model) starts around $38,000.

Other factors to consider:

  1. Tax “incentives” based on your state.
  2. The negated “cost” of gasoline (I was able to save $250 a month).
  3. Increased electric bill (VERY minor, as it only increased my electric bill by about $20).
  4. Reduced Maintenance costs. Tesla vehicles lack an engine; they just have a drive-train with an 8 year/ 120,000-mile warranty.
  5. Cost of your “time” going to a gas station / interrupting a trip. The convenience of charging te vehicle overnight is invaluable.

Currently, every Model 3 has “fully level 5 autonomous” capabilities, but the technology isn’t there yet. Buying a Tesla is considered an investment. Personally, it’s not worth the price tag until the car has the full features built in.